Program Evaluation

Humanities & Social Sciences
Social Sciences
Course Code
SOSC 4301
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Method Of Instruction
Field Experience
Typically Offered
To be determined


Course Description
This course provides an intensive introduction to organizational, methodological and professional issues involved in evaluating programs and measuring performance in organizations. It offers a practical understanding of the alternative approaches to program evaluation including expertise and consumer oriented approaches, program oriented approaches, decision oriented approaches and participant oriented approaches. Students are introduced to methods for planning, conducting and reporting on evaluations using both quantitative and qualitative data. As part of the course, students participate in a service learning activity involving a program evaluation conducted by an organization.
Course Content

The topics covered may include:

  1. Program Evaluation - Basic Purposes, Uses, and Conceptual Distinctions
  2. Origins and Current Trends in Modern Program Evaluation
  3. Political, Interpersonal, and Ethical Issues in Evaluation
  4. Alternative Views Of Evaluation
  5. Expertise and Consumer-Oriented Approaches
  6. Program-Oriented Evaluation Approaches
  7. Decision-Oriented Evaluation Approaches
  8. Participant-Oriented Evaluation Approaches
  9. A Comparative Analysis of Approaches
  10. Organizational Evaluation Competence and Capacity Building
  11. Clarifying the Evaluation Request and Responsibilities
  12. Setting Boundaries and Analyzing the Evaluation Context with Stakeholders
  13. Identifying and Selecting the Evaluation Questions and Criteria
  14. Planning How to Conduct the Evaluation
  15. Collecting Evaluative Information: Design, Sampling, Time and Cost Choices
  16. Collecting Evaluative Information: Data Sources and Methods, Analysis and Interpretation
  17. Reporting Evaluation Results: Maximizing Use and Understanding
  18. Evaluating the Program Evaluation
Methods Of Instruction
  • Lecture
  • Case Studies and Problem Based Learning
  • Group Discussion
  • Lab
  • Service Learning
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will include some of the following: quizzes, multiple choice exams, shot answer type exams, term report, presentation, program evaluation proposal, research paper. The instructor will provide the students with a course outline listing the criteria for course evaluation.


An example of one evaluation scheme:

2 quizzes - multiple choice and short answer      40%
Program evaluation proposal and plan  20%
Program evaluation report  25%
Presentation  15%
Total 100%



Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate the range of approaches to program evaluation.
  2. Identify and discuss the political, interpersonal and ethical issues of program evaluation
  3. Plan and design an effective program evaluation using a mixed methods approach
  4. Contribute effectively to a program evaluation being undertaken by an organization
  5. Evaluate a program evaluation and assess its probable impact on organizational practice
  6. Present an account of a program evaluation and its results
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:

Texts will be updated periodically. An example of an appropriate text is:

  • Linfield, K.J., & Posavac, E.J. (2018) Program Evaluation: Methods and Case Studies. (9th Ed.) Routledge.


Course Guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester / year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

Course Transfers

Institution Transfer Details Effective Dates
Athabasca University (AU) AU HSRV 4XX (3) 2012/05/01 to -
Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) KPU PSYC 3960 (3) 2012/05/01 to -
Langara College (LANG) LANG BUSM 2XXX (3) 2012/05/01 to -
Thompson Rivers University (TRU) TRU SOSC 4XXX (3) 2012/05/01 to -
University of British Columbia - Okanagan (UBCO) UBCO PSYO 474 (3) 2012/05/01 to 2021/04/30
University of British Columbia - Vancouver (UBCV) No credit 2012/05/01 to -
University of Northern BC (UNBC) UNBC HHSC 3XX (3) 2012/05/01 to -
University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) UFV SOC 353 (4) 2012/05/01 to -
University of Victoria (UVIC) UVIC ADMN 437 (1.5) 2012/05/01 to -

Course Offerings

Fall 2021

There aren't any scheduled upcoming offerings for this course.