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

Jan/10

12

David Fetterman on Participation and Collaboration

My name is David Fetterman, and I am President and CEO of Fetterman & Associates (with 25 years of experience at Stanford University).  I work in many areas of evaluation including, as you may know – empowerment evaluation.  One of my primary concerns is fostering collaboration in evaluation.  I have presented a few FREE tools that I have found useful in fostering participation, collaboration, and empowerment below:

Cool Trick: Online Videoconferencing.  Sometimes you just don’t have the money to fly over to see your client.  What can you do to maintain the rapport and relationship?  Talk to them  – better yet – talk to them and see them while they are looking at you.  Use one of the many videoconferencing tools now available on the Internet such as:

•    Skype: http://www.skype.com/
•    Google’s videochat: http://www.google.com/chat/video
•    iChat: http://bit.ly/linktoichat

Hot Tip: Pictures.  As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. It also offers a lot of face validity.  You can take pictures and share them with only your clients by posting them online using Picasa or other online digital photograph storage files.  You can download individual pictures from the file. You can create videos or slides of the picture to make a slide show (and paste the code for the video on a web page).  You can bring a group together and give them voice by letting them see themselves and listen to what they said during the last meeting. The site I generally use is www.picasa.com

Hot Tip: Blogging.  Having difficulties writing up that final report or some new report that was not part of the contract, but your client needs it right away to save their job?  Take a look at maintaining a blog.  It keeps a running history of the group’s accomplishments. It also makes the group’s work transparent to others in the community.

I like to keep a blog for each of my projects to help highlight their accomplishments and give them greater exposure – which in turn attracts resources.  They are easy to maintain as long as you take notes during the meeting and take some photographs or video.  You can post them on the web in a format that looks like an email but looks like a nice web page once you post it.  It is also a great way to network. http://www.blogger.com/home

I hope you experiment with some of these tools with your family to stay in touch and build strong healthy relationships.  The more comfortable you are using these tools with your family the more prepared and comfortable you will be using these tools with colleagues and clients.  Enjoy!

Want to hear more from David Fetterman?  He is offering a demonstration of Blogger as part of AEA’s Coffee Break Demonstration Series on March 4, 2010. Click here to learn more and sign up: http://www.eval.org/demos.asp

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16 comments

  • David Fetterman · March 5, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    Hi Mary Sue

    I just want to say congratulations to the members of the Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment TIG for your contributions in this week’s AEA365 Blog (and the webinar).

    DF On behalf of Liliana and myself, thanks for the congratulations. It was a powerful week and I continue to get emails about both the blogs and webinar. It is gratifying to see so many people from around the world engaging in this dialogue and using some of the tools we discussed.

    I have found all of them useful. I have made a commitment to share them with other colleagues in my network.

    DF That is all that we could hope for. Our aim is to help others help themselves and this has been one powerful vehicle in this regard.

    For additional resources see our Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation Web Site at:

    CP&E Evaluation Web Site

    Our empowerment evaluation blog at: Empowerment Evaluation Blog

    and our AEA Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment Evaluation web site at: AEA Hosted CP&E Evaluation Web Site

    For a few additional useful tools see:
    http://www.davidfetterman.com/webeetools.htm

    For a few books on the topic see:
    http://www.davidfetterman.com/books.htm

    Best wishes.

    -David

    Keep up the good work,
    Mary Sue

    Mary Sue Smiaroski, Coordinator
    Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
    Oxfam International

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · March 5, 2010 at 8:28 pm

    Hi Gail

    DF: Fantastic.  Thanks for the kind words and it is great to hear you are planning to move forward with your blogging plan. I have found them very useful (and easy to use).
    I have two questions for you:
    1.       I wasn’t clear how to restrict the blog—to be viewed only by certain people who are also the only ones who can respond to it (a private blog, I guess)
    DF: It depends on the software you use but with Blogger (the one I used for the webinar)

    1.  You go to Settings.
    2.  Then select Permission
    3.  Then select Blog authors (and that is where you can add authors if you want – so they can post on the blog as well as you)
    4.  On the same page you will see the question:  Who can view this blog?
    Your choices are:
    • anybody
    • only people I choose
    • only blog authors

    Permitting/restricting Who Can Post or Author and Read – Computer Screen Snapshot

    Concerning comments (on postings):

    1.  Go to Settings (same page)
    2.  Select Comments
    3.  You will see the question: Who can comment?
    Your choices will be:
    • anyone
    • registered users
    • users with Google Accounts
    • only members of this blog

    Permitting/restricting Who Can Comment – Computer Screen Snapshot

    (My advice – don’t pick anyone or you will get a lot of crazy people and advertisers commenting on your blog.)

