Greetings! I am Kendra Lewis, Evaluation Coordinator for the California 4-H Youth Development Program at University of California, Agriculture and Natural Resources. Today I am going to share my experience with a “data party” as a way to engage stakeholders in evaluation data. We recently held a one-day workshop with 4-H camp staff (youth and adults) to review evaluation data collected at their camps last summer. We had nearly 30 people representing 6 camps attend. We presented results from across the state as a whole as well as specific results for each camp. Evaluation data was collected from two sources: youth campers and teen camp staff. I presented data in multiple representations (graphs, tables, word clouds) and posed open-ended prompts to initiate conversation.
Lessons Learned: Participants loved having the opportunity to explore the data, discuss what they thought the results meant, and formulate action plans with their camp team. The data party made the results accessible and understandable. All camps signed up to participate in the evaluation again, and we already have our next data party planned for Fall 2017 after this summer’s camps.
Hot Tip: Start with a “gallery walk” that gives an overview of the results. We had large posters that presented data from the state results, and had small groups of people walk around to review the posters. We made sure to mix youth with adults, and to put people from different camps together to ensure diversity in camp experiences.
Hot Tip: Create a “data placemat” for each site. We made a data placemat that was specific to each camp that they could review with their team. We made a placement for camper data and a placemat for the teen data so that the data could be reviewed separately for those different experiences.
Hot Tip: Word clouds are a great way to introduce qualitative data. Before giving attendees all the qualitative data, we presented word clouds so as not to overwhelm them. After reviewing the word clouds, each camp had the opportunity to go over all their qualitative data in full.
Rad Resource: Check out all these great ideas and pins from Kylie Hutchinson on data parties.
Rad Resource: See the Innovation Network’s slide deck on Data Placemats for more information about this cool tool.
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