AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Code 8617 Spring 2019. Solved Assignments code 8617 Plan Implementation and Educational Management 2019. Allama iqbal open university old papers.
Course: Plan Implementation and Educational Management (8617)
Level: B.Ed (1.5 Years)
Semester: Autumn, 2018
ASSIGNMENT No. 1
Q.1 How can you differentiate the concepts of feasibility testing and pilot testing? Why is plan formulation a crucial function? What are the principal characteristics of an educational plan? Discuss.
What is a feasibility study? As the name implies, a feasibility study is used to determine the viability of an idea, such as ensuring a project is legally and technically feasible as well as economically justifiable. It tells us whether a project is worth the investment—in some cases, a project may not be doable. There can be many reasons for this, including requiring too many resources, which not only prevents those resources from performing other tasks but also may cost more than an organization would earn back by taking on a project that isn’t profitable.
A well-designed study should offer a historical background of the business or project, such as a description of the product or service, accounting statements, details of operations and management, marketing research and policies, financial data, legal requirements, and tax obligations. Generally, such studies precede technical development and project implementation.
Five Areas of Project Feasibility
A feasibility study evaluates the project’s potential for success; therefore, perceived objectivity is an important factor in the credibility of the study for potential investors and lending institutions. There are five types of feasibility study—separate areas that a feasibility study examines, described below.
1. Technical Feasibility – this assessment focuses on the technical resources available to the organization. It helps organizations determine whether the technical resources meet capacity and whether the technical team is capable of converting the ideas into working systems. Technical feasibility also involves evaluation of the hardware, software, and other technology requirements of the proposed system. As an exaggerated example, an organization wouldn’t want to try to put Star Trek’s transporters in their building—currently, this project is not technically feasible.
2. Economic Feasibility – this assessment typically involves a cost/ benefits analysis of the project, helping organizations determine the viability, cost, and benefits associated with a project before financial resources are allocated. It also serves as an independent project assessment and enhances project credibility—helping decision makers determine the positive economic benefits to the organization that the proposed project will provide.
3. Legal Feasibility – this assessment investigates whether any aspect of the proposed project conflicts with legal requirements like zoning laws, data protection acts, or social media laws. Let’s say an organization wants to construct a new office building in a specific location. A feasibility study might reveal the organization’s ideal location isn’t zoned for that type of business. That organization has just saved considerable time and effort by learning that their project was not feasible right from the beginning.
4. Operational Feasibility – this assessment involves undertaking a study to analyze and determine whether—and how well—the organization’s needs can be met by completing the project. Operational feasibility studies also analyze how a project plan satisfies the requirements identified in the requirements analysis phase of system development.
5. Scheduling Feasibility – this assessment is the most important for project success; after all, a project will fail if not completed on time. In scheduling feasibility, an organization estimates how much time the project will take to complete.
When these areas have all been examined, the feasibility study helps identify any constraints the proposed project may face, including:
- Internal Project Constraints: Technical, Technology, Budget, Resource, etc.
- Internal Corporate Constraints: Financial, Marketing, Export, etc.
- External Constraints: Logistics, Environment, Laws and Regulations, etc.
Benefits of Conducting a Feasibility Study
The importance of a feasibility study is based on organizational desire to “get it right” before committing resources, time, or budget. A feasibility study might uncover new ideas that could completely change a project’s scope. It’s best to make these determinations in advance, rather than to jump in and learning that the project just won’t work. Conducting a feasibility study is always beneficial to the project as it gives you and other stakeholders a clear picture of the proposed project.
Below are some key benefits of conducting a feasibility study:
- Improves project teams’ focus
- Identifies new opportunities
- Provides valuable information for a “go/no-go” decision
- Narrows the business alternatives
- Identifies a valid reason to undertake the project
- Enhances the success rate by evaluating multiple parameters
- Aids decision-making on the project
- Identifies reasons not to proceed
Apart from the approaches to feasibility study listed above, some projects also require for other constraints to be analyzed –
Internal Project Constraints: Technical, Technology, Budget, Resource, etc.
Internal Corporate Constraints: Financial, Marketing, Export, etc.
External Constraints: Logistics, Environment, Laws and Regulations, etc.