    2.       Do you get an email response when someone answers your blog—in other words, how do you know when to look at it?
    DF: There are a number of ways of doing this using Blogger.  One way is to:
    1.  Go to Settings
    2.  Email and Mobile
    3. Then select Email Notifications (and put your email address there)

    Email Notification – Computer Screen Snapshot

    I tend to scan the postings and comments every few days and up to a week or so on a routine basis.  If there is a special discussion going on then I might check a few times a day depending on my schedule.

    I hope this helps and good luck blogging.

    I have linked you to a few computer screen snapshots (above) as well so you can see what I am describing. 

    Best wishes and once again I am glad you enjoyed the webinar and found it useful.

      -David
     
    Thanks
     
    Gail
     
    Gail V. Barrington, PhD, CMC?President
    BARRINGTON RESEARCH GROUP, INC.?P.O. Box 84056, Market Mall RPO?Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3A 5C4?Telephone (403) 289-2221?Facsimile (403) 276-1171?gbarrington@barringtonresearchgrp.com?Visit our Website: http://www.barringtonresearchgrp.com

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · March 5, 2010 at 8:05 pm

    Hi David

    I enjoyed your presentation yesterday—it was informative and encouraged me to go ahead with a blogging plan I have in mind. I have two questions for you:

    1. I wasn’t clear how to restrict the blog—to be viewed only by certain people who are also the only ones who can respond to it (a private blog, I guess)

    2. Do you get an email response when someone answers your blog—in other words, how do you know when to look at it?

    Thanks

    Gail

    Gail V. Barrington, PhD, CMC
    President

    BARRINGTON RESEARCH GROUP, INC.
    P.O. Box 84056, Market Mall RPO
    Calgary, Alberta, Canada T3A 5C4
    Telephone (403) 289-2221
    Facsimile (403) 276-1171
    gbarrington@barringtonresearchgrp.com
    Visit our Website: http://www.barringtonresearchgrp.com

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · March 5, 2010 at 4:32 pm

    Hi, All:
    I just want to say congratulations to the members of the Collaborative, Participatory, and Empowerment TIG for your contributions in this week’s AEA365 Blog (and the webinar). I have found all of them useful. I have made a commitment to share them with other colleagues in my network.

    Keep up the good work,
    Mary Sue

    Mary Sue Smiaroski, Coordinator
    Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning
    Oxfam International

    Submitted on behalf of Mary Sue

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · March 5, 2010 at 4:31 pm

    Hi Debbie

    I am glad you enjoyed the AEA Coffee Break – Blogging Webinar. I had a good time with it as well.
    Yes you can conduct a focus group with blogging software (it is not as good as a face-to-face one) but when economics and time and logistics dictate it can be used effectively. I have used it to consult alumni groups about what they think of the services provided and what they were looking for and it was very useful.

    A webinar or iChat session would definitely be better than a blog if you would to go up the ladder toward the idea (a face-to-face encounter).

    I hope you find this response useful – I think if you think about this as a continuum toward an ideal you can see how blogging can be useful but not as useful as a webinar or iChat (or any other videoconference such as Skype) as you approximate the idea of human contact (when feasibile)

    If you get really high tech you and you are focusing on a virtual group – working exclusively in the cyberworld – then you might also think about avatar worlds as well. However, there is little that beats he face-to-face ideal even when you are talking to people immersed in cyberspace. Take care and thanks again for your participation in our dialogue.

    -David

    Reply

  • Debbie Mitchell · March 4, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    I enjoyed the AEA Coffee Break seminar today. I am currently taking a Program Evaluation course and am a novice in the subject of evaluations. I was wondering if it would be possible to conduct a focus group in the form of blogging or if that would need to be more of an orchestrated webinar or iChat session during which all invited participants would be present and communicating at the same time. What are your thoughts on using a blog for a focus group?

    Thank you!

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · March 4, 2010 at 3:15 pm

    Hi Marcus

    Thanks for all your efforts in helping to orchestrate today’s webinar – it was fun – I had a good time.

    Let me answer two questions if I could: the first question that came up during the webinar was could you limit who can post and view the blog.

    The answer: yes to both questions (and you should). I typically allow anyone to view the blog to keep things open and transparent. However, I always limit who can post on the blog. If you let the entire world post on it you will be flooded with a lot of X rated material and sales of every product under the sun.

    I tend to restrict posting and comments to those in the group (and anyone we want to invite to comment on our work).

    The second question was: How exactly do you engage stakeholders to participate in the blogging, especially considering the tech-phobia that many individuals have?

    It is like teaching online – you have to have something everyone needs there (and no where else). For students, when I teach on line, it is the only place to post their comments, questions, and papers. It is also the only place they can find a calendar of events, syllabi, and so on.

    When I am facilitating and empowerment evaluation, I make sure it is one of the primary places they can post their findings, concerns, and achievements – where policy and decision makers as well as the press, go to find out what’s going on (often on deadline or on short notice).

