Since its good to think in tens, here are my top ten highlights of the most recent gathering of The Evaluators’ Institute at George Washington University:
1. Meeting other people from around the world who incorporate evaluation into their work.
2. Learning that a combination of mail and phone surveys can produce the highest response rates.
3. Understanding that when writing a report on evaluation findings, transparency and humility are best.
4. Eating the cookies and brownies provided by TEI during the afternoon breaks.
5. Tasting just about everything on the Whole Foods salad bar over the course of ten days.
6. Practicing how to interpret those pesky “outliers” when reviewing evaluation results.
7. Gazing at a portrait of George Washington every day in my hotel room.
8. Spending two days up close to Michael Quinn Patton learning how to master qualitative evaluation techniques.
9. Attending four workshops in nine days, in which I viewed 1,100 slides, got three new textbooks and came up with 62 new ideas.
10. Completing my 22nd day of training toward the Certificate in Evaluation Practice.