EPISODE 1

Welcome to ElevateEvaluate

CONTRIBUTORS

Dr. Maritza Concha and Samantha Ford 

Dr. Concha: Hello everyone and welcome to Elevate Evaluate podcasts. I’m Maritza Concha I am a Lecturer at a State University, and I'm also an external evaluator. 


00:21 Samantha: And I’m Sammy Ford. I worked with Maritza, but actually, you know, just two or three years ago I was just like the students that are on these podcasts. I walked into my program a valuation course, just ready to fulfill my requirements for my degree, but I had absolutely no idea what program evaluation was or what it meant. Thankfully, Maritza you were able to provide some really useful real-world insights into program evaluation. 

00:47 Dr. Concha: As Sammy said, she was my student three years ago. I know time flies. I do remember that Samantha, you were sitting in front of my class, always paying attention to my lectures. I just cannot believe that it has been already three years since we first met. 

01:05 Samantha: I know it's crazy. Which is why I was so interested when you mentioned you be doing a podcast with the semester students. So how did you come up with the idea for the podcast? 

01:16 Dr. Concha: Thank you, Samantha, for this is a very important question. I think that giving a voice to students to explore the tools they learn in class, has always been a priority for me as an educator and as a consultant. This platform would allow undergraduate students to share what they learn in class, but given real life scenarios to simple evaluation concepts and techniques such as process or outcome evaluations, the differences between outputs and outcomes, the introduction and application of logic models, measurable objectives and so on. For graduate students, I think this platform would allow them to share their evaluation proposals and what it meant for them to collaborate with other nonprofit organizations. And lastly, for educators, I think this podcast will help teachers of program evaluation to share their teaching activities and lessons learn as well as how to disseminate best practices. 

02:10 Samantha: And to me, I think this provides a really wonderful opportunity for students to not only ground what they know, but also give both students and teachers above evaluation alike, the space to reflect on how we think about the various processes and practices that go into program evaluation, and hopefully fingers crossed we can help grow the field of program evaluation. So how often do you think you'll be uploading episodes Maritza? 

02:36 Dr. Concha: In terms of frequency, I think I will expect to upload between three and four episodes at the end of each semester. I would also debrief the students’ episodes with my colleague, Dr. Maria Elena Villar to share some insights from the academic perspective. I think this is crucial and important because it's not only to hear their voices of students in terms of how they are applying key concepts of product evaluation, but also from the academic perspective. What are we doing as teachers? how can we improve the lessons and the activities that we're doing during class? And how can we become better educators and reach out more to our students and meet the student needs as well? 

03:23 Samantha: And again, I think as the ways we teach and learn change, especially with the state of the world right now, we really need to take the time to pause and reflect on the academic perspective and make sure we're taking the appropriate steps to ensure every student success. I mean, I know for you Maritza and for most other teachers in the world. We talked about how you had to move the teaching completely online. 

03:47 Dr. Concha: So before moving fully online and I know many of you are experiencing what we're experiencing right now, which is the fact that as educators, we're teaching fully online right now because of the pandemic and one of the things that my students and I did before doing the class fully online was that we were able to explore how to do logic models in a fun way. And you see different personal experiences of the students as case studies. This is an idea that I got from a book that I'm been using throughout the semester is called Building Evaluation Capacity by Hallie Preskill, and Darlene Russ-eft. I love this book. I think this book has some very interesting activities. Very interactive and you can tailor these activities at different audiences. Specifically, if you're teaching undergraduate students, this is a very well suited book for that, and I think it provides simple exercises that captivates the students attention. Sammy, would you like to introduce the next two episodes? 

04:54 Samantha: Of course, so our first episode is entitled Palmers Palace and in this episode students are describing the use of a logic model to buy a house and the second title. The second episode is actually also using a logic model. This episode will be titled Eloping to Alaska, which you guessed it, they are actually using their logic model to plan a wedding. So I hope you're all ready to start listening to the episodes. You can obviously find all of our episodes on our website, but you can also search the Apple podcasts and Google podcasts and you can just type in elevate evaluate podcasts and we should pop right up an if you check out our website even further, you can see that we have some other resources on there as well, including pages that introduce the students of the podcast and even a page of our recent graduates that are looking to join the field of professional program evaluation. 

05:51 Dr. Concha: Thank you Samantha for such an important information. I strongly advise everyone to visit the website. There you'll be able to see some nice pictures of students, the students, logic models, students, comments, takeaways and also the full list of episodes. I think this is a very informative website. You also have access to some blogs that I have written and also Sammy has done some as well regarding different techniques and approaches of program evaluation, lessons learned from the academic perspectives in teaching perspectives. So I think this is an important place to visit to navigate and if you are hiring or looking for students or recruiting students for any type of evaluation job, please also take a look at our website. There is a section of students’ profiles with access of their email and their contact information and a brief bio for specifically the ones that are graduating. So please enjoy and I don't know what else would you like to share Samantha. 

07:04 Samantha: Actually wait, so I wanted to remind you this year email in case anyone wanted to contact you. 

07:09 Dr. Concha: Thank you, Samantha, for reminding me. My email is mconcha19@gmail.com. So if you have any recommendations, suggestions, feel free to reach out to me to send me an email about any feedback or if you even want to share some of your stories or lessons learned from your students, please also feel free to do so. 

07:36 Samantha: Yes, so we're very excited. I hope you're all ready to listen up to our podcasts for really looking forward to your comments and thank you so much for listening. I hope you enjoy.