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Code 8617 Autumn 2018
Q.2 Critically analyze the process of plan elaboration in Pakistan. Suggest different strategies to make this process efficient and effective.
Whatever the size or type of project, there are 5 essential elements that you must get right in order to achieve a successful outcome. Whether your project is about improving an existing product or service, managing change or implementing a new system, the same basic considerations are required when managing projects. Get these right and you will manage a successful project. Get them wrong and your project will be thwarted by challenges, issues and problems.
In order to ensure that all your projects reach the required level of success, here are the 5 essential elements that need to be included:
1. Strategic Planning
The first stage of any project is to understand the need for the project and what it is trying to achieve. SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely,) objectives need to be established along with measures of success and key milestones where progress can be reviewed. Working as an internal project manager will require close liaison with key internal stakeholders and departments to establish their specific requirements and set commonly agreed objectives.
2. Product Development
The variety of activities that are deemed to be projects are wide-ranging and varied, and can include new products, processes and services. The development of any of these needs to be closely linked to meeting defined business objectives and adding value to the organisation. The benefits of a project should be well articulated at the beginning so there is a clear link to the success of the project and the impact on overall business aims.
It is vital to sell the benefits of any project to those who will be affected during the project or by the project’s final outcome. Implementing a new process requires that end users understand why the project is beneficial and potential buyers need to be convinced by the advantages of new products and services. In essence, communicating the message of why new or different is good will help counteract the typical human reluctance to change.
It is vital to ensure that adequate resources in terms of people, time, finances and equipment are in place. Internally, this could involve the IT department providing the appropriate hardware/software, Human Resources recruiting the necessary people or the Facilities department providing offices or other relevant support. There also needs to be allocated budgets and finance as well as appropriate timelines for project completion.
No project manager works in isolation. There are many stakeholders involved in a project who all have a specific role to play and who all have a vested interest in the project’s success. The key stakeholders who drive projects and help make them a success include:
- Sponsor: The project sponsor is the person who defines the business objectives that drive the project. The sponsor can be a member of the senior management team or someone from outside of the organisation.
- Project Manager: A professional project manager creates the project plan and ensures that it meets the budget, schedule and scope determined by the sponsors. The project manager is also responsible for risk assessment and management.
- Project Team Members: These can include subject area experts, members of departments, external professionals and new recruits. Anyone who can offer a positive contribution to the project in terms of their knowledge and capabilities makes a good team member.
Including these elements in a project will ensure that the final outcome is a successful one.
Why project is different from program:
Many people might consider a program to be just one really large project. A project is a singular effort of defined duration, whereas a program is comprised of a collection of projects. Problem solved, right? Actually, it’s a bit more complex than that. While programs and projects actually have several different characteristics and different functions within an organization, they also have many commonalities. Likewise project managers and program manager are two different roles within an organization, as well, yet they share similar duties.
While the state of the industry is always changing, it behooves you and your organization to know when your projects should become programs. Let’s look at how they’re different – and how they’re the same – so you can apply the concepts to your own programs and projects.
Projects and Programs: How They’re Different
- Structure: A project is well-defined, with a Project Charter that spells out exactly what the scope and objectives are for the project. A program tends to have greater levels of uncertainty. (You can download a free project charter template here.) The team is also bigger. The program team are supervising and coordinating the work on a number of projects so while the core team may not have that many people in, the wider team includes the project managers and all the project team members.
- Effort: This is the most significant difference between projects and programs. A project represents a single effort. It is a group of people forming a team working towards a common goal. A program is different; it is a collection of projects. Together all the projects form a cohesive package of work. The different projects are complimentary and help the program achieve its overall objectives. There are likely to be overlaps and dependencies between the projects, so a program manager will assess these and work with the project managers concerned to check that overall the whole program progresses smoothly.
- Duration: Some projects do go on for several years but most of the projects you’ll work on will be shorter than that. On the other hand, programs are definitely longer. As they set out to deliver more stuff, they take longer. Programs tend to be split into tranches or phases. Some projects are also split like this, but not all projects last long enough to be delivered in multiple phases.
