Program evaluation and design go hand-in-hand in Tennessee

By Joe Anistranski, Karen Harper and Stephanie Zeiger
Categories: Data, Evaluation & impact, Improvement science/networks, Technology
February 2024
Educators and researchers often think of program design and program evaluation as separate endeavors, even intentionally creating a firewall between them. But what if designers and evaluators worked together, combining their insights to strengthen both the program and the study of it? In our work evaluating a statewide professional learning program in Tennessee, we have found this approach benefits everyone involved. Since 2022, we’ve undertaken an ambitious task of evaluating the Reach Them All computer science initiative’s professional learning for school- and district-level educators across Tennessee (see sidebar on p. 49). We have engaged in a collaborative evaluation design process that started at the beginning of the initiative to explore how the professional learning program works. We made strategic evaluation decisions based on the program

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Guskey, T.R. (2000). Evaluating professional development. Corwin.

Kirkpatrick, D.L. (1959). Techniques for evaluation training programs. Journal of the American Society of Training Directors, 13, 21-26.

National Assessment of Educational Progress. (2022). Tennessee demographics (2021-22). U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences.

National Center for Education Statistics. (2022). Digest of education statistics.

Nordengren, C. & Guskey, T.R. (2020). Chart a clear course: Evaluation is key to building better, more relevant learning. The Learning Professional, 41(5), 46-50.

Joe anistranski
+ posts

Joe Anistranski ( is a professional learning strategy manager at NWEA. 

Karen harper
+ posts

Karen Harper ( is a computer science professional learning consultant at the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network-Battelle.

+ posts

Stephanie Zeiger ( is a computer science education consultant at the Tennessee STEM Innovation Network-Battelle.

Categories: Data, Evaluation & impact, Improvement science/networks, Technology

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