Sheila B Robinson

Reflections of an everyday educator/program evaluator/professional developer…LEARNER

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What is the “evalusphere” anyway?

I’m proud to say I’m the first to coin the term “evalusphere.” Of course, “blogosphere” has been around for more than a decade. “The blogosphere is made up of all blogs and their interconnections.”  The same can be said of the evalusphere. While it’s made up of all evaluators, evaluations, and their interconnectedness, a growing variety of concepts, disciplines and fields of inquiry are now part and parcel of the evalusphere.

In “The Future of Evaluation,” a panel at Evaluation 2012, Michael Scriven called evaluation “the alpha discipline.” In the same panel, Beverly Parsons spoke of “the growing understanding of complex systems thinking” in the evaluation community, and Susan Kistler opined that using cultural competence is the only way to do quality evaluation.  In the opening plenary, Rodney Hopson spoke about the emergence of evidence-based discourse, addressing methodological challenges, and understanding the principles of adaptive management. Numerous presenters held sessions on new technologies and data visualization.  Continue reading