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ToE TIG Week: Introducing a week of teaching and learning about evaluation by John LaVelle, Tiffany Smith and Aileen Reid

Hello!  We are John LaVelle (University of Minnesota), Tiffany Smith (@tiffany7001, University of North Carolina at Greensboro), and Aileen Reid (University of North Carolina at Greensboro).  We are the leadership team for the Teaching of Evaluation TIG (ToE TIG), and we are thrilled to introduce this week of posts on teaching and learning about evaluation.  This week we will be hearing from two groups of authors: AEA ToE members, and 2019 winners of the AEA/SAGE Early Career Teaching of Evaluation (ECTE) award.

We asked our ToE teaching colleagues to respond to two straightforward but tricky questions in whatever creative way they wanted to contribute:

  • How do you know good teaching of evaluation when you see it?
  • What tips, tricks, and resources do you recommend for people trying to improve their teaching of evaluation?

We asked our AEA/Sage ECTE award winners to:

  • Reflect on their key learning experiences at the 2019 AEA conference.
  • Describe how they will incorporate their learning into their future teaching.

For the rest of the week you will hear about topics related to teaching and learning evaluation. In addition, the ToE TIG wanted to share some Hot Tips and Rad Resources for all of you interested in teaching and learning in evaluation as well!

Hot Tip: Sage Publishing has collaborated with ToE TIG to offer financial support for teachers of evaluation.  The call for applications goes out in summer, and this year we asked applicants to share with us a cover letter, short curriculum vita (5-10 pages), evidence of teaching effectiveness, a copy of their teaching philosophy, and a statement on how they want to bridge between evaluation theory and practice in their courses.  In the past, winners of this award have received funding to come to the conference, so look forward to seeing the call in your email soon!

Rad Resource: Writing a teaching philosophy can be a difficult process. However, the teaching philosophy is highly valuable because the process of its construction forces us to think about our personal views about evaluation and describe them for people that may or may not have our background and experience. Check out this AEA365 post about writing a personal statement on evaluation).  We also found this article from the Chronicle of Higher Education and this website from the Ohio State University’s Center for the Advancement of Teaching! Two excellent resources for getting started with teaching philosophy and personal statements.

Rad Resource: In our experience, the people that teach evaluation courses are an accessible and generous group that are constantly innovating with new ways of teaching and mentoring other evaluators.  If you are interested in what they are teaching, reach out to them and ask for a copy of their syllabus and/or a list of recommended readings.  You can find contact information for most evaluation programs on the AEA website or by accessing the 2018 Directory of Evaluation Education Programs in the United States.

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.

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