Monday, May 11, 2009

Weeks ten and eleven: Conducting your evaluation

Image: Focus Group Discussion by Singapore2010

The next two weeks are scheduled for conducting your evaluations - no worries if you are a little behind with finalising your plan - you can still organise times to collect data from your participants. Some of you have negotiated extensions and will be at a different phase to the class, and this is fine. There are some pointers for your plans further on in this post. Remember to make contact if you need advice.
There was a remarkable turn out to Gordon Robinson's presentation about Maintenance Evaluation and you can listen to the recording if you were unable to make the session. It was very informative and interesting and Gordon and Craig told us about the Blender resource they use to ascertain the suitability of their training courses for eLearning. More on this later.

It is great to see so many plans up and running for us to give feedback on. People have been sending out email notices and links so make sure you give feedback to at least two people's plans. I will be giving detailed feedback on your draft plans so make sure if you have your plan on Google documents that you provide access for me - add me as a collaborator - I wont be re-writing your plan but will be able to add comments. Thanks to those of you who have done this already.

Some general tips
A few things have come to light as I am reading your plans.
  • Check the assessment and marking criteria to make sure you have included everything - my feedback will help with this.
  • Remember to prepare the plan as if you are writing a proposal to present to your managers, and/or people who know nothing about your work.
  • Write in third person not first person
  • Introduction - this needs to give a brief overview of the evaluation and lead the reader into the structure of the proposal. See Michelle's introduction for her plan plus you need to outline the sections which will be in the plan which Michelle has not yet done, but which Rachel has done well in her plan.
  • Sections can be shuffled around, for example - combine purpose and questions, combine sample and instrumentation etc. Whatever suits your approach to writing a plan as long as the items are included.
  • Timeline and budget need to be as real as possible. For example if mentioning your time - estimate the hours and add a $ amount - this gives you some practice in thinking through how long this sort of project may take.
Theory and articles - where possible base your plan on a similar type of evaluation which you have read about.
  • - the task you were given in previous weeks was designed to prepare you for this - so if you have not read an article or two about a current evaluation project you may be disadvantaged. Not only regarding time but also in having something theoretical on which to base your project - we can learn a lot from others' approaches.
  • References - use APA referencing - include at least one article.
  • Searching for articles - there is lots of stuff in the Resources area on the wiki so this is a good starting point.
  • Internet searching - there are lots of open and free articles around.
  • Remember to save to delicious and tag with eval09 so they go directly to the course wiki - material just in - area for others to see. You can also search delicious.
  • MIT library searching - have a look on the library site. You can also request articles if not available electronically or are in other libraries in NZ.
  • Google Scholar searching - search and if you have to pay for articles look for them in the MIT library journal database - failing that ask me as I have access to a University database.

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