- Benefits: A project team works towards achieving certain outputs, that is, what you get at the end. For example, this could be a set of deliverables that form a software package, or a new retail branch, or whatever it is that you are working on. The benefits of a project tend to be tangible: you get a ‘thing’ at the end of it. A program team works towards delivering outcomes. Outcomes can be tangible but are often not. The benefits of a program are the sum of the benefits of all the different projects and this could amount to a policy or cultural change, or a shift in the way an organization works.
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Autumn 2018 Code 8617
Q.3 Evaluate the stages of project planning process. Why projects failed after careful planning. Write your point of view with practical examples from the educational projects?
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Code 8617
Q.4 Compare the concepts of project appraisal and project evaluation. Discuss the key issues, while appraisal the educational project.
Appraisal is the evaluation of the overall ability of the feasible project to succeed. It is done after the feasibility study of the project has been completed. In other words, project appraisal is an overall assessment of the relevancy, feasibility, and sustainability of a project prior to making the decision whether to undertake it or not. Also, it is a technique of evaluating, analyzing the investments and effort of calculating the project’s viability. The aim is to consider and compare the possible feasible project and select the best that meets the objectives. The feasibility study serves as the groundwork for appraisal. The aspects covered in feasibility study are re-examined during project appraisal. Project appraisal is a process of detailed examination of several aspects of a given project before resources are committed.
Project appraisal document generally consists project introduction, objectives, and scope, techniques of implementation, organization description, output, and benefits of project, project monitoring and evaluation etc.
Project appraisal is done two answers following two basic questions:
- Will the project as designed meet the objectives and needs of country and society?
- How does the project compete and compares with other feasible projects in terms of funds and other resources?
Thus the primary function of project appraisal is to determine a feasible projects’ ability to achieve its objectives. The objective of the different project differs, for a private project, the objective is profitability but for a public project objectives are socio-economic growth, employment, poverty reduction etc.
Types of Appraisal:
In project appraisal different factors examined during feasibility study are re-examined. These aspects are technical, economic, marketing, financial, managerial and environmental. These different sectors are explained below:
- Technical appraisal
It ascertains whether the prerequisites for the successful commissioning of the project with respect to technical solutions, technical specifications, technical risks and uncertainties, local resources availability, size, location, geology etc. So different technical aspect of a project is assessed and summarized in this.
- Economic appraisal
It is in terms of the worth of the project to the society so it also is known as social cost-benefit analysis. It judges the project form larger social point of view. In this project’s contribution to self-sufficiency, employments generation and social order are assessed and summarized. The criteria for assessment are:
- Benefit cost ratio (BCR).
- Internal rate of return (IRR).
- Net present value (NPV).
- Payback period (PB).
- Market appraisal
Marketing analysis is primarily concerned with marketing related issues. Factor such as project capacity, market demand, demand forecasts, estimated revenue, marketing programme, market share, competition and ability to satisfy customers need are summarized and assessed.
- Management appraisal
It focuses on the different managerial aspect of the project like project organization and management, institutional relationships and management capabilities in planning, organizing, staffing, leading, implementing and controlling. And also the impact of stake holders on the project and institutional viability of the project is examined.
- Environmental appraisal
Environmental assessment is concerned with positive and adverse environmental impacts of the project. Initial environmental examination (IEE) and Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) is carried out and reexamined. Environmental restoration measures are also suggested.
- Financial appraisal
It focuses on the financial feasibility of the project. In simple words, whether the project will be able to satisfy the return expectation to capital. Factors such as investment outlay, the cost of capital, means of financing, projected profitability, break-even points, cash flows, investment worth judged in terms of various criteria of merit and risk. Sensitivity analysis and ratio analysis is also done.
Concept of Evaluation
Evaluation planning comes down to two questions:
- What are the desired outcomes of your project?
- How will you measure them?
It is about building benchmarks and accountability into your plan, and using them to evaluate the plan as you go and after the project is finished. It gives your project a more strategic structure, provides evidence for your results and, importantly, contributes to the knowledge base about effective crime prevention.
Valid and reliable measurement tools
Valid measurement tools provide information that is a good reflection of what they are trying to measure. For example, if you wanted to measure the extent to which people were victims of a certain type of crime, you might want to look at more than just the number of reports to police since we know that many crimes are unreported.
Reliable instruments provide information that is likely to be consistent over time. It will not be affected by small changes in such things as the mood of people who respond to a survey or other circumstances unique to the day on which they complete the survey.
