A recent blog (not mine) talked about the client’s evaluation use. The author says that she feels “…successful…if the client is using the data…” This statement allowed me to stop and pause and think about data use. The author continues with the comment about the difference between “…facilitating the client’s understanding of the data in order to create plans and telling the client exactly what the data means and what to do with it.”
I work with Extension professionals who may or may not understand the methodology, the data analysis, or the results. How does one communicate with Extension professionals who may be experts in their content area (cereal crops, nutrition, aging, invasive species) and know little about the survey on which they worked? Is my best guess (not knowing the content area) a good guess? Do Extension professionals really use the evaluation findings? If I suggest that the findings could say this, or suggest that the findings could say that, am I preventing a learning opportunity from happening? Do Extension professionals need the prescription to be able avoid the guess work? Do Extension professionals really want to hear what the next steps are? Or are they building their resumes two lines at a time?
I rarely hear if the evaluation findings are used and if so how. Occasionally, a PI will include me as an author if the findings are submitted for publication somewhere. Since many journals do not want a “show and tell” type reporting, this is happening less and less. (I don’t need two more lines on my CV.)
Speaking about use, the value of these blog posts are a form of use. Please take the survey here.