Introduction to Evaluation Course

Evaluation is an everyday activity, and it's a formal, professional practice. It's also a word that can mean a lot of different things in different contexts. There is a lot to untangle, which can be daunting.

In this course, you will learn the core concepts and essential practices of evaluation. Using examples from everyday life, you'll learn about the building blocks of all evaluative activities and practice identifying them in action. The course covers the main types and purposes of program evaluation, the common sources for evaluative evidence, and the range of reasons that organizations evaluate their initiatives. You'll also learn about the evaluation profession's guiding principles and standards and what distinguishes everyday evaluation from formal evaluations conducted in professional settings.

This course includes several interactive elements that bring evaluation concepts to life and engage you in applying what you learn.

The course is designed for individuals seeking a solid grasp of program evaluation fundamentals to enhance their career or academic pursuits.

Time commitment

You can expect this course to take 45 - 60 minutes to complete.


Lori Wingate and Kelly Robertson developed this course with instructional design support from Jen Driscoll at Allen Interactions. Lori and Kelly work at The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University (WMU), and they have PhDs in interdisciplinary evaluation from WMU. They are coeditors of Core Concepts in Evaluation: Classic Writings and Contemporary Commentary.

Lori is a coauthor of the Program Evaluation: Alternative Approaches and Practical Guidelines and has led 75 workshops and webinars on diverse evaluation topics. You can read more about Lori here. Kelly has extensive experience conducting social justice-focused evaluations and has been featured in webinars hosted by the American Evaluation Association, including its Graduate Education Diversity Initiative, EvaluATE, and the Vera Institute. You can read more about Kelly here.

Course $25.00

Happy Learner

Embarking on this introductory program evaluation course at Valeo's website brought about some discoveries in the fundamentals of evaluation [such as] exploring essential terms like process and outcome evaluations, criteria, merit, worth, values, and data analysis in a clear and accessible manner. Also, engaging in hands-on activities to apply these concepts practically. 

                                                                                           By Ernest A.

The Evaluation Center
Western Michigan University
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5237

(269) 387-5916

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