Quality and consistency
Quality evaluations also use consistent data collection procedures. For example, interview questions should be asked to all participants in the same way, and interviewees should be careful to record the same information at every session.
Where possible, collect data before and after a project. When data is collected only at the end of the project, you can’t tell whether there was actually any change that occurred.
Good evaluations require resources – that is, time and money. Some evaluation-related activities may be carried out by project staff (for example, questionnaires can be administered by a project coordinator), research assistants (for example, students may compile and analyse data) or by people with special expertise (for example, an evaluation consultant might draft your questionnaire).
Be realistic when establishing the outcomes you choose to measure
Your project goal might be to reduce the number of a certain type of crime in your community. This may require the modification of behaviour in a community that takes place over five to ten years to achieve any reduction. To measure those long-term trends may not be realistic. In this case, you should focus on some short- and medium-term outcomes.
How to develop your evaluation plan
The steps described demonstrate how you would go about developing your evaluation plan.
- Determine what information you will need to
- To see how your project is doing day to day (on-going monitoring)
- To see if you are on track to achieve your intended results, if you are on time and if you are using resources as planned mid-way through your project (mid-term evaluation), so that you may make adjustments as needed
- To see if the overall changes you were trying to achieve actually happened by the end of the project (final evaluation) and identify what you learned.
- Determine your information sources/data
collection methods. Sources of information may include project staff,
other agencies, participants and their families, members of the public and
the media. Information may be collected via a variety of methods,
- Project records such as project activity log/daily journal: A book where you write down what happens each day. It is a useful source to document many of your indicators and will be helpful to you when writing the final project report.
- Number and type of documents produced during the project (tools, flyers, advertisements, media coverage of your event/project, curriculum, etc)
- Information collected about your participants related to the project (number attending sessions, information about who they are – age, gender, education, background, culture, etc)
- Data from official sources (e.g. school records, census data, health data)
- Questionnaires or surveys
- Interviews or focus groups
- Observation of project activities or locations in the community (e.g. track graffiti, condition of playground, activity in public spaces, etc)
- Determine the frequency of the data collection and who will collect the information.
- Finally, determine how you will analyse your data and report your findings to funders, your community and your project partners and stakeholders.
TYPES OF EVALUATION
The major distinguishing characteristic of evaluation, unlike monitoring, is that it is only conducted periodically at particular stages of the project. As such, there are five main types of evaluation. The different evaluation types vary mainly depending on the stage of the project. While classification could be based on different criteria such as the methodology adopted, here we look at the classification based on the time. These types of evaluation are formative evaluation, mid-term evaluation, summative evaluation, ex-post evaluation and meta- evaluation.
1. Formative evaluation: This type of evaluation, also referred to as a baseline survey, is carried out before an actual project is implemented. The formative evaluation is conducted mainly to review the existing status in the targeted population, which in turn informs project focus. The formative evaluation is an important type of evaluation as it is not only the starting point of a project, but also forms the basis for evaluation. Additionally, the tools and methodologies that are used at the formative evaluation are usually the ones that are carried on to other stages of evaluation such as the mid-term and summative evaluation.
2. Mid-term evaluation: This is also commonly referred to as the mid-term reviews. Just like the name suggests, the mid-term reviews are conducted mid-project. The mid-term reviews are important for the purposes of establishing whether a project is heading towards the set goals and objectives, thereafter informing management and control decisions by the project management. It is important in building organizational confidence in the project implementation strategies, or in the case where indicators are not pointing towards success, acting as a call to the change of implementation strategies. It is however important to note that in the case where a project has a long life cycle, it might be important to conduct periodic evaluations before the actual mid-term evaluation, although this might depend on management goodwill and availability of funds.
3. Summative evaluation: This evaluation type is also known as the end-term evaluation or the project completion evaluation. It is intended to be carried out immediately at project conclusion. Summative evaluation is carried out to establish project outputs and immediate outcomes, with results of the evaluation compared to the results at baseline. This evaluation generally informs stakeholders on the project success and is important for documenting success stories and lessons learnt. This evaluation is also usually carried out by the project team.
