Sheila B Robinson on the AEA Summer Evaluation Institute

Hello Evaluation Learners! I’m Sheila B. Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor. Today, I’m writing about AEA’s Summer Evaluation Institute, a perennial fabulous learning opportunity. Anyone who knows me knows that I love learning and meeting with evaluation colleagues, and this is the perfect opportunity for both.

Registration is now open for the 2016 AEA Summer Evaluation Institute – June 26 – June 29 in Atlanta, GA. Here’s a quick preview of just a few  of the 26 high quality courses offered. Note: Descriptions are truncated, so please visit the site for complete descriptions:

Rad Resources: 

UFO’s, Bigfoot and Evidence-based Programs: What Counts as Proof for Program Development and Evaluation with Michael Schooley and Aisha Tucker-Brown

Regardless of whether you are questioning the existence of UFO’s or trying to identify evidence-based programs, one tenet holds true in program evaluation: “absence of proof is not necessarily proof of absence.”  This workshop will present a continuum of evidence and framework for assessing evidence to determine best practices. Approaches to assessing and building evidence will be covered, with the relative strengths and weaknesses of various approaches discussed.

Data visualization using R: Are you ready to ggplot? with Tony Fujs

Independently of evaluations context and design, a constant for evaluators is the need to effectively communicate results to their audience, so these results can be used to create sustainable change. This is why data visualization is such an important tool for evaluators. In this skill-building session, attendees will learn how to use R and the grammar of graphics to produce powerful and scalable visualizations.

Introduction to Communities of Practice (CoPs) with Leah Neubauer and Thomas Archibald

This interactive workshop will introduce Communities of Practice (CoPs) and its application for evaluators and evaluation. CoPs are designed to engage learners in a process of knowledge constructed around common interests, ideas, passions, and goals—the things that matter to the people in the group. Through identifying the three core CoP elements (domain, community and practice), members work to generate a shared repertoire of knowledge and resources.

A Participatory Method for Engaging Stakeholders with Evaluation Findings with  Adrienne Adams

In this workshop, learn how to facilitate the “Expectations to Change (E2C)” process, a six-step, interactive, workshop-based method for guiding evaluation stakeholders from establishing performance standards (i.e., “expectations”) to formulating action steps toward desired programmatic change. The E2C process is designed to engage stakeholders with their evaluation findings as a means of promoting evaluation use and building evaluation capacity.

Rad Resources: The Institute opens with two pre-institute workshops:

  • Introduction to Evaluation with Jan Jernigan
  • A Primer on Evaluation Theories and Approaches with Daniela Schroeter 

Hot Tip: Act fast to register for the 2016 AEA Summer Evaluation Institute! Courses do fill up!

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.

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