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Instruments and Evaluation Designs Used in Gifted Programs

Carolyn M. Callahan
Carol A. Tomlinson
Scott L. Hunsaker
Lori C. Bland
Tonya R. Moon

The project entitled Investigations Into Instruments Used in the Identification of Gifted Students and the Evaluation of Gifted Programs was divided into two avenues of study. The first series of inquiries are reported in the technical report document entitled Instruments Used in the Identification of Gifted and Talented Students. The second series of studies, which are reported in this document, focused on documenting current practices in the evaluation of gifted programs and on investigating the factors which make evaluation more useful to decision-makers. A solicitation of instruments and program evaluation designs led to the establishment of databases containing information on current practices. The review of current practices and a study of evaluation utility provided us with guidelines for constructing useful and informative evaluations, some disappointing findings which indicate that often these guidelines are not being followed, and heartening examples of promising practices.

Reference:
Callahan, C. M., Tomlinson, C. A., Hunsaker, S. L., Bland, L. C., & Moon, T. R. (1995). Instruments and evaluation designs used in gifted programs (Research Monograph 95132). Storrs, CT: The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented, University of Connecticut.


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Instruments and Evaluation Designs Used in Gifted Programs
Carolyn M. Callahan
Carol A. Tomlinson
Scott L. Hunsaker
Lori C. Bland
Tonya R. Moon


Guidelines

  1. Make evaluation procedures a part of planning from the earliest stages of program development and develop a specific plan for the use of evaluation findings.
  2. Develop clear program descriptions and goals utilizing multiple data sources (e.g., teachers, parents, students, administrators, school board members).
  3. Provide adequate funding and time for evaluations while preparing staff for conducting and analyzing the results of the evaluation.
  4. Clearly identify all audiences who have an interest in or need for evaluation results and involve them in the evaluation process.
  5. Develop or select assessment tools that address the complex issues of measurement that characterize outcomes of gifted programs.
  6. Use a variety of data gathering methods designed to reflect the unique structure and goals of programs for gifted learners (i.e., out-of-level testing, portfolio assessment, product rating with demonstrated inter-rater reliability).
  7. Disseminate reports to all appropriate audiences in a timely fashion and with recommendations designed to encourage follow-through.