4. Ex-post evaluation: This type of evaluation is most often confused to be synonymous with the summative evaluation, while in actual sense it is not. This type of evaluation is also called the post- implementation evaluation. While an ex-post evaluation is also carried out after project closure, the difference between the ex-post and summative evaluation is that it is more intense, is conducted by external evaluators for the purposes of independent assessment and takes much longer time duration before being conducted after project completion. This is not only because external evaluators need to be outsourced, but also because it is intended to capture the impacts of the project. It is usually the final evaluation associated with a project.
5. Meta-evaluation: Meta-evaluation is a type of evaluation that is based on several different sources of information. In other words, meta-evaluation is based on several evaluations. While in some cases organizations may hire several evaluation teams in order to conduct a meta-evaluation, while in other cases, different evaluations conducted by different institutions on similar initiatives can be considered for meta-evaluation. In any case, a systematic analysis of the assembled evaluations is done in order to establish confidence or otherwise in the findings of the evaluation process.
AIOU Solved Assignments Autumn 2018 Code 8617
Q.5 Identify the major characteristic of evaluation study design. Identify different aspects of the project that need to be consider, while evaluating educational project.
Evaluation Study Designs
It is uncommon for evaluators to use only qualitative methods when evaluating a program. Some clients are more at ease with making decisions based on quantitative data outputs, while some understand the significant costs and time associated with qualitative data collection. It is also very difficult to generalize to other populations based on qualitative data, which therefore makes program replication and scale-up a challenge. On the other hand, supporters of qualitative evaluations believe that context is such a large factor in program implementation success that generalizing to other populations is not possible despite the methodology choices.However, qualitative evaluation methods are extremely beneficial in providing rich program feedback and evaluators should consider integrating them into the evaluation plan, i.e. using a “mixed methods” approach. For more information on qualitative data collection methods to incorporate into program evaluations, please refer to the certificate in Global Health Research.
If clients or stakeholders are interested in a quantitative evaluation plan, there are a number of design sequences that can be used, depending on time, money, and availability of data. Linking directly to the needs of the stakeholders and the purpose of the evaluation, study designs can either be experimental (with a traditional control group), quasi-experimental (with a comparison group that may not necessarily be a control group), or non-experimental (where no formal control or comparison group exists). It is important to note how evaluation differs from monitoring; monitoring data like monthly reporting forms, stock outs for supply chain management, and some disease tracking is done consistently and frequently throughout the life of a project. Please refer to http://www.uniteforsight.org/metrics-course/monitoring-evaluation for more information on the differences between monitoring and evaluation processes.
In many cases, it is impossible to randomly assign individuals into experimental and control groups, as is often done in clinical or randomized control trials (RCT). When RCT is unavailable, comparison groups are selected that match the target population on a number of population characteristics, closely resembling the group that receives the intervention. This is the main difference between experimental and quasi-experimental designs. For example, if the intervention is held in a school, a classroom that is not receiving the intervention may be used as a comparison group; this ensures that the children in the intervention and comparison groups have had somewhat similar school experiences, are most likely the same age range, and may live in the same geographic area.
Quasi-experimental design (QED) is the most common quantitative design in global health evaluation. There are various schedules of data collection, differing in level of robustness according to time, money, and availability of data (see: Constraints on Evaluation).
It is recommended that QED data collection occur at four different time periods: pre-intervention, mid-intervention, post-intervention, and ex-post intervention. Pre-intervention data (also referred to as baseline data) is collected on relevant evaluation indicators prior to intervention. Evaluators and program implementers look for changes in the intervention group from pre- to post-intervention data, signaling the possibility of project impact. Baseline data may also be collected far in advance of program development as a way to determine the needs of the community in more participatory approaches. Mid-intervention measures occur around the mid-point of intervention, which will vary according to the timeline of intervention. Post-intervention data is collected immediately after the intervention has ended, and ex-post data is collected much later, possibly 5 to 10 years after the intervention has ended, in order to assess the impact or sustained effects of the program. At each of these times, data may be collected from the intervention group, the comparison group, or both. The source and time of data collection will depend on the level of available resources and the needs of the evaluation.
In the most ideal situation with surplus resources, evaluators would collect data on relevant indicators from both groups at all four times. Without any randomization as in experimental designs, this design is the closest to a randomized control trial and can be visually represented as follows:
The “X”s represent data collected at that time point.
