Using Logic Models and the Action Model / Change Model Schema in Planning the Learning Community Program: A Comparative Case Study

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Recent interest has been noted in the evaluation community in expanding the focus from program implementation and outcomes to program design and planning. One important step for moving in this direction is to examine existing evaluation models and to assess their relative strengths and weaknesses for planning purposes. This article presents a comparative case study of applying logic models and the action model/change model schema for planning the Learning Community Program in Taiwan. Lessons learned from these applications indicate that logic models are relatively easy to learn and effective for identifying major program components and indicators, but not sufficient for articulating the theoretical significance of the program. On the other hand, the action model/change model schema requires more time to learn and practise, but it has relative advantages for providing theoretical insights into contextual factors and causal mechanisms of the program, unlike logic models. This comparison can serve as a guide for evaluation practitioners when selecting evaluation tools to apply in planning and/or evaluating their programs.