AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

Nov/12

4

CEA Week: Leah C. Neubauer on Adult Education, Planning for Learning & AEA 2012

Welcome to the Chicagoland Evaluation Association’s  (CEA) week of AEA 365.   My name is Leah Christina Neubauer and I am the President of CEA. CEA has organized a stimulating week of posts that address the evaluation-related work of our members.

As the lead post for the week, I offer insights and resources related to the exhilarating world of adult education. Adult and continuing education doctoral training has helped to shape my interests in examining the ways in which adults continue to learn across the personal and professional lifespan.

Evaluators, Adult Education & AEA 2012: As evaluators, how do we create opportunities to learn, grow and enrich our practice?  What happens in our post-training and degree lives that facilitates new learning and growth?  .

Lessons Learned: The Annual AEA conference is an excellent example of a professional development and learning opportunity.

  • What did you learn at AEA 2012?: With all of the presenting, session-attending, and networking – what do evaluators do with the new knowledge gained?  Similar to planning for ‘use’ in our evaluations, how might evaluators plan for ‘use’ of the conference experiences?
  • Planning for Use Takes Actual Time & Vigilance: Planning actual time for learning-oriented reflection, debriefing and action can be quite challenging at conferences. For example, my conference time was spent:
    • 1) planning for sessions I would attend/present in,
    • 2) attending sessions/taking notes,
    • 3) chatting with colleagues about their experiences and insights,
    • 4) consistently waiting in line at the 2nd floor women’s restroom and,
    • 5) at times – acknowledging my brain was becoming too full of information, also known as “conference overload.”
  • Reflecting on Learning – Two Questions: In thinking about the intensity of conference experiences, I offer simple prompts and table design that can aid in harnessing all of the moment-by-moment/session-by-session insights and learning:

I completed two sheets of this table. I ended up scribbling the table on additional blank paper to cover four conference days. I am now working through my AEA 2012 action plans and wow, I captured heaps of information!

  • Post AEA 2012 Learning:  Affiliate Events Can Keep the Local Conversations Flowing.  In working with fellow members of the Local Affiliate Collaborative this past conference,  I heard that several local affiliates plan to host post-AEA 2012 forums. These types of offerings provide an opportunity to present for folks who could not attend and to keep the evaluative learning flowing among members.  Our Chicagoland group is currently planning our event for early December.

Rad Resources: 

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating the Chicagoland (CEA) Evaluation Association Affiliate Week with our colleagues in the CEA AEA Affiliate. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our CEA members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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