December 2011 Archives

Evaluation with Non-traditional Audiences


These are a few highlights that I took away from Extension EFANS presentation on Effective evaluation with non-traditional audiences by Cindy Tong (Horticulture) and David Wilsey (Forestry). They both were speaking about evaluation of non-native English speakers who attend workshops and other programming.

  • Creating culturally-sensitive evaluations, measure impact and suggestions for improvements.

  • One of the main difficulties is evaluating in written form if attendees are not used to written language (i.e. hmong). Unfamiliar with scalar evaluations (excellent, good , fair, etc.), in addition they want to blend in and avoid disrespect the organizers.

  • Tried written evaluations, DOTS surveys and oral surveys, similar problems with written language, and the oral survey encountered problems with talking in front of groups. This next year they are going to answer the questions in small groups first. To learn more, read their article in the Journal of Extension.


  • Nested Challenges: it is one thing to get information and another about information quality.

  • Three strategies used:
  • inclusive: what is important and what indicates success , what is culturally appropriate (qualitative/quantitative, individual/group, active/passive)

  • Adapt: too much information, too little information, overly structured

  • Experiment: used a ballet method/votes to gather information, more info in his prepub article

  • David does event mapping, to show intervention points on where you can interject information gathering, love tree rings to gather how old folks were 20-30 in this tree ring area with blue and pink push pins and ties into the forestry topic; when you disaggregate tools then you loose the ability to pinpoint to a specific population