Adaptive Evaluation: Theory and Practice

Session Number: 1790
Track: Mixed Methods Evaluation
Session Type: Demonstration
Tags: adaptive evaluation, Rubrics, systems
Session Facilitator: Mary McEathron [Executive Director - Rainbow Research Inc.]
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Glenda Holladay Eoyang [Executive Director - HSD Institute]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Judy Oakden [Director - Kinnect Group]
Time: Nov 10, 2017 (01:45 PM - 03:15 PM)
Room: Washington 5

Theme: Learning to Enhance Evaluation
Audience Level: Intermediate

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Evaluation of situated, complex learning has received a great deal of interest in the past decade. Evaluators face recurring challenges because complex systems are dynamic; massively entangled; emergent; known for unintended consequences; and prone to shifts in dynamics over time.

Eoyang and Oakden have developed an evaluation approach based on complexity science, Adaptive Evaluation, that combines techniques from Human Systems Dynamics and Evaluation-Specific Methodology to help address these challenges. Their simple, flexible approach accommodates complex conditions to support evaluation. It incorporates the use of a range of mixed methods data collection approaches to enhance evaluation practice.

Participants will leave the session with ideas that respond to their current evaluation challenges in education settings including:

  • new ways to think about complex, systemic evaluations
  • complex systems-based evaluation tools and techniques to use for
    • framing
    • data collection - using a range of different data sources
    • analysis
    • synthesis and reporting.