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Corey Newhouse on Using Video in Evaluation

My name is Corey Newhouse and I’m the Founder and Principal of Public Profit. We help youth service and educational organizations measure and manage what matters. I’m a self-taught user of video in evaluation, and am writing to share some of my lessons learned.

We have incorporated video into our evaluation studies for the last two years, and have loved the ways in which it has enriched our process and our findings. I have gotten much better at using video purposefully in evaluation, moving from a “shoot-it-and-see!” approach to a more intentional “let’s-film-this-because…” approach.

Hot Tip: Consider your purpose when incorporating video. This makes your shoot days more effective and makes it easier to sort through the footage later on.

1. Do you want to illustrate a process or method? Many complex, expert-driven processes, like teaching and coaching, are very hard to describe accurately. Video can provide a rich record of how the process or method functions from start to finish.

2. Do you want to promote reflection and analysis by a video’s subject? Video has been used for years in training programs as a means to promote self-guided practice improvement and targeted coaching.

3. Do you need a very accurate record of a conversation or interaction? We videotape important conversations and meetings among subjects so that we can generate transcripts that include verbal and non-verbal data. This is especially helpful in conference-style sessions when multiple conversations take place simultaneously.

Rad Resource: An invaluable resource for our work is Video in Qualitative Research: Analysing Social Interaction in Everyday Life from Sage Publications.  This book walks through the preparation, collection, analysis and presentation stages, drawing from the authors’ extensive professional experience.

Rad Resource: For a more theoretically focused take on the role of video in evaluation, check out Barbara Rosenstein’s article, “Video Use for Program Evaluation, A Conceptual Perspective” in Studies in Educational Evaluation 26 (2000). She explores the ways in which video can promote in-depth reflection in the context of program evaluation.

Upcoming Coffee Break Webinars: Please join me on November 10th for How to Get the Clips You Want and again on November 17th for Incorporating Video Into Evaluation Reports. Follow the link to learn more and register.

This contribution is from the aea365 Tip-a-Day Alerts, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. Want to learn more from Corey? She’ll be presenting as part of the Evaluation 2011 Conference Program, November 2-5 in Anaheim, California.

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