AEA Calendar
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Daily: aea365 Tip-a-Day
Weekly: Headlines and Resources Compilation
Ongoing: Discussion on Evaltalk or LinkedIn
Jan 6-11: 2013 Bloggers Series on aea365
Jan 10: Storytelling for Evaluation of Development Initiatives
Jan 13-18: Extension Education Week on aea365
Jan 15 & 22: eStudy - Creating Dashboards Using MS Word & Excel
Jan 16-23: Thought Leader - Leslie Cooksy
Jan 24: Coffee Break Webinar: Using a Network Survey in Evaluations
Jan 31: Coffee Break Webinar: OnTheMap: Evaluating Workforce and Economic Development Strategies
Feb 3-8: Advocacy and Policy Change Week on aea365
Feb 4, 6, 11 & 13: eStudy - Getting Started: Introductory Consulting Skills for Evaluators
Feb 14: Coffee Break Webinar: Easily Present Your Data
Feb 21: Coffee Break Webinar: Writing a Winning Evaluation Proposal
Feb 25 & March 4: eStudy - Causal Loop Diagrams for Conceptualization, Explanation, and Presentation
Feb 28: Coffee Break Webinar: A Business Intelligence Approach to Local Capacity Building
Open Training and Event Registrations 
Creating Dashboards Using MS Word and Excel

eStudy January 15 & 22

with Agata Jose-Ivanina & Ann Emery

Registration closes 1/8


Introductory Consulting Skills for Evaluators

eStudy February 4, 6, 11 & 13 with Gail Barrington

Registration closes 1/28


Causal Loop Diagrams for Conceptualization, Explanation, and Presentation

eStudy February 25 & March 4 with Jeff Wasbes

Registration closes 2/18


More info and registration online here for eStudy Workshops 

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Your AEA username and password may be used to login for members-only content as well as to register for AEA's coffee-break webinars.  
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Daily: aea365 Tip-a-Day for Evaluators

Daily Emails 

aea365 provides a tip-a-day by and for evaluators. Featuring hot tips, cool tricks, rad resources and lessons learned. Get your daily dose of evaluation goodness right in your in-box! 

Sign up for email tips:
View the Archive - Over 700 entries to date!
Weekly: Headlines and Resources Compilation

Weekly Compilation  

Each week, we compile Headlines and Resources from across the field and send them out on Sunday to our H&R List subscribers and post them on AEA's listserv EVALTALK. 

Sign up to receive weekly H&R List each Sunday via email:
Ongoing: Dive Into the Discussion on EVALTALK or LinkedIn

Ongoing Discussion Forums 

AEA's legacy listserv is the longest running public discussion forum focusing on Evaluation. This lively list is open to member and nonmember evaluators alike from around the world.

If you have a (free) profile on popular professional social networking site LinkedIn, join the AEA group for ongoing threaded discussion of questions raised by over 7000 subscribers.  

Sign up for AEA's Listserv, EVALTALK:
Join AEA's LinkedIn Group: 
January 6-11: 2013 Bloggers Series on aea365
During the winter of 2012, we highlighted over 20 evaluation blogs and bloggers from around the world. Each post gave an overview of the blog's content, examples to help you decide if it was a good match for your reading needs, and tips on blogging from the contributors. Since then, a number of new evaluation blogs have come to the fore, some of them inspired by their colleague's stories. We'll be highlighting new voices and visions for 2013.

Do you have an evaluation-focused blog that has not yet been featured on aea365? Would you like to be featured during a week later this winter? Send an email to [email protected] noting your interest and the name of your blog.

