My name is John LaVelle from Louisiana State University. It is my pleasure to lead a number of evaluation and applied methodology courses for graduate and undergraduate students. All of my courses include service-learning and experiential learning components to help reinforce the learning objectives and provide operational/conceptual support for community partners.
A concept that that stakeholders and students alike seem to struggle with is triangulation. My sense is that conversations on threats to construct validity and the advantages of triangulation for establishing trustworthiness tend not to be common in most organizations and households, and I struggled with finding a way to communicate this with students and stakeholders. I imagined a responsive process to help my students explore triangulation using the upper limits of my art skills: squares, circles, and letters. The following is the iterative script I used in a graduate course on qualitative and mixed methods.
Hot tip: This narrative seems to work best when the example is from your stakeholders’ experience, project, or something they find engaging. The example I used in class was inspired by a student comment about selfies at football games the previous weekend. Let your stakeholders take the example and run with it. My experience is that their ownership of the example makes it “real” and can help stakeholders apply the concept to multiple areas of their work.
Hot Tip: Adapt this exploratory script to help illustrate any sort of triangulation. Examples include professional discipline (e.g., education, policy, evaluation, social work, psychology, etc.), social science theoretical framework, inquiry methodology, data analysis, and reporting strategy.
Hot Tip: Have as much fun as you can with this example. Trust your stakeholders or students to have the content expertise. You, as the evaluator, bring the discovery process, grounding, and sense of humor.
In the spirit of humor lightness in discussing something very important, this image will be used to illustrate the example tomorrow.
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