Saturday, November 21, 2009

Evaluations from the IFVP '09 session

Yesterday I got an email with scans of the evaluation forms that 22 participants at my IFVP session in Montreal in August filled out. They were mostly positive and/or constructive. A few were negative. These were mostly of the "this is too academic" variety, which is understandable.

I certainly could have done better with constructing the session itself, since I was still figuring out, up to the moment it started, how to best get across the material (and spirit) to an audience of practitioners rather than researchers. I spent more time than I realized (or wanted) on the presentation part before moving to the exercise part. This wasn't missed by the participants, and for any who may read this, my apologies. I learned quite a bit about how to do it better the next time I get such an opportunity (and I'm looking forward to doing this a lot more once I get the PhD done!).

Still, according to the comments, most felt there was some value in the session. I did some quick scoring. Of the 22 participants that completed an evaulation (there were about 40 in the room for the session), 15 (68.2%) were overall positive, 4 (18.2%) were at least partially positive, and 3 (13.6%) were clearly negative. Of the 80 total comments supplied to the 6 questions, 59 (73.8%) were positive, 6 (7.5%) were negative, and 15 (18.8%) were mixed or ambiguous. Excluding the 15 mixed/ambiguous, 90.8% were positive and 9.2% were negative.

More significantly for the research itself, though, it is pretty clear from the comments that the concepts resonated with the audience, which is encouraging.

Some examples:
  • "He really has thought about the heart of our profession"
  • "A new way to think about group work"
  • "In every way -- This opens whole new worlds for me -- "
  • "I liked the clarity of the heat maps"
  • "Participatory practice could be a whole other domain to explore. This framework could be really interesting in educational settings!"
  • "METAPHORS that emerged as the session/ideas unfolded: - the 'dance' between practitioner/participants; - the unfolding of a real time event as wild kayak paddle down a turbulent river"
  • "Constantly linking aesthetics & ethics"
  • "coherence, engagement + usefulness resonate as criteria that could be applied to many processes, i.e. teaching"
I have extensive notes from the exercise itself that I still need to fully analyze. More in a future post.

Thanks again to Jan Spaulding for putting together the evaluations.

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