Wednesday, January 27, 2021
2020 has been a trying year for all of us. However, with the leadership of AEA’s President, Aimee White, and AEA’s Executive Director, Anisha Lewis, AEA was able to address the year’s challenges, keeping AEA strong and viable while continuing to meet the professional needs of AEA members.
As you know, AEA exists as an organization with a purpose of improving conditions of life, of making contributions to advance the welfare of society. AEA exists to promote evaluation as a profession with principled practice and use—a profession that fosters inclusivity, diversity, and an international community. In order to have the brilliant future we all want, we must see clearly with our hearts as well as our minds, so that we keep in the forefront of our decision-making why AEA exists.
Our 2021 theme is AEA at 35: Meeting the Moment. The phrase “what was, what is, and what will be” exemplifies our theme and leads us to consider AEA’s birth and our growth over 35 years. These past 35 years have given us a firm platform from which to meet the moment of today’s realities. Our past will guide us toward our future.
AEA at 35: Meeting the Moment speaks of a trajectory of change. Here’s a slice of this trajectory: the very first AEA conference took place in Kansas City, Missouri. The President of AEA was Richard Light and his 1986 theme was What Have We Learned. From that beginning ─ in increments of five years ─ AEA themes have been as follows: in 1991, New Evaluation Horizons; in 1996, AEA: A Decade of Progress, Looking Back and Looking Forward; in 2001, Mainstreaming Evaluation; in 2006, The Consequences of Evaluation; in 2011, Values and Valuing; in 2016, Evaluation + Design; and our theme for 2021, AEA at 35: Meeting the Moment.
As you will note, these themes reflect some of the changes AEA has experienced over time. It is a given that everything changes; nothing stays the same. So it is with AEA. And now, with you as AEA members, in 2021 we will meet another moment of change as we work toward our shared vision of a brilliant future.
Hi, AEA members, and welcome to 2021! We on the AEA Board hope that you had a safe and happy Holiday Season and offer our wishes for a healthy and productive 2021. During the end of the last year, the AEA Board met to round out the 2020 year of service, swear in the new board members and President-Elect, and collaboratively design the 2021 year of work. The new AEA Board members and President-Elect also experienced several days of “onboarding” to prepare them for their service. We are excited for the new members to join and that we all roll our proverbial sleeves up to get working on the business of governing AEA.
We would also like to take a moment and thank the outgoing AEA Board members and Past-President: Bianca Montrosse-Morehead, Jara Dean-Coffey, Eric Barela, and Tessie Catsambas. Their commitment and passion for serving AEA over the past three years has been invaluable. We are pleased that they will all remain close to the board through ongoing work in varying ways. Please consider running for board service at some point in your AEA membership experience. It takes all of us to lead effectively!
The board’s work for the year ahead includes many of the same annual tasks, such as reviewing and voting on the annual budget, working to support the staff team to develop the summer learning series and annual conference, and continue to grow our knowledge and practice of policy governance. New work that will be happening this year includes our having contracted with the Center for Nonprofit Management in 2020 to support some visioning work in 2021. This will proceed throughout the year, and we hope will assist the board in better understanding who AEA is and how we can best serve members given our organizational structures.
Thank you everyone for your continued support of AEA through membership; we hope you enjoyed the Eval20 virtual experience, and we encourage you to reach out to a board member any time you need. We serve you all. More to report next month on our board work as our first meeting takes place!
The new eval.org is here! AEA is excited to present a new and improved association website, designed to create a more welcoming and easier user experience for professional evaluators. When creating the new site, we focused on improving communication, access to resources, and connections within our community – all with the help of feedback from our valued members and volunteers.
As AEA embarks on its 35th anniversary, we continue to evolve as an association, and this new website helps us in that evolution to create a modern home that reflects the advancement of the association and evaluation as a field.
Return of EvalTalk, a moderated discussion forum for evaluators – Coming Soon
To ensure your access to AEA resources and website pages is not interrupted, please take the following actions:
To access member-only content, you must update your password when you first log into the site. Your login email is the primary email associated with your AEA account; simply update your password when prompted, then explore!
If you are having any issues updating your information or using the new site, please email AEA directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This year, AEA celebrates 35 years as an association! How well do you know AEA? Take this quiz and test your knowledge!