Go to aea365 and use the buttons to subscribe to a tip-a-day via email: 

January 10: Storytelling for Evaluation of Development Initiatives - John Hecklinger    

Coffee Break Webinar - Thursday, January 10, 2:00-2:20 PM Eastern

Coffee Break Webinar LogoFree for AEA Members! GlobalGiving Foundation, with support from the Rockefeller Foundation, has been experimenting with ways to capture short community narratives as a way to diagnose success and failure within GlobalGiving's network of 2,000 partner NGOs in 120 countries. GlobalGiving's Storytelling Project gathered over 40,000 short narratives in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. GlobalGiving is now ready adjust and scale its approach and has been getting feedback on this experiment from leaders in the evaluation field. John Hecklinger, GlobalGiving's Chief Program Officer, will describe the project's logic, talk about success and failure, and share results of a peer review process that examined the methodology's potential as an evaluation method.



January 13-18: Extension Education Week on aea365
All this week we'll be learning from members in the Extension Education TIG. They have hot tips, cool tricks, rad resources, and lessons learned not only for their extension colleagues, but also applicable more broadly to evaluators working in any context.

Go to aea365 and use the buttons to subscribe to a tip-a-day via email: 

January 15 & 22: Creating and Automating Dashboards Using MS Word and Excel - Agata Jose-Ivanina & Ann Emery             

eStudy webinar - Tuesdays 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM ET

Data dashboards put stakeholders in the driver's seat by providing instant, understandable evaluation results. In this demonstration, we will present a process that allows us to create automated dashboards that are valuable for programs and save time for evaluators. We will focus our demonstration on considerations that go into designing a dashboard and on using MS Word and Excel -- tools that most users already have to create and automate their visual displays. This eStudy will occur in two 90-minute sessions and will include preparation materials sent before, between, and after the sessions. The presentation, geared at those with an intermediate Excel skill level, will cover the following steps in the process of creating dashboards:

In Session 1, we will focus on designing an easy-to-read template to display findings that program staff need. We will then create a template in Word. We will also talk about the basics of organizing the data to facilitate the creation of multiple dashboards efficiently.

In Session 2, we will spend more time on organizing the data and present the attendees with some Excel tricks that will help them speed the process of putting together data and charts for the dashboards. Most of the session will be devoted to running the code that we will provide. We will also show attendees how to use the building blocks to build their own code.


After attending the session, participants will know the principles of creating effective dashboards and automating the dashboard process with tools (MS Word and Excel) that are readily available to them.

Agata Jose-Ivanina, with her background in Computer Science, and Ann Emery, coming from internal evaluation, are a dynamic team. Together, they implemented and refined the automated report process taught here with the Maryland State Department of Education. Agata extended the same processes with further state Departments of Education, including Texas and Rhode Island. 
Last day to register is Tuesday January 8

January 16-23: AEA Thought Leaders Forum with Leslie Cooksy

Thought Leaders Forum - Weeklong asynchronous online discussion

Free for AEA Members! The Thought Leaders Discussion Series connects thought leaders in our field with AEA members, new and old alike. Most months, we host an asynchronous (not in real time) online exchange over the course of a week using AEA's discussion forums. We are pleased to welcome Leslie Cooksy in January.

Dr. Leslie Cooksy has been a professional evaluator for more than 25 years, and is an established leader in the evaluation field, having served as 2010 President of AEA, as Associate Editor of the American Journal of Evaluation and as editor of AJE's Ethical Challenges section. She has been a member of advisory boards and panels for numerous organizations - including the National Science Foundation, the World Bank, and the United Way of Delaware - and her publications on such topics as evaluation quality, logic models, performance measurement and evaluation policy have appeared in Evaluation and Program Planning, New Directions for Evaluation, Public Administration Review. She earned a doctoral degree in program evaluation and public policy from Cornell University, then worked at and was awarded the U.S. Government Accountability Office's Meritorious Service Award for supporting the use of high quality evaluation methods and facilitating the use of evaluation results. She directed the Center for Community Research and Service at the University of Delaware and, in July 2012, joined the Sierra Health Foundation as its Evaluation Director.  


