EDTECH #505 Reflection 8 – Formative & Summative Evaluation

Evaluation really is an incredibly powerful tool.  I have previously been more interested in the formative aspects of evaluation; believing that by collecting data over the course of project and making improvements along the way would provide significantly more meaning than simply surveying the results afterwards.  While working on my evaluation project in 505 and surveying real estate agents here in the Treasure Valley on their outlook on the system, rating their comfort in using these tools, and attempting to put a productivity value on this service I find that I seem to be conducting both a summative and formative evaluation at the same time.

This hybrid or combination evaluation, for this particular project at least, seems to be extremely fitting as the nature of the questions I am asking boil down to “is it being used” and “is it beneficial to the parties”.  By working with agents to understand their experiences using the systems in their day to day operations I can see and offer insight into what may need to be offered in the way of software modification or training improvements to increase both productivity as well as adoption of the product moving forward.  By looking at the end results of time savings and client satisfaction, my evaluation can also speak to the viability of the product as a whole and offer agents that are unsure about the production value of a similar service to their business as seen by other agents in the community.

While I am sure that in the future it may be unlikely that I fill find myself conducting a formative and summative evaluation in tandem, in the course of this particular project it seems to be a perfect match.

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