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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/30024

Title: Cost-utility analysis in educational needs assessment
Authors: Ross, John A.
Keywords: Cost-utility
Needs assessment
Educational evaluation
Educational needs
Program evaluation
Library services
School libraries
School districts
Educational policy
Evaluation research
Evaluation criteria
Cost effectiveness
Stakeholder groups
Cost-utility analysis
Cost estimates
Educational economics
Issue Date: Nov-2008
Publisher: Elsevier
Citation: Ross, J.A. (2008). Cost-utility analysis in educational needs assessment. Evaluation and Program Planning, 31, 356-367. doi:10.1016/j.evalprogplan.2008.06.003
Abstract: Educational needs assessments (hereafter NAs) are inattentive to cost considerations and are frequently dominated by elite stakeholder groups. In this article I make a case for adopting a cost-utility approach, illustrating the argument with data generated in a NA of central library services in a Canadian school district. Using survey data from eight stakeholder groups, I found that (1) NAs based on the service preferences of a single stakeholder group can be misleading; (2) service preferences can be integrated into a single set of priorities, even when there are disagreements, by using the stakeholder group as the unit of analysis and assigning weights that privilege input from knowledgeable respondents; (3) that the ranking of service operations produced by user preferences was not significantly correlated with the ranking produced by integrating preferences with costs. Cost-utility analysis would be more helpful if the utilities represented rigorously determined benefits of the services assessed, as well as stakeholder perceptions of the value of these benefits. Cost-utility analysis in NA will not reach its potential until cost considerations are routinely included in educational program evaluations.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/30024
ISSN: 0149-7189
Appears in Collections:Faculty (CTL)

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