Kristin will be presenting a Birds of a Feather session at AEA in Washington, DC, November 6-11. She will be presenting with Linda Thurston (Kansas State University), Pam Bishop (University of Tennessee, Knoxville) and Lisa Kaczmarczyk (PhD Consulting, LLC). The session is entitled “Multi-scale evaluation and INCLUDES Alliance projects.”
When I saw this article come through my feed this morning I said “yes, yes, and more yes!”:
Having written many a 50+ page report only to have it go un-read, and therefore ultimately unused, I’ve become a firm believer in the power of shorter-format reporting – including slidedeck reports, posters and infographic summaries. I agree with the following statement by Stephanie’s guest host, Kylie Hutchinson, “An effectively designed poster can be very ‘sticky’ compared to other forms of reporting. While a fifty-page report is sitting on a shelf somewhere collecting dust, a poster can hang around an organization’s lunch room or hallway for a long time, continuing to engage stakeholders and disseminate your key messages.”
However, don’t rush off thinking “great, I’ll save so much time if I don’t have to write a long report!” Creating effective short-format reports can often take just as much time as a longer report. The process of curation is time consuming, as are efforts to craft visual components that have an anesthetic appeal, but can also effectively communicate desired information. Deciding to go with a short format report likely won’t save you time/money, but definitely might be a better allocation of those resources if your stakeholders agree that it would be an effective way to communicate findings to them.
I’m happy with the way my AERA poster turned out, but sadly I’m not able to travel to San Antonio to present due to a scheduling conflict. Thankfully my colleague Julia has kindly agreed to fill in. You can stop by to see her and all the other great presenters in a poster panel about different types of observational methods in informal learning spaces– organized by Aaron Price–from 10:35a-12:05 on Saturday, April 29th in room 221 D (meeting room level) .
I used a template from: Makesigns.com to create this poster, in about an hour.
Here are a few other examples of “short reports” that we’ve created over the past few years. The first was designed to be a summary of online usage statistics for a program/product that we were evaluating. The second is an example of a summary of findings from an online professional development session that we evaluated.
I was so thrilled to co-present a workshop today at the National Council on Public History’s annual conference/meeting in Indianapolis along with VSA, Vice President for Professional Development, Elee Wood.
Our 4-hour workshop, entitled Principles of Audience Research and Evaluation in Public History: Purpose, Process and Implementation, covered background information and basic processes for doing evaluation.
We are hoping to develop a version of this presentation that can be shared at conferences that would be of interest to people seeking to learn more about how to study visitors and do evaluation in visitor-oriented settings. So stay tuned for opportunities to take the workshop at a conference coming to a town near you!
Click here for a link to the presentation.