If you aren't already subscribed to the forum: Go to the AEA Thought Leaders Forum Page to learn more and subscribe 

January 24: Using a Network Survey in Evaluations: The College Access Network Example - Tania Jarosewich     

Coffee Break Webinar - Thursday, January 24, 2:00-2:20 PM Eastern

Coffee Break Webinar LogoFree for AEA Members! With the increasing interest in collective action and networked organizations, evaluators are exploring ways to assess the value of network implementation and impact. This presentation describes The College Access network survey, which assesses network attributes and organizational structure needed for effective, sustainable, and accountable collective work: network management, sustainable service systems, data-driven decision making, knowledge development and dissemination, and policy expertise and advocacy. The survey was created for a college access initiative, but content specific items can be adapted to measure the functioning of other types of networks. The survey can be used with networks at various stages of development, appropriate for different types of networks (e.g., regional service networks or statewide associations); and relevant for networks with different levels of commitment to working together. The presentation will discuss how evaluators can use the survey in their own work with emerging and established networks.  


January 31: OnTheMap: Evaluating Workforce and Economic Development Strategies - Nichole Stewart      

Coffee Break Webinar - Thursday, January 31, 2:00-2:20 PM Eastern

Coffee Break Webinar LogoFree for AEA Members! The Census Bureau's OnTheMap application is a data visualization tool that evaluation practitioners can use in needs assessments and impact evaluations of programs that implement workforce development and economic development job creation strategies. The application provides measures of employment, skill level, and job flows of workers employed in jobs in an area (work-area) and workers living in an area (residence area). In this webinar, the presenter will show how to import the right files and conduct basic analyses. 



February 3-8: Advocacy and Policy Change Week on aea365
Join colleagues from the Advocacy and Policy Change TIG, launched in 2007 and AEA's second-fastest-growing topical interest group. They'll share hot tips, cool tricks, rad resources, and lessons learned -great info applicable to evaluators working in any context.

Go to aea365 and use the buttons to subscribe to a tip-a-day via email: 

February 4, 6, 11 & 13: Getting Started: Introductory Consulting Skills for Evaluators - Gail Barrington              

eStudy webinar - Mondays and Wednesdays 11:00 AM - 12:30 PM ET

Are you a program evaluator contemplating venturing out on your own? For many, this may be both an exciting but intimidating prospect. Taught by an independent consultant, this practical eStudy course will reveal the simple but important skills needed to be successful.

The course helps participants apply management consulting, entrepreneurial and small business skills to the evaluation and applied research setting. Valuable samples, worksheets, insider tips and trade secrets are provided. Through lecture, anecdote, at-home exercises, and independent reflection, participants are encouraged to identify and address the unique issues they face and to prepare an action plan.

This eStudy will occur in four 90-minute sessions. A pre-course worksheet will be circulated for completion prior to Day 1 and an at-home investigative assignment will precede Days 2, 3 & 4. Each session will cover three inter-related topics.

Day 1
  • Is consulting right for me?
  • My competitive edge
  • Consultants' marketing secrets

Day 2  

  • Setting up shop
  • Price-setting methods & calculating fees
  • Managing money

Day 3

  • Business planning
  • Tracking time
  • Writing proposals

Day 4  

  • Understanding contracts
  • Managing risk
  • Survival Skills
  • Wrap up

Presenter: Gail Barrington is a senior evaluation advisor and well-known Canadian program evaluator, trainer and writer. She has more than 25 years of experience running her own consulting practice, Barrington Research Group, Inc., and has conducted over 130 program evaluation and applied research studies. Her recent book, Consulting Start up & Management: A Guide for Evaluators & Applied Researchers, (SAGE, 2012) is based on her consulting experience. In 2008, she won the Canadian Evaluation Society award for her Contribution to Evaluation in Canada. She is a Credentialed Evaluator, a Certified Management Consultant, and was recently named to the Dynamic Dozen, the top-rated presenters and trainers at the American Evaluation Association. 

