My name is Sally Bond. I am an independent evaluation consultant based in Pittsboro, NC and chair of the Organizational Learning & Evaluation Capacity Building (OL-ECB) TIG.
In the fall of 2012, after 24 years in evaluation and 16 years doing ECB work, I went back to school to learn more about training and development to support my ECB practice. In my intro Human Resource Development class, we read Bob Johanson’s 2009 book, Leaders Make the Future: Ten New Leadership Skills for an Uncertain World. The tenth skill he describes is Creating Commons: “New commons are shared resources that create platforms for generating wealth and value…Future leaders will be called to create new commons, to grow new places within which collaboration and mutual success can occur.” It didn’t take me long to connect this idea with the wealth of ECB training resources that we hear about every year at AEA.
Hmm, thinks I: ”…how might we capture all that great thinking and development in a searchable digital platform to share it with a wider audience?”
To answer this question, the OL-ECB TIG is hosting a think tank at the annual meeting in Atlanta this year. The name of our session is “The ECB Commons Project: Designing an Open Source Repository to Advance the Science and Practice of ECB.”
From our 2015 OL-ECB TIG Member Survey, we learned that major challenges faced by our members include tailoring learning strategies to meet clients’ particular needs and designing activities and materials that foster a variety of learning objectives. The purpose of the ECB Commons think tank is to explore the possibility of an online platform for curating and storing OL- and ECB-related curriculum, instructional materials, and assessments that help build the capacity of individuals and organizations to do and use program evaluation.
In addition to providing a central repository for the artifacts of ECB practice, other possible functions of an ECB Commons include:
- Inspiring ECB practitioners to experiment with new strategies,
- Stimulating and supporting theory-building to advance the science and practice of ECB, and
- Cultivating a virtual ECB learning community.
We will use the think tank to seek input about how an ECB Commons might foster these kinds of objectives. As OL and ECB increasingly imbue the work of all evaluators, we encourage participation by a wide variety of AEA members. We hope you’ll join us on Thursday, October 27, from 4:45-6:15 in Room L402.
The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Organizational Learning and Evaluation Capacity Building (OL-ECB) Topical Interest Group Week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our OL-ECB TIG 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.