Agricultural Leadership, Education & Communication Department


Date of this Version



American Journal of Evaluation 33:2 (2012), pp. 179–194; DOI: 10.1177/1098214011421522


Copyright © 2012 S. Kay Rockwell, Julie A. Albrecht, Gwen C. Nugent, and Gina M. Kunz. Published by Sage Publications on behalf of the American Evaluation Association. Used by permission.


Targeting Outcomes of Programs (TOP) is a seven-step hierarchical programming model in which the program development and performance sides are mirror images of each other. It served as a framework to identify a simple method for targeting photographic events in nonformal education programs, indicating why, when, and how photographs would be useful to inform other evaluation strategies. In two case studies, photographs enhanced the formative story of a geoscience project being developed and tested, and contributed to the outcome narrative of a 10-year partnership project between two universities. In both cases, TOP proved to be an efficient and easy-to-use framework. Using TOP in this fashion has the potential to help evaluators address challenges posed by the subjectivity of photography and possible biases of the photographer in the research process.