In Their Own Words: Student Key Learning Experiences in an Introductory Evaluation Course

Student reflections on their key learning experiences in evaluation courses can be useful data for educators seeking to understand which aspects of their teaching practice are most impactful.  This practice note describes how we analyze students’ reflections on their key learning experiences using 1) grounded theory, 2) Fink’s taxonomy of significant learning (2013), and 3) the American Evaluation Association’s Competencies framework (2018), and how we use the frameworks and data to understand our teaching of evaluation practice. 
 
English

Pinpointing Where to Start: A Reflective Analysis on the Introductory Evaluation Course

This reflective analysis details four approaches to an introductory course for evaluation learners within a methodologically focused graduate-level program on statistics, measurement, and research design. Evidence of student learning outcomes, or SLOs, was utilized within Gibbs’ reflective cycles to redesign the course using Fink’s integrated course design process. The purpose of each approach varied along a theory-practice continuum, including theory, theory-to-practice, practice, and evidence building.

English

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.
English

Fieldwork Experience as Cultural Immersion: Two International Students and Their Professor Reflect on a Recent Evaluation Practicum

In this Practice Note, two international students (one from Latin America and the other from West Africa), reflect on their first evaluation experience gained through an evaluation practicum course. The paper includes a reflection on four main cultural challenges faced by these international students related to immersion in the culture and program context, interpersonal and communication skills, learning the language of evaluation and telling the story.
English

Using People Styles for Interpersonal Competence: Encouraging Purposeful Reflection on Communication Behaviors

The purpose of this article is to revitalize the idea of soft skills as an important part of evaluator training through reflecting on the use of the People Styles Assessment Inventory (Bolton & Bolton, 2009) as a reflective exercise in a course with masters and Ph. D. level evaluation and measurement students.
English

Helping Students Reflect on Their Interpersonal Skills: The Team Performance Scale (TPS)

Many instructors of program evaluation incorporate team-based service projects into their courses. What is often overlooked is that it provides a golden opportunity for students to reflect on the interpersonal skills necessary for teamwork. This paper explains how two instructors leveraged service project working groups to include reflection on interpersonal skills. Minor changes were made to the Team Performance Scale (TPS), a tool used for Team-Based Learning in medical education.

English

If Building Trust Is Important, How Do We Teach Novice Evaluators to Do It?

People and relationships matter in evaluation. While our literature is replete with examples and guidance about how one might go about using interpersonal skills in practice and the reasons why these skills are important, the pedagogy of interpersonal skill development regarding evaluation remains underdeveloped. In this practice note, an evaluation educator shares an intentional, purposeful, and ongoing activity for helping novice evaluators learn to build trust with stakeholders during a semester-long evaluation practice course.

English

Teaching Africa-Rooted Evaluation: Using a “Model Client” Innovation to Help Shift the Locus of Knowledge Production

Recent years have seen the emergence in both academic generally and evaluation specifically a strong “Made in Africa” discourse, urging us to critically reflect on how we might integrate African methods, culture and knowledge systems into both teaching and practice. This teaching practice note reflects on one small, but potentially significant step towards this through a curriculum redesign of a core introductory module on University of Cape Town’s Masters in Program Evaluation.
English