QEval Course Offering

An Introduction to Evaluation as Community- Engaged Scholarship

EDUC 843: Spring 2023 Course Offering

An Introduction to Evaluation as Community- Engaged Scholarship

The QEval Partnership

QEval is part of a widespread effort to consistently offer useful evaluation capacity building that benefits both learners and communities. Based on models offered by the University of Manitoba (Mignone et al) and the University of Alberta (Gokiert et al), QEval was first offered in Spring 2021 by Dr. Michelle Searle and represents one of Ontario’s first interdisciplinary co-learning opportunities to study evaluation.

QEval is a collaborative initiative made possible by the contributions of our many partners:

  • Social Sciences and Humanities Research Partnership Grant (SSHRC)
  • Evaluation Capacity Network (ECN)
  • Queen’s University Education Leaders in Residence Program (ELiR)
  • Queen’s University Faculty of Education and the Assessment and Evaluation Group (AEG)
  • Queen’s University Experiential Learning Hub
  • The University of Alberta Faculty of Public Health
  • Various Community Partners in Ontario and Alberta

With all of our participants bearing unique expertise, QEval is an interdisciplinary experience that enables shared learning for all who are involved.

Course Dates

May 08, 2023 – June 23, 2023, with
June 05 – June 09, 2023 intensive

Course Meetings

This course will be offered as a blended course which includes some dedicated synchronous and asynchronous learning occurring over 3 phases.

  1. Foundations of Evaluation
  2. Application of Evaluation
  3. Reflections of Learning about Evaluation

Course Assignments

  1. CES Pre/Post Competency Assessments
  2. Discussion Forum Posts
  3. Group Presentations and Peer Assessment
  4. Program Evaluation Design 

This is a credit course reported using letter grades in accordance with Queen’s University policy. 

Course Description

This course provides a foundation for enacting program evaluation as a strategy for community-engaged scholarship with application across diverse disciplines (e.g. education, health, community development, policing, community-university partnerships) and forms of engagement. The course is framed as a hybrid learning experience entitled, QEval, where students will develop a theoretical and conceptual foundation for undertaking community-engaged evaluation in response to community issues and priorities.

Program Evaluation

Evaluation is a broad, practice-oriented discipline with applications across every sector of modern society. In a nutshell, evaluation refers to the systematic collection and analysis of data for the purposes of learning and making evidence-informed decisions (CES, 2022). In other words, evaluations is a rigorous process we engage in to help us make better decisions about programs and initiatives we manage.

When we do evaluation, we are trying to answer questions about our program. Some of the questions we tend to ask in an evaluation include:

  • Is this program meeting its goals?
  • What are the unanticipated outcomes of this program?
  • How can we implement this program better?
  • What are the next steps we should take to meet our current goals?

Evaluation is transdiscipline, meaning that evaluation stands as its own discipline, but is also embedded throughout other disciplines. This means that there are individuals who work exclusively in evaluation (perhaps they are theorists, researchers, or educators) as well as individuals who do evaluation work in the context of other fields. To help you understand how this is possible, think about statistics. Statistics is another transdiscipline – some individuals are statisticians and study statistics in its pure form. However, there are many individuals who are highly trained in statistics but who apply their knowledge in other disciplines, for example bioinformatics, psychology, or government.

QEval is one of the few evaluation trainings in Ontario that engages both graduate students and community members in the learning process. All participants – both students and community partners – have the opportunity to learn fundamental pieces of evaluation theory and apply new knowledge and skills to an evaluation case provided by our community partners. At the end of QEval, community partners leave with a complete evaluation plan tailored to their program which they are free to implement on their own.

Community-Engaged Scholarship

The scholarship of engagement means creating a special climate in which the academic and civic cultures communicate more continuously and more creatively each other … enriching quality of life for all.

Community-engaged scholarship is an approach to learning and research that leverages academic expertise to meet community needs. Inspired by the benefits and usefulness of community-engaged scholarship, the purpose of QEval is to support community organizations while providing hands-on learning to university students.

QEval takes an interdisciplinary, community-engaged approach to learning evaluation. Organizations with evaluation needs are invited to work with university students to develop relevant evaluation knowledge and useful tools to conduct evaluations. QEval is an impactful experience that facilitates greater connection between community and university.

QEval has supported community programs in practical ways. Some evaluation questions previous community partners bring include:

  • How can student recommendations inform or influence school, school board, and provincial policy?
  • To what extend does the online learning model meet the needs of rural students in Ontario? 
  • Did youth participants develop practical anti-racism strategies and skills to support themselves and other youth? 
  • What specific interventions are most helpful in moving families toward a successful file closure?

If you think your organization may be a suitable partner for QEval 2023, please tell us more about your program by clicking the button below.

Note: EDUC 843 is intended to support design of an evaluation plan, but we do not conduct the evaluation as part of the course. We provide the strategic thinking and framework for the implementation of evaluative thinking post course.

Check out the QEval 2021 students and community partners!

QEval 2021 Group Picture 1
QEval 2021 Group Picture 1
QEval 2021 Group Picture 2
QEval 2021 Group Picture 2

Methods of Registration

Queen's University Graduate Students

Complete the Academic Change Form and email it to the Faculty of Education (educgrad@queensu.ca) once you have signed approval from your supervisor. 

Other Graduate Students and Community Learners

Not a Queen’s graduate student? No problem. This course welcomes all sorts of learners who are interested in improving programs and organizational learning through evaluation as community-engaged scholarship. Email Dr. Michelle Searle (searlem@queensu.ca) to express interest in the course. 


Limited spots available. Enrol today!

Deadline to Enrol: April 28, 2023

Thank you for your interest in QEval !

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