Outdoor Education R&E Center

Research Guide

What is the Difference between Research & Evaluation?

James Neill
Last updated:
25 Oct 2006

What is the Difference between Research and Evaluation?

The main difference between research and evaluation is that research is usually conducted with to the intent to generalize the findings from a sample to a larger population.  Evaluation, on the other hand, usually focuses on an internal situation, such as collecting data about specific programs, with no intent to generalize the results to other settings and situations.  In other words, research generalizes, evaluation particularizes.


Priest, S. (2001). A program evaluation primer. Journal of Experiential Education, 24(1), 34-40.