1.2 Unit rationale
At its core, any type of evaluation is concerned with making judgements about the merit, worth or value of something. In short, it is about how and why we make choices. We live in a world where an increasing number of the population are highly reliant on a vast range of technologies. The claims and expectations of the economic and social benefits that these technologies deliver have a considerable impact on our lives. How and why we choose between different technologies – how we evaluate their merit, worth or value – or how others, such as politicians and managers, make these decisions on our behalf, is a growing concern. This unit is therefore built around developing this understanding, and supplying the knowledge necessary to plan, design, conduct and interpret technology evaluation. In short, what we seek to do in this unit is recognise that while there is no perfect approach to evaluation, there are plenty of wrong approaches.