Evaluation Science and Transdisciplinary Research - On the Threshold of a Next Transformation?
Lecturer: Wolfgang Beywl - senior professor at the School of Education, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland and founder (since 1997) and co-owner of Univation - Evaluation Institute, Cologne, Germany.
The significance of values and criteria
Scholars have been addressing the question of how to systematically evaluate transdisciplinary research for 20 years. The international discussion has been initiated by some German-speaking scholars. Their writings are still influential today.
Evaluation science looks back on four generations since the 19th century: 1 Measuring, 2 Describing 3 Valuing 4 Negotiating. A humble content analysis of publications shows that transdisciplinary research has not conceptually or only superficially incorporated this evolution of evaluation science into its understanding of evaluation. The lecture addresses the parallelism of this evaluation-evolution with the mode1 / mode2 discussion in transdisciplinary research. It provides a basic understanding of the unique position of evaluation science: systematic valuation based on empirical data, including some central concepts as social values, criteria, criterion points, valuation synthesis.
On this background, the following questions can be discussed:
- Are there overarching applicable criteria for evaluands as 'transdisciplinary research projects'?
- When and how are such and other criteria selected for the respective project and how can this be justified?
- What happens when criteria established at the beginning lose relevance, unforeseen things happen that challenge the existing valuation scheme?
Wolfgang Beywl, *1954, is a leading evaluation expert in German speaking countries. He received his doctoral degree from the Department of Educational Sciences at Cologne University in the area of Evaluation Methodology. He has published several textbooks and has served as committee chair for several professional evaluation guidelines. He was co-founder and longstanding board member of the “Evaluation Association” for Austria and Germany and responsible for the development of its evaluation standards.
He was the director of the first and only still existing postgraduate evaluation training program in German Speaking Countries (2003–2010) at the University of Berne, Switzerland. He is still member of its steering board and is teaching in the program and as associate professor at the University of Luxembourg.
Prof. Beywl holds a position as senior professor at the School of Education, University of Applied Sciences Northwestern Switzerland. He is founder (since 1997) and co-owner of Univation - Evaluation Institute, Cologne, Germany.