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

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Hi my name is Jayne Corso and I am the Community Manager for AEA. Now that you are back from Evaluation 2016, how are you going to keep in touch with the connections you made in Atlanta? How about using LinkedIn? LinkedIn is a great way to follow up with your peers and colleagues form the conference.

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Hot Tip: Use LinkedIn to Build Your Professional Network

LinkedIn is the social media channel that is best for professional networking. On LinkedIn, you can search by name, company, or occupation. So, if you are not good with names you can still means to look people up! You can also search by keywords such as Evaluation or Evaluator.

Hot Tip: Build out Your LinkedIn Page so you are Easy to Find

Make your LinkedIn profile easy to find. First, make sure you have a recent photo of yourself. Next fill out your profile using searchable keywords such as evaluation, data visualization, research, internal evaluation, or health evaluation. You can also include your TIG involvement. Add the TIG you work with to the “Volunteer” section on your profile. Taking these steps will allow your profile to be easily searched by other evaluation practitioners.

Hot Tip: Follow the Evaluation 2016 Exhibitors on LinkedIn

Make connection with the exhibitors from Evaluation 2016. Like the company pages of organizations such as Abt Associates, IntegReview IRB, and Mathematica Policy Research. You can also find individuals who work at these organizations on their company page.

Hot Tip: Accept Your Digital Badge and Add it to Your Page

And one more thing…accept your digital badge from Evaluation 2016 and add it to your LinkedIn page! Use the badge to show your involvement with AEA and dedication to professional development.

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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Hi there!  Liz Zadnik, aea365’s Outreach Coordinator here, with my first-timer perspective on the conference.  Fate has intervened the past few years, so I was thrilled when the stars aligned and I was able to be here.  I have learned so much and been in non-stop awe, from the opening plenary (#Breart) to the poster presentations to each session facilitator.  Writing this post was a bit of a challenge – I want to adequately convey all that’s happened.   

Rad Resources:   

  • The Evaluation 2016 app has really helped me feel a little more organized and connected to goings-on.  I loved that it was a one stop shop for social media conversations, contacts, and notes.  It kept me from fumbling with a notebook.  
  • TIG Business Meetings are phenomenal ways to connect with like-minded professionals.  I’m not a particularly outgoing or gregarious person, so more structured social events help me feel more at ease.  I also loved chatting with folks who I’ve admired from afar for years.  
  • I’m a sucker for poster presentations so I had to spend some time talking with authors and appreciating the vast array of projects and knowledge in that space.  I’m also a bit of a design enthusiast and love to hear the process of how folks decide to present their work.  

Hot Tip: Social media is your friend.  Can’t attend a session?  Check out #Eval2016 and #eval16 from time to time and see what nuggets folks share from that session (and others).  I loved reading the brilliance that was spilling out of every session and interaction throughout the conference. I definitely found some new Twitter accounts to follow!

Lesson Learned: Breathe.  I was so overwhelmed leading up to and the first day or two of the conference.  I wanted to wake up at the crack of dawn and attend every possible session.  But after a few hours, my mind was all jumbly and nothing seemed to be absorbing.  So I prioritized specific sessions, but also made time to eat, synthesize my thoughts, and brainstorm topics for future blog posts and projects.  I felt guilty at first, but then realized this time to process and reflect helped me feel energized and present throughout the day.   

Being here has been a real treat – time that has energized me and deepened my love of evaluation.  I can’t wait for what tomorrow brings.  Thanks to everyone who has made this conference possible!  My calendar is already marked for next year!

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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Hi my name is Jayne Corso and I am the Community Manager for AEA. Evaluation 2016 officially starts tomorrow. Are you ready to learn and network with more than 3,000 evaluators? Here are some tips to help you be social at Evaluation 2016.

Hot Tip: Download the Mobile App

The new and improved Evaluation 2016 mobile app allows you to send messages and set up meeting with other attendees. To take advantage of this feature build you profile under “My Event”. The more information you add about yourself, the easier it makes it for people to find you while at the conference.  This is a great way to meet new people who are practicing evaluation and share your interests.

Hot Tip: Follow Evaluation 2016 on Twitter

We have already seen lots of chatter surrounding Evaluation 2016 on social media, particularly Twitter. Follow the hashtag #Eval16 to see conversation and posts specifically about the event. Share your conference photos and lessons learned on Twitter, so that others evaluators who were not able to attend can get a glimpse of Evaluation 2016!

Hot Tip: Attend the Social Events

Be an active participant in Evaluation 2016 events. Meet with poster presenters during the Poster Exhibit; see what literary works that are coming out this year at the Meet the Authors Reception; and learn more about the AEA TIGS during the TIG Business Meeting on Thursday night.