Various time, budget, and data constraints often deter the use of this robust and extensive schedule of health program evaluations. First, evaluators may not be introduced into the process until the intervention is already in place, eliminating the chances that baseline data has been collected unless there was a pre-existing record. Second, budgets may not allow for mid-intervention nor guarantee ex-post measurements, which may be considered less critical than baseline and post-intervention measures for determining project outcomes. Third, depending on how large the required sample size is, the collection of data that may be considered non-essential may be removed for the sake of balancing a budget with a significant sample size. Also, budget, time, and data constraints may eliminate the possibility of a comparison group: a valid comparison group may not exist, there may not be sufficient funding for comprehensive data collection, or late intervention may preclude the creation of a comparison group. As the number and type of measurements are reduced, the model of data collection becomes less robust and susceptible to invalidity.
The least robust QED is represented only by a post-intervention measure in the intervention group, shown below:
Occurring frequently in global health evaluation, this schedule does not show demonstrative change in the intervention group nor impact of intervention when evaluated against a comparison group —two main goals of evaluation. Instead, evaluators collect data on participants in the program (those who have received the intervention) and attempt to make the most relevant and conclusive statements about the success of the program. At this stage, evaluators may choose to supplement quantitative data with qualitative methods in order to bolster the findings. Recall is a great strategy for estimating a rough baseline (e.g. asking people what their income used to be or how many times they went to the doctor five years ago), however, it creates a risk of bias if not triangulated with other forms of data collection methods. This is an appropriate place to incorporate qualitative methods to triangulate and reinforce the recalled data, quantitatively, in the post-intervention period. With only one measurement and no effective comparison group, this particular study design may also be categorized as non-experimental.
Hypothetical Case: Evaluating Demand for a Health Program
If an evaluator is only interested in looking at the demand for a particular health program (for example, safe-sex education), as well as what kind of people are attending the lectures, they may perform a post-test only design among the intervention group. After conducting a number of health education sessions for a population, the evaluator may survey the attendants and ask various questions to determine why they chose to come to the sessions, along with standard demographic information collection. In this situation, the data collected would most likely be formative in the sense that the evaluator would report this information to program developers and they could determine the best health education program for this population based on the evaluation reports.
In between the most and least robust study designs, there are other options that may suit available resources; evaluators and clients may discuss which measurements they believe are most crucial to determining program success (or obtaining continued funding) and proceed from there. It should be noted, however, that if limited resources exist, it is better to do two measurements in a comparison and intervention group than take two measurements at different times from only the intervention group. For example it is (usually) better to do this:
The latter works well when the theory in practice is well established or the client and evaluators are only interested in determining adequacy of the intervention. However, in pilot programs or evaluations that want to determine probability or plausibility, only measuring twice among the intervention group is not sufficient. As discussed in the Purpose of Evaluation module, probability and plausibility evaluations are more involved but have the ability to derive more pertinent and significant program information than adequacy assessments. By collecting indicator data from both the comparison and intervention groups, differences can better estimate how well the project can be generalized to other populations. However, in both cases, the final decision for the study design will come down to the ability to access a comparison group and the aim of the evaluation.
Threats to Validity
Evaluations face limited robustness and validity as the number of measurements is reduced and the comparison group is compromised. In particular, the amount of control in an evaluation determines the level of internal validity. Consequently, the evaluation schedule with a single post-test measurement of the intervention group would have little internal validity due to few control measures in place (i.e no comparison group, limited measurements, no randomization).
When only one group is measured, evaluation risks shortcomings due to “maturation”. This is the risk that evaluation indicators are measuring only growth that would have occurred naturally through the maturation process, rather than growth due to program activities. For instance, measuring math skills of 5th graders will most likely produce improved indicators simply because of the normal educational process and brain function, not necessarily the impact of a tutoring program. History threats are similar and reflect events or changes in the surrounding environment that may have altered the results, as opposed to program activities. For example, if a country is improving the economy and spending more on healthcare, it is possible that a decline in child mortality would have been attributed to these external factors rather than a specific intervention. It would be in the interest of the evaluator to examine potential confounding variables and processes of maturation in the final evaluation.
AIOU Solved Assignments 1 & 2 Autumn 2018 Code 8617