Reflective Practice Should Not Be Optional: Exploring an Essential and Unforgettable Competency for Evaluators

Session Number: 1292
Track: Teaching of Evaluation
Session Type: Skill-Building Workshop
Tags: Evaluative Thinking, learning from evaluation, reflection, Reflective Practice, Teaching of Evaluation
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Libby Smith, M.S. [Project Manager - Applied Research Center & Program Director - MS Applied Psychology - University of Wisconsin-Stout - Applied Research Center]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Tiffany Lee Smith [Senior Evaluation Specialist - University of North Carolina At Greensboro]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Deven Lee Wisner [Principal Evaluator - Empact Solutions / Wisner Analytics, LLC]
Time: Nov 02, 2018 (08:00 AM - 09:00 AM)
Room: Hilton - Veterans Meeting Room A

Audience Level: All Audiences

Session Abstract (150 words): 

Reflective practice (RP) was identified as an essential competency domain for evaluators (Stevahn, King, Ghere, & Minnema, 2005), but recent work by an AEA taskforce to identify competencies for adoption found RP missing.  The presenters will argue this is a critical omission and evaluators must be trained in the art of RP. Attendees can expect to leave this session with a strong understanding of the value of RP and experience with a hands-on tool for engaging in RP. The DATA model (Smith, Barlow, Peters, & Skolits, 2015) provides a simple framework that allows evaluators and teams to describe, analyze, theorize, and take action based on the results. Participants will leave with a pragmatic tool for critical reflection that they can take into their own practice. Practitioners who wish to stay relevant in a crowded evaluation market will find that RP is an invaluable tool for transforming their work and their own thinking.