Jeanne Hubelbank on Assessing Audience or Client Knowledge in a Sweet Way

Hello, my name is Jeanne Hubelbank. I am an independent evaluation consultant. Most of my work is in higher education where, most recently, I help faculty evaluate their classes, develop proposals, and evaluate professional development programs offered to public school teachers. Sometimes, I am asked to make presentations or conduct workshops on evaluation. When doing this, I find it helpful to know something about the audience’s background. Clickers, hand raising, holding up colored cards, standing up, and clapping are ways to approach this. A recent AEA365 post, Innovative Reporting Part I: The Data Diva’s Chocolate Box, that showed how to present results on candy wrappers served as an impetus for another way to introduce evaluation and to assess people’s understanding of it.

Instead of results, write evaluation terms such as use, user, and methods on stickers and place them on the bottom of Hershey’s Kisses®; one word to a kiss. Participants arrange their candy in any format that they think represents how one approaches the process of conducting an evaluation. This can give one a quick view of how the participants view evaluation and most people like to eat the candy afterwards.

Hot tips:

  • Use three-quarter inch dotsHubelbank
  • Hand write or print terms you want your clients to display
  • Besides Hershey’s Kisses® provide Starbursts®, for those who are allergic or adverse to chocolate
  • Use different colored kisses for key terms, such as use and uses in silver and assessment in red, for a quick view on where people place them in the process
  • Wrap each collection of candy terms into a piece of plastic wrap and tie with a curled ribbon
  • Ask people to arrange candy in any format that they think represents how one approaches the process of doing an evaluation
  • You can do this before and after a presentation, but if you do it again, remind people to wait to eat.

Rad Resources:

Susan Kistler’s chocolate results

Stephanie Everygreen’s cookie results and her book Presenting Data Effectively: Communicating Your Findings for Maximum Impact.

Hallie Preskill and Darlene Russ-Eft’s book Building Evaluation Capacity: 72 Activities for Teaching and Training.

Michael Q. Patton’s book Creative Evaluation.

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 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

2 thoughts on “Jeanne Hubelbank on Assessing Audience or Client Knowledge in a Sweet Way”

  1. From a public health perspective, an alternate approach would use mandarin oranges for posting messages! 🙂

  2. Susan Kistler

    Jeanne, I love it! And…I appreciate the shoutout.

    Maybe we could do a piece on “dots through the evaluation lifecycle” – Lyn Paleo and Denece Dodson did a post on using dots for assessment here and there’s always dots for decision making and planning. Hmmm…. 🙂

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