Competition Rules


  1. Eligibility: All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled as of January 1 of the competition year in an accredited institution of higher education in the U.S. are invited to enter the competition as members of a team. We welcome all students from all degree programs to participate, regardless of whether you are a member of AEA or whether you are in an evaluation degree program.
  2. Team composition: A team should consist of at least three and no more than five students. The team members can be from different academic disciplines or universities/colleges. Multiple teams from the same institution can participate in the competition; however, a student cannot participate in multiple teams. 
  3. Team coach: All teams are recommended to have at least one coach, but they cannot have more than two coaches. The coach(es) will ideally be an experienced evaluation practitioner or instructor who will assist the team in preparing for the competition. The coach(es) cannot communicate with their teams after the team starts the case on the competition day. A coach can coach multiple teams. If a student team cannot find a coach, they can still compete in the competition.
  4. Substitutions: After being accepted into the competition, a team may recruit substitute students to replace members who are unavailable on the day of the event. Contact the case competition coordinator to make a substitution.
  5. Language: All communication will be in English.
  6. Time: Teams will have seven (7) hours to prepare their submission.
  7. Nature of the case: The evaluation case may be in any subject area and address any aspect of program evaluation. Cases will change from year to year and will vary in subject areas, aspects of program evaluation, and submission.
  8. Assessment criteria: The criteria used by the judging panel will be included in the case file provided to teams on the day of the event 
  9. Consultations: In preparing their submissions, teams are at liberty to explore any public information source, such as books or articles, search libraries, use the Internet, etc. Team members are free to leave the work site and take refreshments as they wish, but they may communicate only within the team and not with their coach, the case organization, or anyone else to seek guidance on their work.
  10. Anonymity: Do not include in your submission any information that might reveal the identity of the team members or your institution to the judges. A team should identify itself only by its name and/or logo. Your team name and/or logo should not identify your location or institution. 
  11. Case submissions: There is no expectation that students will perform the evaluation they submit as part of the case competition. If there is a case organization as part of the competition, they may choose to use the winning team’s submission in any way to support their evaluation efforts, however, the case organization is expected to provide credit to the winning team. 
  12.  Honor code:AEA Guiding Principles for Evaluators.


[1] Adapted from WECC, Canadian Competition, Czech Completion, and Indian Competition