Learn Evaluation in Education: Building Capacity (Part Three)

Published on May 16th, 2017 | from CAMH Education

Evaluation in Education: Building capacity (Part Three)

By Megha Bhavsar, Evaluation Co-ordinator, CAMH Education

This post is the third in a series looking back at the Evaluation team’s exciting and busy year.

Since January 2016, the Evaluation team has been hosting monthly Education Evaluation Exchange (E3) Working Group meetings. The E3 Working Group meetings aim to build capacity for evaluation across the CAMH Education department. Our members are as diverse as the work that must be evaluated. Members include education specialists, research co-ordinators and analysts, communication co-ordinators, project co-ordinators, managers and scientists; the majority of whom are from the Education department with a few others through our CAMH networks.

Each month, our members attend the meetings eager to participate in discussions ranging over a variety of topics, including evaluation frameworks, setting goals and objectives, developing indicators, survey and interview design, interview design, and standardizing evaluation tools. Last summer, the Evaluation team surveyed members to assess satisfaction with the working group meetings, gather improvement ideas, and understand the evaluation capacity building needs of the group. In September’s session, we used the results to check in with E3 members while incorporating their feedback to improve the sessions—not only addressing the needs of our members but also modelling evaluation best practices.

Last summer, the Evaluation team surveyed members to assess satisfaction with the working group meetings, gather improvement ideas, and understand the evaluation capacity building needs of the group.

Our most recent E3 meetings focused on members sharing evaluation surveys and collaborating to standardize survey questions used across the department. Questions were organized based on knowledge, awareness, confidence, skills and application to practice to create a question bank. Through thoughtful consideration and discussion, members provided their input. We are currently working to standardize questions for evaluations across the department while creating a pool of “optional” questions dependent on the evaluation needs. By standardizing questions, our goal is to be able to provide a clearer picture of the work in Evaluation.

Throughout the next year, the Evaluation team will continue to facilitate E3 Working Group meetings as we build evaluation skills across our department. We plan to share our collective work around standardizing questions at a future department meeting. A warm thank you goes out to the E3 members for their continued participation and curiosity.  I look forward to this continued journey!

Our next E3 Working Group will focus on sharing the Evaluation team’s key learnings from the 2017 Canadian Evaluation Society annual conference.

If you are interested in learning more about evaluation and building your capacity, please reach out to Erica McDiarmid (Manger, Evaluation) at erica.mcdiarmid@camh.ca.


Read the rest of this series:

Evaluation in Education: A year in review (Part One)

Evaluation in Education: A year in review (Part Two)

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