Ideas for Interactive Focus Groups

Jun 1st, 2012 / Data Visualization
My teammate and I are running a focus group in a couple weeks. The group will be large (about 17 people) and will be with working professionals (mid-20s through mid-40s). We’d like to add a few interactive elements to this focus group so that people have a variety of ways to express themselves, move around, and have some fun.┬áHere’s our running list for activities to use during interactive focus groups.
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Researchers vs. Evaluators: How Much Do We Have in Common?

May 24th, 2012 / Data Visualization
A few years ago, I (unintentionally) accepted an evaluation position, and the contrast between research and evaluation hit me like a brick. Now, I’m fully adapted to the evaluation field, but a few of my researcher friends have asked me to blog about the similarities and differences between researchers and evaluators. We might use the same statistical formulas and methods, and we often write reports at the end of projects. But our approaches, motivations, priorities, and questions are a little different.
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Is the Evaluation Hurting the Program?

May 16th, 2012 / Data Visualization
There were some great guest speakers at the 2012 Eastern Evaluation Research Society conference but one speaker’s comments are still going through my mind. Rodney Hopson commented that he wonders whether evaluators/the evaluation are actually hurting the program rather than helping it.
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My Evaluation Pre-Test for Non-Evaluators

May 12th, 2012 / Data Visualization
I love helping non-evaluators use results to improve programs, but it’s not always easy to know where to start in terms of their knowledge about evaluation. Sometimes program staff already know a lot about evaluation but often, I’m teaching them about evaluation for the first time. So where do I begin? How do I know “where” they’re at in their readiness to dive into evaluation?
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