Let's get technical: Enhancing program evaluation through the use and integration of internet and mobile technologies

Frank T. Materia, Elizabeth A. Miller, Megan C. Runion, Ryan P. Chesnut, Jamie B. Irvin, Cameron B. Richardson, Daniel F. Perkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Program evaluation has become increasingly important, and information on program performance often drives funding decisions. Technology use and integration can help ease the burdens associated with program evaluation by reducing the resources needed (e.g., time, money, staff) and increasing evaluation efficiency. This paper reviews how program evaluators, across disciplines, can apply internet and mobile technologies to key aspects of program evaluation, which consist of participant registration, participant tracking and retention, process evaluation (e.g., fidelity, assignment completion), and outcome evaluation (e.g., behavior change, knowledge gain). In addition, the paper focuses on the ease of use, relative cost, and fit with populations. An examination on how these tools can be integrated to enhance data collection and program evaluation is discussed. Important limitations of and considerations for technology integration, including the level of technical skill, cost needed to integrate various technologies, data management strategies, and ethical considerations, are highlighted. Lastly, a case study of technology use in an evaluation conducted by the Clearinghouse for Military Family Readiness at Penn State is presented and illustrates how technology integration can enhance program evaluation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalEvaluation and Program Planning
Volume56
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2016

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All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business and International Management
  • Social Psychology
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Strategy and Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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