Hot Tip: Visit the Connection Center

Visit the Connection Center to meet with the AEA exhibitors, gain access to free Wi-Fi, and charge your electronic devices. While in the Connection Center meet with universities and learn more about technology solutions that are benefiting evaluation practices and programs.

I hope these tips have been helpful. See you in Atlanta!

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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Hi my name is Jayne Corso and I am the Community Manager for AEA.

Twitter is a great tool for staying social at conferences. It provides real-time opportunities for sharing content and insights. Here are a few tips to help you be social during your upcoming conferences! You can even use these at Evaluation 2016.

Follow the Conference Hashtag

Most conferences have a hastag which allows you to follow information and news relating to the event. On Twitter, the pound sign (or hash) turns any word that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on keywords. While at a conference, search for the appropriate hashtag (this will most likely be posted at the conference) to see all discussions taking place around the event. From here you can retweet, or even create your own post to stay active in the conversation. At Evaluation 2016, you can use #Eval16.

Retweet Other Users

While attending a conference, retweet posts by other attendees. Retweeting will allow you to spread content to more followers on Twitter and will give you the opportunity to be included in conversations surrounding the event.

Live Tweet a Session

Sharing insights and quotes from presentations and speakers is a great way to help evaluators who couldn’t attend the conference or decided to attend a different session. Live tweeting also helps you build relationships with the speakers. Find the speaker on twitter and add their twitter handle to your post!

Share Photos of your Experience

Photos are a great way to tell a story about your experience at the conference and allow evaluators who were not able to attend an opportunity to visualize the conference. Photos are dominant on Twitter, meaning your photos will be more likely to be retweeted by other attendees, the conference host, and speakers, expanding your exposer to a larger community.

I can’t wait to see what everyone tweets come October at Evaluation 2016! Follow AEA at @aeaweb and use #Eval16 to follow updates and news about the conference.

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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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This is part of a series remembering and honoring evaluation pioneers leading up to Memorial Day in the USA (May 30).

I am Jean King, professor at the University of Minnesota and, like my colleague John McLaughlin, who collaborated with me on this In Memoriam, an original AEA member. I met Bob Ingle for the first time in New Orleans, LA when I served as the Local Arrangements Chair for the 1988 AEA conference. Bob had charged me with purchasing bottles of liquor for the Conference Chair’s suite—free-flowing alcohol being one of the perquisites of the role at that time—and Associate Conference Chair John McLaughlin delivered the heavy box to its rightful place. Bob let us hire a jazz band for one of the big receptions and even let us serve shrimp. Bob Ingle knew how to put on a conference. He also knew the field of program evaluation because he helped to create it.

Pioneering contributions:

With Bill Gephart, Bob was one of the founders of the Evaluation Network in the early 1970’s, creating a national organization of professionals interested in advancing the practice of program evaluation. With the help of his ever resourceful assistant Nan Blyth, he soon became responsible for planning and managing the Network’s national meetings.

When the Evaluation Network joined with the Evaluation Research Society to become the American Evaluation Association in 1986, Bob became one of its founding members. For AEA’s first ten years, he served as the Annual Conference Chair in a manner that only he could, seemingly enjoying his role as in-house curmudgeon, often with a twinkle in his eye. In his role as Conference Chair, Bob sat on the AEA Board and became a relentless advocate for member services. In recognition of his contributions to the organization, AEA established the Robert Ingle Service Award, presented annually to a member who has provided exceptional service to the organization and been instrumental in promoting its interests and operations.

Enduring contributions:

  1. In the founding years of AEA’s conference, Ingle ensured that one of its signature features would be the opportunity for as many members as possible to showcase their practice, share successes and concerns, and reflect on the future of the field. Bob Ingle was dedicated to sustaining an atmosphere of openness and collegiality.
  2. Bob may have cultivated his gruff image, but he couldn’t mask his kindness. Despite his well-known harrumphing, he genuinely cared about people and wanted the conference to engage as many as possible. Attending one of Ingle’s conference dinners where he held court was an indisputable delight.
  3. Bob worked long hours with us as program chairs ensuring a well-organized conference. The original conference schedule was developed in pencil—with countless erasures—on large sheets of tissue paper. Imagine the increase in productivity when Post-it notes were created.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Memorial Week in Evaluation: Remembering and Honoring Evaluation’s Pioneers. The contributions this week are remembrances of evaluation pioneers who made enduring contributions to our field. 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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Hi! I’m Sheila B. Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and once monthly Saturday contributor.

With Evaluation 2013 a mere one week in the past, evaluation bloggers are all over it recounting, recapturing, reliving, and reflecting on conference courses and confabulations.

