American Evaluation Association Conference

October 26 – October 31, 2020


Through this year’s theme, “How Will You Shine Your Light”, we are asking proposal submitters to think about her/his/their expression of light through their evaluation practice.

Ask yourself, “How am I shining my light?” in my work. Is it through making sure all stakeholder voices are included, particularly those who are often in the dark? Is it through shining light on the historical imperative associated with certain evaluation methods/practices? Is it through illuminating new levels of rigor that can be associated with many evaluation methods/practices? Is it by shining the light on the pathway to evaluation for new professionals? Is it by creating new evaluation theories, methods, or practices? Pose your own questions around how you are shining your light in evaluation practice. Learn more about the Evaluation 2020 theme from President Aimee White

Past Conferences:

November 11- November 16, 2019

Minneapolis, MN

Join the American Evaluation Association (AEA) in Minneapolis, Minnesota, for Evaluation 2019, November 11 – 16. This year’s conference will include more than 40 professional development workshops, feature 700 evaluation presenters, and connect you with a community of more than 3,000 evaluators.  Evaluation 2019 offers the best opportunity to connect with your peers and learn from other evaluation professionals. Visit the AEA website to view all programing and register for the event. We look forward to seeing you in Minneapolis!

To Blog or Not To Blog

Lori Wingate and Kelly Roberston

Contributing to an evaluation blog is a relatively easy and quick way to share your thoughts, lessons learned, or innovations with the field. Compared with other forms of dissemination―like conference presentations, peer-reviewed articles, and book chapters―blog posts are easier to create, more likely to be accepted and published, can address a wider range of topics, and often reach a larger audience. But blogging isn’t just about getting your ideas out into the world. The act of blogging can serve as a prompt to reflect on your experience and practices, hone key concepts or ideas, and advance your thinking on a specific topic. The presenters will share their perspectives on the benefits of evaluation blogging based on a recent survey of evaluation bloggers, as well as their personal experience authoring and editing blogs. Participants will learn how blogging helps advance reflective practice and professional development among evaluators.

Quick Reference Guides Evaluators Can’t Live without

Kelly Robertson and Lyssa Wilson Becho

What is that one quick reference guide you just can’t live without?  Perhaps a checklist, a template, or worksheet?  Job aids like these help evaluators design, implement, and disseminate quality evaluations and can increase the accessibility of evaluation knowledge and skills. Job aids are an accumulation of lessons learned and best practices from the field distilled into an easy-to-understand guide that can be used to improve practice in real time. These quick reference guides are intended to reduce cognitive load so that evaluators have the space to innovate and improve their evaluation practice. Join us as we present the most used and coveted job aids as identified by a survey of evaluators.  Discover new tools to use in the field or different ways of utilizing known tools that can help you, your organization, or your clients better understand and practice high quality evaluation.

Quick Reference Guides Handout

Quick Reference Guides AEA Presentation Final Slides

Past Conferences:

October 31-November 3, 2018

Cleveland, OH

Maximizing the Medium: Using Webinars Effectively for Evaluation Capacity Building

Lori Wingate and Emma Perk

Many organizations use webinars (live, web-based seminars) as a means of building the evaluation capacity of personnel who are geographically dispersed. EvaluATE, a National Science Foundation-funded evaluation support center located at The Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University, has been providing free webinars on evaluation for nearly a decade. In this session, we’ll demonstrate strategies to develop and deliver learner-focused, content-rich evaluation training webinars to advance evaluation competence. We’ll demonstrate research-based principles and lessons learned from our experience, featuring real-world examples from EvaluATE’s webinars (both good and bad). Attendees will learn practical guidelines for creating, delivering, and evaluating webinars for building evaluation capacity and receive materials to help them apply the strategies to their own online training events.



Additional Resources


Design for How People Learn

Presentation Zen

slide:ology: The Art and Science of Creating Great Presentations

Planning Documents:

Webinar Timing Sheet (PDF) (Excel)

Webinar Coordination Checklist

How to Use Adobe Connect (Video)

Presentation Slides:

Presentation Design 101 (Article on slide design)

Slide Carnival (free presentation templates)

Pinterest (Presentation template ideas)

Slide Guru (Presentation tips and resources)

Slide Team (the world’s largest collection of pre-designed presentation slides, diagrams, flat designs, and more)

-For more inspiration, view EvaluATE’s webinar series

Past Conferences:

November 6-11, 2017

Washington, DC

One Pagers: Simple and Engaging Reporting
Emma Perk & Lyssa Wilson Becho

“We want a one-pager!” These words seem to be more common these days when working with clients. The new trend is to have reports full of visual charts and quick take-away pieces like one-pagers. Although traditional, long-form evaluation reports are an excellent way to distribute evaluation results to your stakeholders, not all stakeholders want to read a lengthy report. With attention to learning as a goal for evaluation, one-pagers allow more audiences to learn from the evaluation in a format that is easily and quickly digestible. Evaluation one-pagers are a great way to provide a snapshot of your evaluation results that your client can take and share with other stakeholders, participants, and the community. In this demonstration, we will provide you with the tools and resources you need to create effective one-pagers and share some examples that have worked well in our practice.

Below we have an array of materials from our presentation: handout, slides, GIF that shows design process, a video that illustrates how to set up a document in PowerPoint and additional resources.



Additional materials including grids, resources, and more.

November 9-14, 2015

Chicago, IL

DIY Video Production for Evaluators

Emma Perk

Videos are becoming an increasingly popular form of communication. They are a way to present information to an audience that combines spoken word and supportive imagery. As evaluators, we must always continue to consider new media for presenting our work. Videos are useful means for presenting findings and disseminating information about what evaluation is, or aspects of evaluation practice. Are you interested in making a video but do not know where to get started? In this interactive session we will demonstrate how to make a high-quality, low-cost video in less time than you would expect. We will take you step-by-step through a hands-on activity that will go over the key elements of a good video, demonstrate free and low-cost software, have participants create a video storyboard, and produce a short video based on one of the audience member’s storyboard.


Evaluation Questions: The Foundation for Meaningful and Useful Evaluation
Lori Wingate

The term evaluation question appears frequently in the literature on evaluation, but there is little practical guidance on the art of crafting good evaluation questions. Rossi, Lipsey, and Freeman’s (2004) text currently offers the most thorough discussion of evaluation questions, advising evaluators to pose questions that are reasonable, appropriate, and answerable. Embracing the AEA’s (2014) definition of evaluation as a “systematic process to determine merit, worth, value, or significance,” we argue that evaluation questions should also be evaluative. Building on the work of Rossi et al. and other experts, as well as our own practice and experience, we have developed an Evaluation Questions Checklist that presents five basic criteria for good evaluation questions. Adhering to these criteria in developing evaluation questions provides a solid foundation for a meaningful and useful evaluation. In this poster session, we will present and illustrate these criteria and share copies of our checklist with attendees.

Evaluation Questions Checklist for Program Evaluation

How to Build Data Dashboards
Miranda Lee

Contact Miranda Lee (