Last day to register is Monday January 28

February 14: Easily Present Your Data: Automating the Transfer of Excel Charts to PowerPoint - Jennifer Bain       

Coffee Break Webinar - Thursday, February 14, 2:00-2:20 PM Eastern

Coffee Break Webinar LogoFree for AEA Members! This Coffee Break webinar will explain how to automate the process of transferring Excel charts to a PowerPoint presentation in seconds rather than tediously copying, pasting, and re-aligning each chart individually to its own slide. The presenter will explain how to add already-written VBA code to the user's personal Excel workbook - making the code available to any open worksheet - that pulls all of the Excel charts from a worksheet and adds them to a PowerPoint presentation, one chart to a slide, resized and aligned to be centered on the slide. In addition, the presenter will explain how to add a shortcut to the Excel ribbon so that this process and all other macros can be run at the click of a button.



February 21: Writing a Winning Evaluation Proposal - Melanie Hwalek        

Coffee Break Webinar - Thursday, February 21, 2:00-2:20 PM Eastern

Coffee Break Webinar LogoFree for AEA Members! This Coffee Break webinar will offer tips for writing a winning evaluation proposal based on the 30-year experience of the presenter and her analysis of the winning and losing proposals that her organization, SPEC Associates, wrote over the past ten years. Two types of evaluation proposal writing will be discussed: the stand alone evaluation proposal and the evaluation plan embedded into another organization's grant application. 



February 25 & March 4: Causal Loop Diagrams for Conceptualization, Explanation, and Presentation - Jeff Wasbes               

eStudy webinar - Mondays 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM ET

Evaluators use systems thinking and systems-based tools to conceptualize the connections between social processes (or a chain of events) and the structure of a social system. Evaluators can then reason about how the structure of the system causes the observed behavior by illustrating potentially powerful feedback loops that may give rise to unintended outcomes. This keen understanding often leads to richer questions about problems and deeper insight into the mechanics of programs and policies. Causal loop diagrams (CLDs) are useful tools for conceptualizing, illustrating, and communicating about the structure of a complex system and about the interactions between the components that comprise the system. Clarifying difficult conceptual issues about program and policy design can help evaluators anticipate (but not predict) desirable and undesirable unintended outcomes.

This eStudy will occur in two 90-minute sessions and will include preparation materials sent before, between, and after the sessions. Prior to the first session, participants will read introductory material that describes basic CLD notation, how to interpret it, and some basic problems with CLDs.

During session 1 participants will gain further insight into conceptualizing a complex problem and using LCD notation to illustrate and communicate about the problem.

Between sessions, participants will develop a causal loop diagram about a problem before sharing their work products during the second session.

Session 2 will extend the CLD notation and introduce the concepts of accumulation, stock and flow, and using CLDs to begin to develop quantitative systems models.

Presenter: Jeff Wasbes has spent the past seven years as a systems analyst and evaluator in K-12 education, applying systems principles and tools developed in the systems tradition (including causal loop diagramming) to clarify complex structures and communicate their links to observed processes and events. His current work with the SUNY Charter Schools Institute focuses on school evaluation and accountability. He has presented on this topic at EEN's 2010 conference, AEA's 2011 and 2012 annual conferences, and in a Coffee Break webinar.
Last day to register is Monday February 18

February 28: A Business Intelligence Approach to Local Capacity Building - Bo Yan         

Coffee Break Webinar - Thursday, February 28, 2:00-2:20 PM Eastern

Coffee Break Webinar LogoFree for AEA Members! This Coffee Break webinar will feature a live demonstration of how Moodle, LimeSurvey, and SAS were employed to build a Business Intelligence solution. In this case the BI solution helped individual schools collect data and make better informed decisions on the eligibility for gifted services, while helping the district central office monitor consistency. The demonstration include a discussion on the implications for other settings and agencies as well as implementation strategies for those with limited resources and technological skills.