ToE TIG Week: A Second Week of Hot Tips, Rad Resources, and Reflections from Evaluation Educators

Hello! We are Tiffany Smith (@tiffany7001), Aileen Reid, and John LaVelle, the leadership team for the Teaching of Evaluation TIG (ToE TIG).

The team is overjoyed: There were so many evaluation educators eager to share their ideas and insights about good teaching of evaluation we’re back for a second week, loaded with more tips, tricks, and resources!

The topics presented in these weeks are relevant to educators in a wide array of contexts and are great for practitioners to review as they consider building capacity in the organizations/programs in which they work. There’s something in here for everyone, and we’re glad you’re back for more!

Lessons Learned from last week’s articles:

  • Reflect on your teaching philosophy and practices (what makes your teaching engaging and successful?) and get connected with other evaluators who also teach these skills, attitudes, and dispositions. Reaching out for strategies, tips, and lessons learned is always an option – and a great opportunity to make key connections in your own practice.
  • Our students come from an array of different contexts. Help them to connect to evaluation in a way that is both personally engaging and true to the systematic and scientific nature of the discipline.
  • Bringing collaborative reflection into the classroom to engage in self- and cultural awareness can help to develop more socially responsive and collaborative evaluators. Be intentional and provide space for thinking through critical questions with your learners.
  • Understanding Research on Evaluation (RoE) is important for practitioners and academics – it is important to think about the role of RoE and engaging in scholarship in the formal education of future evaluators.

Hot Tips:

Stay tuned and look out for the key lessons learned this week. The Teaching of Evaluation TIG leadership is interested in continuing to reflect on the important themes (feeling qualitative!?) through these two weeks of posts… but we want to reflect WITH you!

What are the running threads?

What will you change or add to your teaching practice? Tweet about it using hashtags #teachingofeval and #TOEWeekAEA365!

Here are my (@tiffany7001) reflections on lessons to come:

  • Teaching interpersonal and reflection skills in evaluation is critically important (including the practices of humility and self-compassion!) and making time and space to be intentional about these skills is key.
  • Whether you are building capacity with clients or teaching in the classroom with future PhDs, addressing learners’ preconceptions about evaluation early on in the project is key to “bringing them in,” so to speak. What do they already come to the table believing and thinking about evaluation? Engage them with active learning instead of relying on lectures and PowerPoint slides!
  • It is important to face the “hard stuff” head on, including the “messiness” of the evaluation process.
  • Bringing cultural responsiveness into the classroom and relating examples to the students’ context builds understanding and personal investment in the evaluation process.

What do you think? Looking forward to seeing your tweets! 🙂

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating TOE TIG Week with our colleagues in the Teaching of Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our TOE 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 aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

1 thought on “ToE TIG Week: A Second Week of Hot Tips, Rad Resources, and Reflections from Evaluation Educators”

  1. Sandy Youmans

    Thank you for sharing these helpful tips! Interpersonal and reflection skills are definitely a big part of being an evaluator. It is such a privilege to be able to hear the stories from multiple stakeholders invested in a program and to be able to advocate on their behalf!

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