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K-12 Intense Study Skills Program Evaluation Research Paper

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Updated: Jun 13th, 2020

The evaluation of educational programs is a challenging task due to necessities to assess the effectiveness of the program to realize the set objectives, address the needs of the student population, and contribute to the development of the organization. The program evaluation is conducted from different perspectives and with the help of a variety of program evaluation models. Under different conditions, evaluators can prefer to use the objective-oriented, participant-oriented, management-oriented, and expertise-oriented models or approaches in order to complete the detailed assessment of the program (Fitzpatrick, Sanders, & Worthen, 2011).

Intensive study skills programs implemented in K-12 institutions are also evaluated with the help of different approaches. The purpose of this paper is to provide the discussion of the evaluation model and process selected for assessing the intensive study skills program implemented in the K-12 institution and involving the development of skills in reading, taking notes, setting schedules, and working with teachers among other ones.

Selection of the Appropriate Evaluation Model

As the implemented study skills program is intensive and short, it is rather problematic to evaluate the effectiveness of the program in terms of achieving the set goals and objectives. The launched study skills program is oriented to develop certain capacities in students and the participant-oriented approach to the program evaluation can provide the expected assessment results (Cellante & Donne, 2013, p. 3). The reason to select the participant-oriented model is the necessity of focusing on the actual achievements and developed skills in the program participants (Hung, Hsu, & Rice, 2012).

Study skills programs launched in K-12 institutions are directed to improve the persons’ skills in reading course texts, taking notes, time management, and assessing the progress. Despite being intensive, such program is aimed at influencing the individual learning. The evaluation with the help of the participant-oriented model allows focusing on the development of actual skills in participants for the set period. This model provides more opportunities to evaluate the actual outcomes of the program with the focus on the participants’ perceptions.

Questions for the Evaluation Process

Depending on the used participant-oriented model, the questions for the evaluation process and study should be the following ones: (1) Did the participants develop their skills? (2) To what extent did the participants develop their skills? (3) What improvements are observed in practicing developed skills? (4) How did the program address the needs and values of diverse participants? (5) What individual differences are observed in developing skills by students?

These main questions guide the evaluation process and provide the background for the questionnaire distributed to the program participants, and the main information that should be elicited is the changes in participants’ approaches to reading study materials, taking notes, listening to lectures, working with teachers, time management, and assessing their achievements among other skills (Grammatikopoulos, 2012; Poyraz, 2013). The program can be discussed as effective if participants emphasize the development of aimed skills and positive changes in their practice (Wernersbach, Crowley, Bates, & Rosenthal, 2014). The focus is on the participants’ vision of the program’s success.

Stakeholders Interested in the Evaluation Results

The results of evaluating the study skills program are important for educators who regularly work with students whose skills were developed. The course of the program is oriented to developing the basic skills necessary for studying, and the results of enhancing these skills will influence the further work of students in classes without focusing on the level and subject. This aspect creates the grounds for discussing all teachers working in the K-12 institution as interested in the results of the evaluation (Karaman, Kucuk, & Aydemir, 2014; Sikhwari & Pillay, 2012). The other group of interested stakeholders involves the developers of the launched study skills program and leaders who were responsible for implementing the program because of the necessity to response to possible recommendations and improve the approach in order to achieve the higher results.

Addressing the Diverse Student Population in Evaluation

The main advantage of using the participant-oriented approach to evaluating the study skills program is the possibility to take the differences in individual results and perceptions of participants into consideration (Franklin & Blankenberger, 2016). The model allows noting differences in perceiving the program’s material by diverse students, disparities in tempos of developing skills, and differences in understanding the value of the course among other aspects. While asking participants about the changes in their skills because of the launched program, the evaluator notes differences in answers of students and pays attention to points that can be influenced by the factor of diversity (Barna & Brott, 2013). These aspects should be taken into account to assess the program as appropriate or not to be implemented for the highly diverse student population in the K-12 institution.

Presentation of the Evaluation Results

When the evaluation of the program is completed, the presentation of results should include two steps. The first step is the provision of the official report on the program evaluation results to the K-12 institution authorities. The purpose of this report is to propose the assessment of the study skills program from the perspective of its appropriateness to address the participants’ interests and needs, as it is stated according to the participant-oriented model. The report should be presented as an official document indicating the outcomes of the evaluation procedure (Ahmady, Lakeh, Esmaeilpoor, Arab, & Yaghmaei, 2014).

This report is required by the K-12 institution authorities, as well as the program developers. The second step is the presentation of the evaluation results to the teaching staff interested in developing the basic study skills in students. At this stage, the informal type of the verbal presentation supported with the PowerPoint Presentation should be selected as the use of the detailed formal report is not appropriate in this case (Fitzpatrick, Sanders, & Worthen, 2011). The PowerPoint Presentation should include the summary of both qualitative and quantitative findings associated with changes in students’ study skills developed with the help of the intensive program.

Conclusion

The effective and detailed evaluation of the study skills program is possible if the participant-oriented model is selected. The questions important for the evaluation process should be developed to elicit the information that is related to the students’ visions of their progress in developing the study skills as a result of the intensive program. The questions should be formulated to determine the significance of the program for addressing the needs of diverse students. Stakeholders interested in the evaluation results include the K-12 institution authorities and the teaching staff. The evaluation results should be reported as an official written document to the authorities and presented with the help of the PowerPoint to teachers.

References

Ahmady, S., Lakeh, M. A., Esmaeilpoor, S., Arab, M., & Yaghmaei, M. (2014). Educational program evaluation model, from the perspective of the new theories. Research and Develpment, 3(1), 5-8.

Barna, J., & Brott, P. (2013). Making the grade: The importance of academic enablers in the elementary school counseling program. Professional School Counseling, 17(1), 97-110.

Cellante, D., & Donne, V. (2013). A program evaluation process to meet the needs of English Language Learners. Education, 134(1), 1-8.

Fitzpatrick, J., Sanders, J., & Worthen, B. (2011). Program evaluation: Alternative approaches and practical guidelines. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

Franklin, D., & Blankenberger, B. (2016). Program evaluation of community college learning assistance centers what do LAC directors think? Community College Review, 44(1), 3-25.

Grammatikopoulos, V. (2012). Integrating program theory and systems-based procedures in program evaluation: A dynamic approach to evaluate educational programs. Educational Research and Evaluation, 18(1), 53-64.

Hung, J. L., Hsu, Y. C., & Rice, K. (2012). Integrating data mining in program evaluation of K-12 online education. Journal of Educational Technology & Society, 15(3), 27-41.

Karaman, S., Kucuk, S., & Aydemir, M. (2014). Evaluation of an online continuing education program from the perspective of new graduate nurses. Nurse Education Today, 34(5), 836-841.

Poyraz, C. (2013). Investigating distance education students’ study skills. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 14(4), 22-29.

Sikhwari, T. D., & Pillay, J. (2012). Investigating the effectiveness of a study skills training programme. South African Journal of Higher Education, 26(3), 606-622.

Wernersbach, B. M., Crowley, S. L., Bates, S. C., & Rosenthal, C. (2014). Study skills course impact on academic self-efficacy. Journal of Developmental Education, 37(3), 14-18.

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