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Whether you made it to Washington, DC to experience the conference live, or watched your #eval13 Twitter feed from the comforts of home, you can enjoy our evaluation community bloggers and microbloggers who have united to bring the conference experience to you from a wealth of diverse perspectives.

Lesson Learned: Learning is socially constructed, and the digital age has brought us to new frontiers of learning with and from each other. After all, “we become ourselves through others” according to eminent psychologist Lev Vygotsky.

Hot Tip: Check out evaluation blogs to read accounts of variety of conference sessions from plenaries to professional development workshops by both novice and experienced evaluation bloggers.

Sure, you can read the conference catalog, and attendees, you can study your own notes, but for a truly fresh perspective, check out someone else’s notes! And while you’re at it, add your perspective to the mix by engaging bloggers in discussion with comments or questions. Bloggers love to write, but even more, they like to be engaged in thoughtful discussions with their readers that enhance the experience for all.

Rad Resources: The blogosphere is replete with Evaluation 2013 reflections. Here are just a few: Ann K EmeryChris Lysy, John GarganiChi Yan LamJames PannAnn Price, Brownyn Mauldin, and Mary S Nash. Oh, and there’s one from me, too, Sheila B. Robinson. If you or someone you know has also blogged about Evaluation 2013, please add names and links in the comments section of this post so we can all enjoy them.

Rad Resources: Michael Quinn Patton (the only evaluator I know with his own hash tag, #omgmqp) advised exploring the conference catalog and AEA Public e-Library here (it’s now filling up fast with new material!) and Susan Kistler introduced us to some #eval13 live tweeters here (and they’re still at it, even post-conference!).

Rad Resource: To relive (or see for the first time) some of Evaluation 2013’s hottest moments (read: Ignite presentations), check out our Youtube Ignite channel. You can even subscribe via email to get updates as new videos are added.

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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I’m Sheila Robinson Kohn from Greece Central School District and the University of Rochester, both in Rochester, NY. I’m here in Minneapolis at AEA2012 and while most of my mornings are ignited with oatmeal and coffee, THIS morning I had the pleasure of attending and presenting at my first Ignite session.

Chris Lysy, our session chair, set the mood by asking the audience to smile. Ignite sessions are, after all, both fun AND informative, and with 11 presenters, there were many of us who needed to begin by relaxing a bit! He also asked how many had seen an Ignite event; about one fourth of the 100+ attendees raised their hands.

Lessons learned:

  1. You can learn a lot in 5 minutes! Of course, I wished I had more time to process some of the information, but can take comfort in knowing I can access presentations at my leisure via the AEA elibrary and Ignite website.
  2. Our presenters practiced! Each presentation went off without a hitch, and even one momentary technical glitch didn’t rattle the presenter at all. Slides generally adhered to principles good slide design with limited text and powerful images that enhanced, rather than distracted from the message. Presenters limited “chart junk” and their graphics conveyed messages that could be understood within in the 15 second time frame. Many used humor to convey their messages.

Hot tip:

  • Attend an Ignite session at AEA12 or plan to at AEA 13!

Hotter tip:

  • Propose an Ignite presentation for AEA13! Spend considerable time developing your slides and script, and practice! It’s easy to underestimate just how much preparation is necessary for what eventually results in a high quality five-minute presentation. In fact, one of the greatest challenges beyond slide design is creating the script. I had a lot of content to share, but also wanted the audience to understand the message, so there was a delicate balance to achieve between saying too much and saying just enough. My first draft had me talking like an auctioneer trying to adhere to the 15 seconds per slide rule. There is a fine art to being concise, and one we must learn whether we’re charged with writing evaluation reports, grant proposals, tweets, or Ignite presentations!

Rad Resources:

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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My name is Kate Rohrbaugh and I am Co-Chair of the Business, Leadership, and Performance TIG along with Michelle Baron.  I’m a Research Team Leader at a consulting firm in Virginia leading a group studying capital project organizations and teams in the process industries.  Today I’d like to talk about the renaming of our TIG and the tools we used to conduct this work.

When I accepted my current position five years ago, I had to rethink my AEA TIG membership because I had been a faithful member of educationally related TIGs, which were no longer relevant.  The number of TIGs at AEA can be overwhelming at times, but it also offers a wide variety of “homes” to evaluators regardless of the content area.  In my new position I turned to the Business and Industry TIG where I found a small but dedicated group of professionals.  I “lurked” with this group for a year, and within a short time (since it was a smaller group), I was able to take an active role in the leadership of this TIG.

In discussions with the leadership of the TIG and at AEA, we determined that the name of the TIG was unnecessarily limiting both presenters and audience – evaluation issues in for-profit organizations are relevant to a wide variety of evaluation professionals in both private and public sectors.  For this reason, we canvassed the membership and working closely with the AEA staff and board, identified a new name for our TIG.

