Collaborative Evaluation Designs as an Authentic Course Assessment

Strategies for optimizing evaluator education is an ongoing discussion in the field of evaluation. While several options exist, formal post-secondary courses are limited in Canada. Graduate courses offered at post-secondary institutions must navigate institutional structures while creating learning opportunities that bring together the theoretical and practical competencies required for evaluators. In this practice note, we advance evaluation designs as a useful authentic assessment.
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Competency-Based Evaluation Education: Four Essential Things to Know and Do

Evaluator education must provide robust opportunities to support and assess the progressive, lifelong development of relevant knowledge and skills. If we wish to keep pace with the increasingly complex contexts in which evaluators operate, we need to better align our educational approaches with the global movement towards practice competencies guiding the profession. Key among the challenges is the lack of instructional guidance specific to a competency-based approach to evaluator education.
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UEval: Bringing Community-Based Experiential Learning to the Evaluation Classroom

This practice note describes the unique features of, and lessons learned from UEval, an innovative one-week ‘evaluation institute’ at the Faculty of Extension, University of Alberta. This initiative responds to an identified community and university need to provide contextual and socially relevant evaluation-focused educational opportunities to learners across disciplines and sectors.
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Toward an Evidence-Based Approach to Building Evaluation Capacity

Abstract: Organizations are required to evaluate their programs for both learning and accountability purposes, which has increased the need to build their internal evaluation capacity. A remaining challenge is access to tools that lead to valid evidence supporting internal capacity development. The authors share practical insights from the development and use of the Evaluation Capacity Needs Assessment tool and framework and implications for using its data to make concrete decisions within Canadian contexts.

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Influential Mentoring Practices for Navigating Challenges and Optimizing Learning During an Evaluation Internship Experience

The increased complexity of contexts that Canadian evaluators work in has important implications for evaluation education. Internship is a valued training component, yet what remains to be identified are empirically based quality indicators of the experience. Analyses of interviews with an intern, mentor, and coordinator supplemented by field notes revealed key features suggesting three influential mentoring practices: orientation to workplace context, autonomy of supervisory approach, and planning for evaluation agility.

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Introduction - Setting the Evaluation Use Context

Introduction. This special issue honours Dr. Lyn Shulha’s 25-year contributions to the Canadian field of program evaluation by bringing together the perspectives of authors from across North America to identify Dr. Shulha’s influence on their thinking and evaluation practices. Dr. Shulha’s scholarship is best described as a nonlinear influence because the effect of her work on evaluators’ thinking about collaboration, use, standards, and innovation cannot be directly traced.

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Evaluating System Change Initiatives: Advancing the Need for Adapting Evaluation Practices

This article describes key challenges experienced and addressed during the evaluation of the Government of Alberta's 10-Year Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD) Strategic Plan (2007–2017). The purpose was to understand how the strategic plan was progressing toward outcomes at the fifth year of its implementation. Following a description of the system change initiative and evaluation context, an account of key challenges for one outcome is presented, including attempts to address and the effects on the evaluation.

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Toward a Definition of Evaluation Within the Canadian Context: Who Knew This Would Be So Difficult?

This article describes the systematic examination and membership consultation process undertaken to define evaluation within the Canadian context. To that end, the article (a) presents the findings from a literature scan and analysis of social media postings, (b) considers the outcomes of the audience discussion during the presentation at the 2013 Canadian Evaluation Society conference, and (c) off ers ideas for next steps. Together, the literature scan results, social media analysis, and membership discussion reveal that no single definition currently exists.

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