    In addition, I make sure there are worthwhile postings – things people want to learn from each other. You can also make sure the latest free tools and resources (and widgets) are easily found in that one place – to attract folks and keep them coming for the toys (and the information).

    I also use pictures, video, and other modes to make it a more inviting and enjoyable experience.

    Finally, I show people how they can use this medium for personal use – connecting with family and friends. The more comfortable they are using blogging with friends and family the more comfortable and confident they will become using it professionally.

    I hope that brief response is responsive to your inquiry. Thanks again for a great webinar experience this morning. I like that medium too (to communicate about a substantive matter or skill in a short period of time)!

    -David

    Reply

  • Author comment by Marcus · March 4, 2010 at 2:40 pm

    Hi David,

    Thanks so much for providing insight in today’s webinar on using Blogger. There were still a few questions left–mainly on using Blogger for evaluation purposes. But, to get the ball rolling, I thought I’d throw out the first post-webinar question:

    #How exactly do you engage stakeholders to participate in the blogging, especially considering the tech-phobia that many individuals have?

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · March 4, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Collaborative, Participatory and Empowerment Evaluation TIG Poster

    Collaborative, Participatory and Empowerment Evaluation TIG Poster

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · March 4, 2010 at 11:38 am

    On behalf of Liliana and me, you are invited to continue this dialogue in person by participating in our Collaborative, Participatory and Empowerment Evaluation TIG panels at the annual meetings. (You can also join us at our blogging webinar as well.)

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · February 4, 2010 at 7:03 pm

    Nice work Moein.

    I could not help notice the earlier posting on your English blog:

    Neither too narrow nor too broad
    Mohaqeqmoein,M.H.& Fetterman, D.M.
    July 2008

    I think this example of an article online is anoher way of demonstrating the power of a blog to reflect and comment on current work. I was happy to be a part of it. Keep up the good work.

    – David

    Reply

  • Mohammed Hasan Mohaqeq Moein · January 29, 2010 at 11:39 pm

    Hi Dear professor Fetterman

    I can summaries my feeling in one sentence: Thank you professor!
    Today I must present an article in The 2nd Iranian Knowledge Management Conference. I publish the abstract of this article in EVAL TALK some months ago.
    I am a tiny evaluation student. The full story of me was at my English blog in: http://empowermentevaluation.blogspot.com/

    Best
    Moein

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · January 29, 2010 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Moein

    Always good to hear from you and thanks for the kind words. Other folks my not realize exactly what you are referring to so for those who have not visited my homepage, I added my voice to my opening home page. It is basically a Quicktime video without the video just the sound. It is at: http://www.davidfetterman.com

    I started using it when I first began teaching in the policy analysis and evaluation program at Stanford. It was a way of welcoming folks to my virtual office since I had a number of virtual classroom and still wanted it to feel human and personal. Folks seem to like it so I continued the tradition. (I also used to send all my admits a tiny Quicktime Video congratulating them on getting accepted to my program. That made it personal on one level without trying to track everyone down with different schedules and time zones. I also called them as well of course – but this way I could get the word out about acceptance all at the same time and quickly while they made their final decisions.)
    Moein – when you get a chance you should let folks know more about what you are doing to record and document your empowerment evaluations. Maybe when you join us on March 4th for the live blogging session – but feel free to jump in here as well – so more folks can learn what you do too.
    See you for now.

    -David

    Reply

  • David Fetterman · January 29, 2010 at 1:49 pm

    Hi Marcus

    Thanks I like iChat too – especially because it also allows you to enter another person’s computer (with their permission of course) and to transfer files and so on. It is a lot more than just videoconferencing.
    Thanks also for letting folks know about the HD quality for Skype. It will transform the videoconferencing experience as it has for television and digital cameras. Of course,the irony is that HD will be the new norm (and then something beyond that of course) and when we see regular videoconferencing or digital video we will wonder why we even bothered because it is so blurry (like tv reruns now). I actually had (many year ago) the Sony Mavicka and it took floppy disks. I look back at the quality and scratch my head at the low/poor resolution – but it was pretty cool at the time.
    Take care.
    – David

    Reply

  • Mohammed Hasan Mohaqeq Moein · January 12, 2010 at 11:59 am

    One day on autumn 2000 when I am in the center of Iran -Tehran at my desk and after search in the internet and take my work suddenly hear his warm voice: Welcome to my virtual office. Since today I use his extended information and learn about evaluation. I know these suggestions are very well.

    Bravo professor Fetterman

    Moein

    Reply

  • Author comment by Marcus · January 12, 2010 at 11:50 am

    Hi David,

    Although I’m an iChat advocate, I’m particularly excited about the advancements with Skype. At CES this year, they announced plans of offering HD video not only via computer, but also via supported HDTV’s!

    http://bit.ly/6FzXJ9

    Marcus

    Reply

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