By Hope Gilbert, Moira Ragan and Sarah Mason
When you think of robust evaluation, who comes to mind as the pioneers in the field? Scriven, Campbell, Patton, Preskill, Weiss, Levin, Wadsworth? But there is one key individual left off this list of evaluation giants. Someone whose work requires the very core principles that all evaluators should use… someone who children try to stay awake to sneak a peek of every Christmas Eve…
Each year, he has to decide, were they naughty… were they nice… does little Billy need a firetruck… should little Sally get a lump of coal? That’s right, people—we’re talking about the man in the red suit… Santa Claus.
With the support of his Elf Review Board, ensuring that his Christmas list meets FERPA and HIPAA standards, Santa thoughtfully evaluates children across the globe. He uses his logic model (developed by CERE at Ole Miss) and nice-or-naughty standards to conduct his annual needs assessment. He thoughtfully reviews his criteria every year to ensure they are appropriate and quantifiable. Have children done what their parents told them to do (sounds a little like implementation)? Have they brought joy to the people around them (… and impact)? Have they kept their promises all year long (fidelity)? Without these, how would Santa make his value judgments and write up his lists?
Ultimately, Santa uses his findings to disseminate happiness (or lumps of coal) to all the children around the world.
It won’t be long, until Santa wraps this year’s evaluation… stay tuned for the results on Christmas morning.