Rad Resources

  • AEA maintains a list of members in each TIG and faithfully protects AEA membership from unnecessary contact, but this was a great source for contacting our membership about the desire to change the name of the TIG and solicit ideas for renaming the TIG.
  • To canvass our membership, we turned to the old faithful Survey Monkey which met our simple needs for collection and analysis.
  • To discuss the results with the TIG leadership located across and outside the United States, we turned to FreeConferenceCall.com, which is exactly what you think it is.

We are excited about the AEA 2012 in Minneapolis and hope to see lots of new faces at our presentations and business meeting!

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating the Business, Leadership, and Performance TIG (BLP) Week. The contributions all week come from BLP 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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Hello! We’re Osman Ozturgut, Assistant Professor of Education at the University of the Incarnate World and Tamera Bertrand Jones, Assistant Professor of Higher Education at Florida State University. In the previous posting, we learned about the AEA Public Statement on Cultural Competence in Evaluation (the Statement) and the reason for its development. In this post, we discuss ways to integrate cultural competence into your conference presentations.  The 2012 AEA conference theme, Evaluation in Complex Ecologies: Relationships, Responsibilities, and Relevance, offers a framework to consider the role of culture in evaluation.  Even if your presentation does not directly address culture, there are ways to remain a part of this conversation.  We asked national and international evaluation leaders to provide tips on ways to incorporate the tenets of culturally competent evaluation in your AEA conference presentation to make the list for today.

Hot Tips:

Relationships- Culturally competent evaluators refrain from assuming they fully understand the perspectives of stakeholders whose backgrounds differ from their own. Cultural competence requires awareness of self, reflection on one’s own cultural position, awareness of others’ positions, and the ability to interact genuinely and respectfully with others. Relationships are a foundation from which we build our work. Developing relationships with stakeholders that attend to diverse perspectives ensures different viewpoints are represented. In your presentation, tell the audience how you developed relationships with a variety of stakeholders and included those viewpoints in your evaluation.

ResponsibilitiesEvaluations are not culture free.  Effective and ethical use of evaluation requires respecting different worldviews.Insufficient attention to culture in evaluation may compromise group and individual self-determination, due process, and fair, just, and equitable treatment of all persons and interests. In your presentation, discuss how you did or could have better accounted for culture in your evaluation when you present lessons learned.  How did/will you address power dynamics in evaluations?  What would you do differently, after you’ve read the Statement?

RelevanceThe culturally competent evaluator draws upon a wide range of evaluation theories and methods to design and carry out an evaluation that is optimally matched to the context. Valid inferences require shared understanding within and across cultural contexts.  In your presentation, discuss the context in which your work was located. Describe how evaluation questions were conceptualized and how data were collected and analyzed.  A description of the context and methods provides the audience with a greater understanding of the environment in which your work took place and allows for greater examination of validity.

RAD Resources:

The American Evaluation Association will be celebrating Cultural Competence Week. The contributions all this week come from the Cultural Competence committee. 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 evaluator.

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Hey there. I’m Stephanie Evergreen, AEA’s eLearning Initiatives Director and general data communications geek. Susan Kistler has a family obligation this weekend, so I’m stepping in to share with you the newest developments in AEA’s Potent Presentations Initiative (p2i).

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You’ve heard about p2i, right? It is a new initiative to help AEA members improve their presentation skills, particularly around delivering conference presentations. We come together once or twice a year to teach each other about our practices and processes, so shouldn’t we do everything we can to make it easy to learn from our presentations? That’s why p2i will feature online and in-person training before and during the annual conference around the three facets of presenting: message, design, and delivery.

We have just launched p2i.eval.org, which will be the hub of this activity.

Rad Resource: Our home page features our upcoming webinar-based training on how to prepare for and deliver an Ignite session. When you receive the proposal status notice for your Ignite session on July 3, head to our site to sign up for one of the two trainings, either on July 17 at 11:30am ET or July 26 at 4pm ET.

Rad Resource: Our first tool to help you rock your conference session is the Presentation Preparation Checklist. Download this PDF to find out what to prepare when, keep yourself on track, and minimize the last minute rush many people experience leading up to a conference presentation. The checklist include time frames specific to this year’s annual conference, October 22-28.

Rad Resource: During the conference we’ll provide a demonstration on research-based effective practices around slide design. But you don’t want to wait until then to begin working on your session slides. So we’ve released the handout for that demonstration already. Head to the p2i site to snag the Slide Design Guidelines (with extra tips for handouts, too). It covers how to handle fonts, graphics, colors, and arrangement and includes links for step-by-step instructions (we’ll add links each month) and awesome extensions of these guidelines from your AEA colleagues.

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