Whether you call what you do evaluation or assessment, the American Evaluation Association’s Summer Evaluation Institute is an amazing event, sure to teach you something and give you a different perspective on the job you do.
The institute, held June 26-29, 2016, is made up of ½ day hands-on training sessions, taught by the best professionals in the field of evaluation. It’s attended by people from all over the world who want to improve their skills in different aspects of the evaluation process.
Why would you as a librarian want to attend the AEA Summer Evaluation Institute? Here are some ideas:
Let’s say you were in charge of eliminating much of your print journal collection and increasing your online journals, and you want to figure out what data you should collect that will show that your users are still getting what they need. There’s a great program called “Development and Use of Indicators for Program Evaluation” by Goldie MacDonald that covers criteria for selection of indicators. Goldie MacDonald is a Health Scientist in the Center for Global Health at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and a dynamic speaker and trainer.
Are you taking on the planning of an important project, like finding ways to ensure that your hospital administration values the contributions of your library? Logic models are great planning tools, but additionally are useful for integrating evaluation plans and strategic plans. How would you like to take a four hour class on logic models taught by the Chief Evaluation Officer at the CDC, Tom Chapel?
What if you’re a liaison librarian to your university’s biology department and you’re looking for ways to improve collaboration with the faculty? There’s a program called Evaluating and Improving Organizational Collaboration that gives participants the opportunity to increase their capacity to quantitatively and qualitatively examine the development of inter- and intra-organizational partnerships. It’s taught by Rebecca Woodland, Chair of the Department of Educational Policy and Administration at University of Massachusetts Amherst (and recognized as one of the AEA’s most effective presenters).
Maybe you’ve been responsible for a program at your public library training the community in using MedlinePlus for their health information needs. You’ve collecting a lot of data showing the success of your programs, and want to make sure your stakeholders take notice of it. How about giving them an opportunity to work with the data themselves? There’s a program called: A Participatory Method for Engaging Stakeholders with Evaluation Findings, taught by Adrienne Adams at Michigan State University.
This is only a small sampling of the great workshops at the Summer Evaluation Institute.
For those of you who don’t know much about the American Evaluation Association: The AEA is an international professional association devoted to the application and exploration of program evaluation, personnel evaluation, technology, and many other forms of evaluation. Evaluation involves assessing the strengths and weaknesses of programs, policies, personnel, products, and organizations to improve their effectiveness. AEA has approximately 7000 members representing all 50 states in the United States as well as over 60 foreign countries.
Cindy and I will be there – we hope to see you there too!