Integrating Traditional Evaluation with Agent-Based Simulation of Complex Behavior


Dr. Jonathan Morell—Director of Evaluation, Fulcrum Corporation
Dr. Van Parunak—Senior Scientist, SoarTech
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Location: 4410 Ellsworth Hall
Time: Noon – 1pmWe will make the case for continually iterating between traditional evaluation methods and agent based simulation over the course of an evaluation’s life cycle. First we will discuss the value of any kind of simulation as an evaluation tool. We will then discuss the nature of complex systems and show why agent-based simulation provides information that would not otherwise be available. We will conclude with a demonstration of a scenario in which traditional evaluation methods and an executable agent based model inform each other in an evaluation of best practice adoption. The result of using both approaches will be enhanced ability to anticipate unexpected results of program behavior, and deeper understanding of the implicit assumptions that guide program development and program execution.

Link to Dr. Morell’s site: http://www.jamorell.com/

Three-Paper Dissertation: Guidelines and Panel Discussion


Dr. Chris Coryn – Director of the IDPE, WMU
Dr. Kurt Wilson – Former IDPE Student, WMU
Carl Westine – Current IDPE Student, WMU

January 22, 2014
Noon – 1pm
4410 Ellsworth Hall

Guidelines for the new IDPE three-paper dissertation format and strategies on how to choose the right dissertation format for you will be discussed. Additionally, the first two IDPE students to use the three-paper dissertation format will talk about their experiences and lessons learned.

Evaluation Cafe and Workshop with Dr. Beverly Parsons


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Systems-oriented Evaluation: From Afterthought to Forethought
Dr. Beverly Parsons – Executive Director InSites and President-Elect of AEA
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Noon – 1:30 pm
Location: 4410 Ellsworth HallIn the Evaluation Café, Dr. Beverly Parsons provides a framework for developing a systems-oriented evaluation. She provides a handout showing a step-by-step process for positioning a systems-oriented evaluation to fit a particular context. She illustrates how to zoom in and out between a large-scale evaluation framework and a specific evaluation using a systems orientation. She has used this framework in the education, social services, and health fields, and is currently working on its connection to environmental sustainability.
Cafe Slides
Handout 1

Workshop: Tools and Processes for Conducting Systems-Oriented Evaluation
Dr. Beverly Parsons – Executive Director InSites and President-Elect of AEA
Thursday, December 5, 2013
1:45 pm – 3:30 pm
Location: 4410 Ellsworth Hall

During the workshop, Dr. Beverly Parsons provides practical systems-oriented evaluation tools and processes organized around four phases of evaluation—evaluation design; data collection; making meaning from data; and shaping practice. The focus within the design phase is on the connection of a specific evaluation to a larger systems change or sustainability purpose. (This is a transition from the topic of the Evaluation Café.) The data collection phase discussion focuses on systems-oriented questions. The questions draw on multiple systems theories. The conversation about making meaning from data brings in visualization of data interpretation and consideration of system dynamics. The shaping practice discussion focuses on using evaluation results and processes within communities of practice that are designed to address systems change and sustained movement in a desired direction.

Workshop Slides

Handout 1

Handout 2

Handout 3

Handout 4

 

Walking the Line: Reflections on Evaluation Practice Across Contexts


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Walking the Line: Reflections on Evaluation Practice Across Contexts
Juna Z. Snow, Ph.D., Senior Evaluation Specialist, The Research Group, Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Location: 4410 Ellsworth HallAbstract: Dr. Snow will share professional experiences since completing her doctoral degree in 2005 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. “Walking the line” refers to balancing the worlds of academia and consulting with inherent tensions and ill-aligned purposes. Dr. Snow’s academic specialty is educational evaluation, with content areas of science and technology in education, while her evaluation practice has proven to be transdisciplinary, taking her across contexts of railroad switching operations, food and wine hospitality, and sleep health hygiene. Dr. Snow intends this to be a dialogic presentation, welcoming questions from attendees specifically about her professional experiences and lessons learned since becoming an evaluation practitioner who has worked within the academic, governmental, and independent-consulting sectors.

