The value of checklists and evaluation: 7 reasons

November 13, 2007 at 7:52 am 3 comments

photo by Leo Reynolds, flickr

Further to what I wrote last week  about checklists and their use in evaluation, I have found an excellent article on the logic and methodology of checklists.

Dr Michael Scriven of the Evaluation Centre of Western Michigan University describes the different types of  checklists and how good checklists are put together. In particular, I like his list of the seven values of checklists, of which I summarise as follows: 

  1. Reduces the chance of forgetting to check something important
  2. Are easier for the lay stakeholder to understand and evaluate
  3. Reduces the “halo effect”- it forces an evaluator to look at all criteria and not be overwhelmed by one highly valued feature
  4. Reduces the influence of the “rorschach effect” – that is the tendancy to see what one wants to see in a mass of data – evaluators have to look at all dimensions
  5. Avoids criteria being counted twice or given too much importance
  6. Summarises a huge amount of professional knowledge and experience
  7. Assists in evaluating what we cannot explain

As Dr Scriven points out, checklists are very useful tools in getting us to think through the “performance criteria” of all kinds of processes, projects or occurences, e.g. what are the key criteria that make a good trainer – and what criteria are more important than other?

Read the full article here >>


Entry filed under: Evaluation tools (surveys, interviews..), PR evaluation, Training evaluation.

Checklists and evaluation Likert scale & surveys – best practices

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