In order to accomplish this task, the net cost per student will be calculated and compared to the desired outcomes of the program. In order to be beneficial and worthwhile, the benefits of the program must not dramatically outweigh the costs of the program. Cost:benefit analysis will help to determine if the program is beneficial enough to continue.
The cost: benefit analysis will help to determine if the expenditures for the program will result in a satisfactory return for investors. Once the program has been determined to be a worthwhile pursuit, an evaluation of the resources that are currently available to achieve that goal will be conducted. Next, an evaluation of the resources that are estimated to be needed in the future will be conducted. The resources that are currently available will be compared to the resources that are anticipated to be needed in the future will be undertaken to determine if the program is likely to achieve its intended goals in the future.
Resources will include both tangible and intangible resources. Tangible resources will include items such as operating capital, buildings, and other physical resources that will be necessary for the daily operations of the program. In the case of Treca Digital Academy, these resources may include student computers, staff, access to the Internet, and a wealth of information that is available online for use in the curriculum.
Intangible resources will include many things that are difficult to account for in a physical sense, but that are necessary for the success of the program nonetheless. Intangible resources include organizational culture that promotes or harms the ability of the organization to achieve its goals. It includes the background and experience of those administering the program. It includes an atmosphere of community support surrounding the program. Treca Digital Academy includes the skill of their teachers and staff, as well as the willingness and determination of the students as intangible assets. Parents often serve in a support position, offering encouragement to their child and acting as an emotional support for their child. These intangible resources are important to the functioning of Treca Digital Academy.
Intended Audience and Responsible Parties
The intended audience and responsible parties will be identified. A plan will be devised to communicate the results of this study to the intended audience. This portion of the study will identify stakeholders, both internal and external to the program. Stakeholders are expected to include program planners, funding personnel, other people outside of the agency and community members.
This portion of the study will identify the information needs of each stakeholder. The format of the information will be presented in a manner that is consistent with the needs of the stakeholder. Formats may include, but are not limited to, progress updates, recommendations, problem resolution and information gathering. A timeline will be developed informing shareholders when the information will be available. It will also describe the communication format.
Time Frame for Evaluation Process
The evaluation process will be divided into two phases. The first four phases will take place over four quarters in the first year. The second phase will take place in year two of the evaluation process. The time line for completion of the evaluation will be as follows.
Quarter 1 -- Review and Revision of Evaluations
Review and revise standards, benchmarks, and indicators.
Write evaluation framework.
Present the evaluation to the Board of Directors for approval or the appropriate party.
Order sample copies and support materials.
Develop instructional resources appraise instrument that reflects standards and benchmarks for evaluations.
Appraise evaluations and support material samples.
Present recommendations to the Board of Directors or other appropriate party.
Order final evaluation copies and materials.
Quarter 2 and 3 -- Train Staff and Implement
Provide training for the new evaluation process.
Provide facilitator/Instructor/Manager/Administrator support for the new evaluation process.
Implement evaluation process
Quarter 4 -- Progress Review
Review efforts thus far.
Identify strengths and needs.
Monitor evaluated assessment outcomes.
Refine evaluation process.
Make any needed adjustments to the process
It will provide a comprehensive view of the program and its relationship to key stakeholders. It will examine all of the key areas of the program including finance, community benefits and the impact of the program of students and the community surrounding it.
It will utilize a combination of quantitative methods and qualitative methods. Quantitative methods will be statistically analyzed to determine the effectiveness of the program on student academics and to compare these to students in a brick and mortar school. It will consist of a records review, performance testing, and other means to provide insight into the impact of the program on students. The qualitative portion of study will consist of interviews with persons both inside the program and outside of the program to gain insight into the usefulness of the program to the community. The study will weigh the costs of the program with the benefits that are discovered during this portion of the research study.
The evaluation process will help to uncover the strengths and the weaknesses of the online curriculum. Some of these will be uncovered as a result of formative, ongoing research. Others will be uncovered as a result of summative research. It is anticipated that these strengths and weaknesses will lead to the use of problem resolution strategies and recommendations. These recommendations will highlight the ability to emphasize the strengths of the program. They will also assist in the ability to eliminate or reduce the weaknesses of the program. Resolution of these issues is the key to achieving the goals and objectives of the program.
The evaluative process for this program is complex and contains many complex phases. The end result will be a comprehensive assessment of the program that will allow decision makers to weigh their options regarding the program. Certain portions of the program will have more weight than others for certain stakeholders. For instance, it could be expected that accountants and finance persons would have a greater interest in the cost-benefit analysis than in the interests of community stakeholders. Likewise, educators would have a greater interest in the academic outcomes of the program.
This evaluation plan provides a balanced approach to the assessment of the program. Each of the stakeholders will be interested in a specific part of the information. However, all of these portions will have to be assessed as a whole in order to provide the basis for the necessary decision-making strategies. This evaluation process and presentation format will allow the individual stakeholders to have access to the specific information that they need, yet will allow them to view their portion of the report in relation to all of the other parts.
This evaluation will result in the ability to strategically assess the future needs of the program and the actions that need to be taken. It will play a key role in the evaluation of Treca Digital Academy and will provide a template for the evaluation of similar programs. The evaluation plan will help the program to achieve its goals for existing and future stakeholders.
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