Evaluation 2017: From Learning to Action

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Think Fast, Act Faster: Short, Flexible, and Useful Evaluations

Session Number: 2851
Track: Graduate Student and New Evaluators
Session Type: Poster
Tags: new evaluators
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Ruqayyah N. Abu-Obaid [Doctoral Student - Western Michigan University]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Aaron W. Kates [Doctoral Student - Western Michigan University]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Tara M Lightner [Business Analyst - Western Michigan University]
Fourth Author or Discussion Group Leader: Lenore H. Yaeger [Doctoral Student - Western Michigan University]
Time: Nov 08, 2017 (07:00 PM - 08:30 PM)
Room: Poster 96

Theme: Learning What Works and Why
Audience Level: Beginner

Session Abstract (150 words): 

This session is about the experience of emerging evaluators learning from other evaluators and their reflections of what worked and why.  A small team of graduate students conducted a mixed-methods evaluation for an after school music program for elementary students.  The program had fairly comprehensive data on the students, but no formal evaluation or data from the parents and guardians. This evaluation took place over a 16-week period, and the team devised a focused, short-term, mixed-methods technique to gather baseline data of parent satisfaction, as well as elicit stories.  The authors designed the evaluation in a utilization-focused framework given the interest in a formative evaluation from the client. The evaluation team developed and implemented a parent satisfaction survey and an interview instrument. This paper is not simply a description of the evaluation, but focuses on the challenges of and strategies for conducting formative and deep evaluations in time-constrained circumstances.

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