Feb
11
Filed Under (program evaluation) by Molly on 11-02-2016 and tagged , , ,

Mark Sanborn,mark sanborn who is a best selling author and leadership expert, says:

More important than achieving your goals is pursuing your potential. Then I found this cartoon:potential(Thank you, Doug Savage, for the cartoon.)

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Jan
25
Filed Under (Methodology, program evaluation) by Molly on 25-01-2016 and tagged , , ,

Alan Rickman quote

Alan Rickman Alan-Rickman died this month. He was an actor of my generation; one that provided me with much entertainment. I am sad. Then I saw this quote on the power of stories. How stories explain. How stories can educate. How stories can help reduce bias.  And I am reminded how stories are evaluative.

Dick Krueger dick-1997 did a professional development session (then called a “pre-session”) many years ago. It seems relevant now. Of course, I couldn’t find my notes (which were significant) so I did an online search, using “Dick Krueger and stories” as my search terms. I was successful! (See link.) When I went to the link, he had a whole section on story and story telling. What I remember most about that session is what he has listed under “How to Analyze the Story”. Specifically the four points he lists under problems with credibility:

  • Authenticity – Truth
  • Accuracy – Memory Problems
  • Representativeness and Sampling
  • Generalizability / Transferability

The next time you tell a story think of it in evaluative terms. And check out what Dick Krueger has to say. Read the rest of this entry »

Jan
14
Filed Under (criteria, program evaluation) by Molly on 14-01-2016 and tagged , , ,

Recently, I read that 45% of individuals make New Year’s Resolutions and only 8% actually achieve success. Hmmm…not a friendly probability. Perhaps intentions about behavior are indeed more realistic. (Haven’t seen the statistics on that potential change. Mazanian (et al, 1998) pemazman does say stated intention to change is the most significant behavioral indicator.) My intention for 2016 is to provide content related to or about evaluation that provides you with something you didn’t have before you read the post (Point one). Examples follow: Read the rest of this entry »

What do you do with your idea?got-idea

Do you hold on to it?hold idea    Give it away? give ideas away Share it?share idea

The idea is the most important thing in the world of blogs, which is a form of social media. The idea is the one characteristic that distinguishes a person. Traditionally, we tend to protect our ideas with our lives. Why patents, trademarks ®™, and copyrights © exist. Read the rest of this entry »

Dec
29
Filed Under (Methodology, program evaluation) by Molly on 29-12-2015 and tagged ,

This is the time of resolutions that will provide you with a bountiful new year, 2016. I’ve seen a lot of thoughts on what would be appropriate resolutions:  steinem wise words (Light the torches of others. Gloria Steinem) change the world  (The world needs a change. Malala Yousafzai)  gratitude-entitlement (Gratitude not entitlement. Steven Aitchison) doing best (Do your best. OGMANDINO) Read the rest of this entry »

Dec
18
Filed Under (Uncategorized) by Molly on 18-12-2015

Celebrate! Celebrate! Dance to your music!

The holidays are here:

happy holidays1

This is a wonderful formula for Happiness!

Happiness

Happy Holidays!

my two cents.

molly.

The OSU Extension Service conference started today (#OSUExtCon). There are concurrent sessions, plenary sessions, workshops, twitter feeds, (Jeff Hino is Tweeting), tours, receptions, and meal gatherings. There are lots of activities and they cover four days. But I want to talk about conference evaluation.

The thought occurs to me: “What difference is this making?” Ever the evaluator, I realize that the selection will be different next year (it was different last year) so I wonder how valuable is it to evaluate the concurrent sessions? Given that time doesn’t stand still (fortunately {or not, depending}), the plenary sessions will also be different. Basically, the conference this year will be different from the conference the next time. Yes, it will be valuable for the presenters to have feedback on what they have done and it will be useful for conference planners to have feed back on various aspects of the conference. I still have to ask, “Did it make a difference?”

A long time colleague of mine (formerly at Pennsylvania State University penn-state-logo), Nancy Ellen Kiernannancy ellen kiernan proposed a method of evaluating conferences that I think is important to keep and use. She suggested the use of “Listening Post” as an evaluation method. She says, “The “Listening Posts” consisted of a group of volunteer conference participants who agreed beforehand to “post” themselves in the meeting rooms, corridors, and break rooms and record what conferees told them about the conference as it unfolded [Not unlike Twitter, but with value; parenthetical added]. Employing listening posts is an informal yet structured way to get feedback at a conference or workshop without making participants use pencil and paper.” She put it in “Tipsheet #5” and published the method in Journal of Extension (JoE), the peer reviewed monthly on-line publication.

Quoting from the abstract of the JoE article, “Extension agents often ask, “Isn’t there an informal but somewhat structured way to get feedback at a conference or workshop without using a survey?” This article describes the use of ‘Listening Posts’ and the author gives a number of practical tips for putting this qualitative strategy to use. Benefits include: quality feedback, high participation and enthusiastic support from conferees and the chance to build program ownership among conference workers. Deficits: could exclude very shy persons or result in information most salient to participants.”

I’ve used this method. It works. It does solicit information about what difference the conference made, not whether the participants liked or didn’t like the conference. (This is often what is asked in the evaluation.) Nancy Ellen suggests that the listening post collectors ask the following questions:

  1. “What did you think of the idea of …this conference? and
  2. What is one idea or suggestion that you found useful for your professional work? (The value/difference question)
  3. Then, she suggests, that the participant tell anything else about the conference that is important for us to know.

Make sure the data collectors are distinctive. Make sure they do not ask any additional questions. The results will be interesting.

Dec
03
Filed Under (program evaluation) by Molly on 03-12-2015 and tagged , , , , , ,

The US just celebrated Thanksgiving, the annual day of thankfulness. Thanksgiving Canada celebrated in mid October (October 12). Although other countries celebrate versions of the holiday, originally the US and Canada celebrated in honor of the previous harvest.

Certainly, the Guiding Principles Guiding principles and the Program Evaluation Standards program evaluation standards provide evaluators with a framework to conduct evaluationEvaluation3 work. The work for which I am thankful.

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Nov
18
Filed Under (Methodology, program evaluation) by Molly on 18-11-2015 and tagged , , ,

I got back to the office Monday after spending last week in Chicago at the AEA annual conference, Evaluation 2015.Evaluation 2015 theme Next year AEA will be in Atlanta, October 24-29, 2016.  atlanta-georgia-skyline Mark your calendars!

I am tired. I take a breath (many breaths), try to catch up (I don’t), and continue to read my email (hundreds of email). I’m sure there are some I will miss–I always do.  In the meantime, I process what I experienced. And pass the conference through my criteria for a successful conference: Did I

  1. See three (and visit with) long time friends: yes.
  2. Get three new ideas: maybe.
  3. Meet three new people I’d like to add to my “friendlies” category: maybe.

Why three. Seemed like a good number; more than one (not representative) and less than five (too hard to remember). Read the rest of this entry »

Nov
03
Filed Under (program evaluation) by Molly on 03-11-2015

November 9, 2015. Chicago. (they are everywhere…everywhere).

AEA AEA logo will be holding the annual Evaluation conference there starting November 9, 2015. The theme this year put forward by President Stewart Donaldson Stewart Donaldson is Evaluation 2015 theme. And as always, much thought and preparation has gone into planning this conference. Will you be there? I will. Read the rest of this entry »