The world’s premier evaluation education program, the Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Evaluation (IDPE) at Western Michigan University (WMU), is pleased to announce the launch of IDPEx. IDPEx provides online access to advanced, world-class graduate-level courses taught by some of the field’s leading evaluation educators, scholars, and practitioners.
IDPEx courses use a combination of synchronous and asynchronous methods and WMU’s advanced online learning platform. Three courses are being offered for Spring 2021 and are described below. The fee for each 15-week course is $1,000. To register for one or more of the courses, go to https://cvent.me/3Ebv0Z. Each IDPEx course is designed to serve as continuing education units for those in the evaluation field and all participants will receive a certificate of completion.
For further information about IDPEx, please visit https://wmich.edu/evaluationphd, or contact the director of the program by email at email@example.com.
Measurement for Evaluators: Measurement is one of the most often misunderstood and, simultaneously, difficult aspects of evaluation practice. Synonymous with inferences from samples to populations, measurement involves inferences from observations to constructs; though samples too are involved in measurement. Measurement theory is predicated on both evidential (empirical) and consequential (use) premises. In this course, students will learn the concepts, principles, and practices of both classical and modern measurement theory. Specifically, students will learn instrument development and analysis, how to construct cognitive and noncognitive items, item analysis for cognitive and noncognitive items, methods for estimating and assessing reliability (e.g., internal consistency, test-retest, alternate forms), interrater reliability and agreement, generalizability theory, and how to obtain and assess evidence for validity. Advanced topics such as exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis, item response theory, standard setting, bias, and equating will also be discussed. R and/or RStudio will be used for most statical applications.
Metaevaluation: Metaevaluation is prescribed as a tool to inform evaluation quality and accountability as well as being useful for evaluation research. This course is intended to introduce students to the concept of metaevaluation and get them steeped in an understanding of it. Graduates of this class will understand the concept well enough to be prepared to participate in metaevaluations, to interpret its value for the future of evaluation, and to contribute to research on metaevaluation. Through readings, discussions, presentations, class projects, and writing assignments, this course will familiarize students with historical perspectives on metaevaluation and evaluation’s current and future role in shaping the dialogue.
Research on Evaluation: Considering the amount of evaluation work being done in the world, and the widespread efforts to establish a strong discipline of evaluation, there is still a relative paucity of research on evaluation (RoE). This course is designed to improve on that issue by exposing students to the different types of RoE and using that understanding to develop new research proposals. In this project-based course, students will develop an awareness of the research on evaluation landscape and identify and plan opportunities for contributing to it. Students will locate, read, critique, summarize, present, and discuss a broad spectrum of recent published RoE and formulate a detailed proposal for conducting their own RoE study and present the proposal for critique.
Guilford is happy to offer American Evaluation Association members 30% off the list price of all Guilford titles—plus free shipping (US & Canada) to enhance your clinical work, training, research, teaching, and professional development. Just go to our AEA member page to receive your special discount: Guilford Publications AEA member page.
To see new and recent books, visit your special page at: www.guilford.com/aea. To receive your 30% discount and free shipping, use promotional code: AFAEA.
If you are a publisher and would like to participate as an AEA publishing partner, or if you are an author of an evaluation-related text from an alternate publisher that you would like to see participate, please contact the AEA office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AEA's top priority at this time is the health and well-being of its members and the evaluation community as a whole. We understand this is a strenuous and difficult time, and are dedicated to providing you with support and resources to help you navigate the evolving effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.
We want to remind you of a few of our resources to help you through this time.
Topics covered include Reflecting on the Role of Evaluator During this Global Pandemic, Tips + Resources for Virtual Gatherings, and Self-Care in the Age of Coronavirus.
Click here to subscribe to AEA365. We will continue to share resources and experiences of our community.
While you are looking to stay connected to your teams, we recommend browsing the AEA Coffee Break library on the Digital Knowledge Hub. These 20 minute webinars are free to all members.
If you have resources you think would be valuable to the evaluation community, share them with us by contacting AEA at email@example.com.
The Digital Knowledge Hub is an online platform featuring professional development opportunities for evaluators, by evaluators. See eStudies available for purchase like the ones below.
In-depth eStudy courses offer a deep dive into top-of-mind evaluation themes and topics. Open to both members and nonmembers alike, eStudies provide a diverse learning experience where collaboration is encouraged.
