Susan Kistler on New Session Formats for Evaluation 2012

My name is Susan Kistler and I am the American Evaluation Association’s Executive Director and aea365 ongoing Saturday contributor. This has been a great week, highlighting posts from AEA’s Data Visualization and Reporting Topical Interest Group. The DVR TIG’s willingness to lead the way in exploring reporting alternatives has lead to a change in the 2012 session lineup at AEA’s annual conference. Read more about it below.

Get Involved: At its most recent meeting, the AEA Board of Directors took up the issue of conference session and evaluation reporting quality. We’ll be rolling out an initiative over the next year aimed at helping evaluators both to improve their conference presentations specifically and their presentation and reporting skills more generally.

As a very first step, based on feedback and beta testing from 2011, we’re trialing two new session types for Evaluation 2012:

Ignite Presentations: Ignite presentations use 20 PowerPoint slides that automatically advance every 15 seconds for a total presentation time of just 5 minutes. Ignite slides tend to incorporate excellence in slide design in support of a clearly articulated message. Presenters need to practice in order to get their timing down and their quality up. Ignite presentations are challenging, exciting, and dare we say it, they can be quite fun to create, to give, and to attend. The DVR TIG tried out Ignite presentations during its 2011 Business Meeting. The best way to get a feel for them may be to take a look at these two from among those that were recorded: Stephanie Evergreen giving the DVR TIG Business Report, and John Gargani on How to Build the Visualcy of Your Clients.

Brown Bag Idea Exchange: Brown Bag sessions are 45 minutes in length and all will be held during the Saturday lunch break of the conference and attendees are welcome to bring a bagged lunch or snack. They are relatively small and informal discussion-based gatherings, aimed at building networks and exploring ideas. Although the same length as a roundtable, there is no formal presentation, instead the presenters ensure that there is time for introductions among those in attendance and come with questions or ideas to spark discussion around a particular topic area.

I urge you to consider submitting a proposal for AEA’s 2012 conference to be held this November in Minneapolis, whether in one of our new session formats or one that is tried and true. The proposal submission deadline is March 16, and you can learn more and find proposal submission forms online on the Evaluation 2012 Conference Website.

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5 thoughts on “Susan Kistler on New Session Formats for Evaluation 2012”

  1. Pingback: Susan Kistler on a Night to Remember · AEA365

  2. Chad, hopefully, in the future. Right now we’re still going to have to get over the hurdle of recording and uploading as a group and such. Last year, the DVR TIG was amazing (and self-sufficient) in getting their ignite presentations recorded and uploaded.

  3. Love the new Ignite format. I had to see an example online before I could make the connection with the presentation format. I wonder, at some point, if we could link these presentations automatically to our TIG websites like we do for the blog entries.

    Keep up the great work!


  4. I applaud AEA’s efforts to improve the presentation and reporting competencies of evaluators. I like the Ignite format. I’ve blogged about the Pecha-Kucha method which is 20 slides in six minutes and forty seconds (a long time compared to Ignite). See for a link to Daniel Pink’s example. Also, see TED presentations for an Ignite-like approach to the use of images and video.

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