Winning Evaluation Grants and Contracts: Tips and Tricks for New Investigators


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Winning Evaluation Grants and Contracts: Tips and Tricks for New Investigators
Dr. Daniela Schroeter- Director of Research, The Evaluation Center
Wednesday, November 6, 2013
Location: The Evaluation Center, 4410 Ellsworth Hall

This informal presentation will provide guidance on how to pursue grants and contracts in evaluation. Topic areas covered will include identifying opportunities, writing and re-writing different aspects of proposals, and developing relationships and networks. Participation from experienced principal investigators is encouraged to stimulate discussion and share experiences with different funding agencies and from a range of perspectives. Students, junior staff, and other new investigators are invited to submit questions in advance to the café or to raise questions during the presentation.

Pizza Evaluation


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Pizza Evaluation
Alex Manga – IDPE student
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
Location: 4410 Ellsworth Hall

This Evaluation Café will focus on criteria used in commercial applications to evaluate pizza quality and product positioning. A brief history of pizza origins will be discussed; as well as an in-depth look at today’s industry standards for pizza quality across multiple dimensions. A few of the questions that will be addressed in this Evaluation Café include: What is good pizza sauce? What is the difference between franchise and local pizza sauces? How important is cheeses? How do pizza connoisseurs evaluate pizza? What standards do they use? How can I be a pizza connoisseur?

CANCELED AEA Evaluation 2013 Practice Session


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CANCELED – AEA Evaluation 2013 Practice Session

Meta-Analysis as a Method of Multi-Site Evaluation: An Example from International Development


Video coming soon…

Meta-Analysis as a Method of Multi-Site Evaluation: An Example from International Development
Dr. Chris Coryn—Director of IDPE, WMU
Kristin A. Hobson—IDPE Student, WMU
Robert McCowen—IDPE Student, WMU
Location: 4450 Sangren Hall

Although interest in multi-site evaluation seemingly has grown, with a nascent body of literature, most of the literature on multi-site evaluation has come from writings about place, group, and cluster randomized controlled trials. However, guidance on how to execute uncontrolled multi-site evaluations is scarce and usually treats sites as homogeneous. In this Evaluation Café, the presenters will discuss and demonstrate how meta-analysis techniques were used to evaluate the effects of Heifer International projects in Albania, Nepal, and Uganda, with an emphasis on nutritional outcomes for project participants.

Conversation with Craig and Karen


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Conversation with Craig and Karen
Dr. Craig Russon – Senior Evaluation Officer, International Labour Organization, Geneva, Switzerland and Karen Russon- President, Evaluation Capacity Development Group (ECDG), Ferney-Voltaire, France
Wednesday, July 17, 2013
11am – NoonLocation: Evaluation Center, 4405 Ellsworth Hall

The Key to Dissertating: Defining Your Contribution


Slides

The Key to Dissertating: Defining Your Contribution
Dr. Amy Gullickson—Senior Lecturer, Centre for Program Evaluation, Melbourne Graduate School of Education
Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Noon-1pmDissertations are based around contributions. However, this term is often not very clearly defined or explained, and you end up relying solely on your committee members to tell you whether or not your proposed topic or finished work is “a contribution.” No matter where you are in the process of your PhD, understanding what a contribution is (and how your dissertation will make one) can help you communicate effectively with others about your work AND keep you on track and focused. This ecafe will be a quick workshop that will help you understand what makes a contribution and get you started on defining the contribution your work will make. It will be useful for those who are

  • just starting coursework
  • recruiting committee members
  • approaching comps
  • drafting your dissertation prospectus or proposal
  • inviting participants into your data collection
  • writing up findings
  • preparing for your oral defense
  • discussing your dissertation with colleagues