Presenter: Heather Britt, Principal Research Scientist, NORC at the University of Chicago
Dates: Feb. 12, 12:00 p.m. (EST); Feb. 19, 12:00 p.m. (EST)
Outcome Harvesting's increased use and popularity is largely because the method can provide rigorous and actionable information about programs operating in dynamic settings. Evaluators and stakeholders collect evidence of what has changed and then, working backwards, determine whether and how a program contributed to these changes. This eStudy will help participants plan for a successful Outcome Harvest, either internal or external. After covering the method’s basic steps and guiding principles, participants will learn practical tips for drafting a terms of reference, recruiting an evaluator, preparing the program team, and managing the harvest to ensure useful findings. Participants will learn ways to strengthen organizational readiness for complexity-aware approaches, such as Outcome Harvesting, as well as tips on harvesting outcomes remotely.
Presenter: Rebeca Pop, Founder, Vizlogue LLC
Dates: Feb. 24, 12:00 p.m. (EST); March 1, 12:00 p.m. (EST); March 3, 12:00 p.m. (EST)
As a program evaluator, you are likely creating reports and data visualizations. But have you ever paused to design a framework that you could use when visualizing data? A framework would make your work more strategic and save you time and energy. In this eStudy, you will identify the steps you should take to avoid data pitfalls, learn how to make thoughtful design choices, and learn ways to incorporate storytelling elements. This is a highly interactive eStudy. Participants will be exposed to real-world examples and exercises.
Looking for a crash course in evaluation? Purchase the Introduction to Eval 101 on-demand course!
Created with the assistance of Tom Chapel, Chief Evaluation Officer for the CDC, Eval 101 provides an overview of the evaluation framework. This hands-on, self-paced eLearning course uses case studies and simulations to teach the step-by-step framework for program evaluation. The tools and insights learned from Eval 101 will empower you to use evaluative thinking effectively and make an immediate and practical impact on your evaluation practice.
As an AEA member, you have free access to our library of Coffee Breaks. These short, 20 minute webinars are great for sharing lessons with your students or other colleagues, while you are apart.
Here are a few Coffee Breaks you might be interested in:
For the past 24 years, TEI has offered evaluation courses for new and seasoned practitioners led by experts in the field. We provide rigorous training in skills related to the foundations of evaluation, collecting data, analyzing data, creating effective reports, developing logic models and theories of change, managing and implementing evaluations, and more. Participation in TEI courses build towards our professional certificates in evaluation. Learn more about TEI at our website.
Register today for our March course offerings. We offer early bird, multicourse, and group discounts.
To learn more about our March course offerings and schedule, visit our registration page.
For further questions, please contact us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Join our mailing list to get updates about all 2021 TEI programs.
The CDC Evaluation Fellowship Program is now accepting applications for the 2021 class (estimated start date August 15, 2021). The Fellowship Program has succeeded beyond expectations and grown since inception. The Fellowship is intended to be 2 years and Fellows receive benefits as term employees of CDC under Title 42 training appointments. Fellows are placed in host programs across the agency working on program evaluation activities.
The application deadline is March 14, 2021 11:59 pm EST. Please visit the CDC Evaluation Fellowship website for more information about eligibility, the program, and application process.
Join one of the informational webinar sessions to learn more about the program and application process, and to have your questions answered. Register to receive access info: Monday, January 25, 2021, Thursday, January 28, 2021, Monday, February 8, 2021 from 12:00 – 1:00 pm EST. Questions can be directed to CDCeval@cdc.gov
In this section, we spotlight events that may be of interest to the AEA community, as suggested by fellow members. Please note these events are not sponsored by AEA. If you would like to suggest an upcoming event, email Cady Stokes, AEA newsletter editor, at email@example.com.
In this section, we spotlight events of interest to the AEA community, suggested by fellow members. Please note these events are not sponsored by AEA. If you would like to suggest an upcoming event or highlight actions members are taking during the COVID-19 crisis, email Cady Stokes, AEA newsletter editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AEA would like to recognize and thank some of its most longstanding members. Click here to view individuals who are celebrating 5+, 10+, 20+ and 30+ years with the association this month!
AEA would like to welcome those who have recently joined the association. Click here to view a list of AEA's newest members.