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Courtney Heppner and Sarah Rand on Producing Online Evaluation Reports

Greetings from the University of Chicago! We are Courtney Heppner and Sarah Rand, Associate Project Directors for Research and Evaluation at the Center for Elementary Mathematics and Science Education (CEMSE) at the University of Chicago. We will be presenting at AEA’s Annual Conference in DC about producing online evaluation reports. Sarah has blogged about online evaluation reports before here. Our team recently completed a new online report on computer science education. You can view that report here.

Lessons Learned:

Online reports allow us to present information in a powerful and dynamic way: Long gone are the days of PDF reports full of tables, charts and lots of text. Online reporting allows us to insert audio and video clips into the report as well as interactive infographics, making the information more engaging for the reader.

Online report development requires the right team of people and is a true test in collaboration: Online reporting requires more than just the evaluation team – it also requires web developers and designers. This team must come together to agree on a process and execute within the set timeline. For more on our work in developing an infographic with a team from Visual.ly, read Sarah’s previous post here.

Online report development requires both time and money: Having more people contribute to the reporting process in turn requires more time and money than it takes to create a traditional PDF report. Our team now builds this cost in to new evaluation budgets.

Rad Resource: One of the best resources we’ve found in our online reporting endeavor has been feedback from our clients. We encourage anyone who decides to develop an online report to follow up with the client to get feedback. Questions we asked the client included:

  • Which part(s) of the report were the most valuable to you?
  • Did you share the online report with anyone? If so, what kind of response did you get about the report?
  • How did you share the report with others? What social media tools did you use?
  • How could we improve our online reporting in the future?
  • Was the online report more useful to your organization than a PDF?

Rad Resource:  Us!  Join us to learn more about online reporting during our session at the AEA Annual conference on Saturday October 19th!

This contribution is from the aea365 Tip-a-Day Alerts, by and for evaluators, from theAmerican Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. Want to learn more from Courtney and Sarah? They’ll be presenting as part of the Evaluation 2013 Conference Program, October 14-19 in Washington D.C.

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