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

Nov/12

6

CEA Week: Sarah Rand on Online Evaluation Reports

Greetings from the University of Chicago. I am Sarah Rand, Associate Project Director and Research and Evaluation Associate at the Center for Elementary Math and Science Education (CEMSE).

A challenge for every evaluator is to present findings in informative way that will be useful to the client. This summer our team evaluated Google’s computer science camp for high school students and this project was a great opportunity to create our first online evaluation report. Our intention was to create a report that was easy to share with others, interactive, engaging, readable, and of course shared our data and findings. There were many issues to consider in creating a report online such as confidentiality, privacy, what information to make available by PDF, and the layout.

Lessons Learned:

  • It takes a team to put together an online report. Our evaluation team worked together to create a sketch of our ideas for the layout that we then shared with our center’s web developers. We worked closely with the web team to put our ideas on to the webpage and then iterated the design and content as the site was developed.
  • We included video clips and direct quotes from interviews with students and faculty members in the online report, which is a more objective way to present findings. Viewing and reading data in this form was particularly powerful for our client.
  • A report in this format does not necessarily require a presentation. It may be best to share the online report with your client, allow them to explore it on their own, and then answer any questions they may have.

Rad Resource:

  • Creating an online report from scratch can feel like a big job. Asana is a great free online tool for project management and it helps to break down the big task into smaller, more manageable pieces. There are many tasks involved in creating an online report including choosing photos, creating the layout, deciding which content should go where, and uploading video and audio. Asana helps you manage all of the tasks and assign them to the correct person. Asana is also helpful in keeping track of the status of various pieces of the project, so you can complete the project by your deadline.

Rad Resource I wish I had:

  • Examples of other online evaluation reports. I did some searching for previously created reports and could not find any. This may be because they are private, as is the case for the report we created, or that they just aren’t that common.

Feel free to get in touch if you want to learn more- email me or visit the Center for Elementary Math and Science Education  to learn about our evaluation work!

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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