Course description: Equips students with knowledge and skills to evaluate public policies and programs. Students learn about different types of evaluations and research designs for conducting evaluations. Exposure to ethical considerations in conducting evaluations.
This class taught students a systematic way to evaluate a program in the government, private, or nonprofit sector. The evaluation could be of a law, policy, or specific program chosen by the student. My topic was Ohio’s renewable portfolio standards, frozen by SB 310 in 2015. Students wrote a Process Evaluation Paper (pdf), essentially explaining how the program works, and an Outcome Evaluation Paper (pdf), looking at the program’s impact. I learned a lot doing these two papers. We also were tested on program evaluation design, which for this class was mostly different types of experiments, and threats to internal validity, which looks at what other factors could explain the results.