Current Work

This page includes recent thinking about evaluation.

Use of complexity methodologies in evaluation

Judy Oakden is currently working to show ways complexity methodologies can be useful in evaluation.

Evaluating in complexity: nearly 20 years on what have we learned? 

How do we evaluate where the context keeps changing? The activities planned morph into something different (with varying degrees of success). Programme managers are left with a gap between what they planned and what actually happens – but still need to evaluate it.

Nearly 20 years ago Glenda Eoyang and Thomas Berkas wrote on how to evaluate in complexity. In preparing this presentation Judy went back to their suggested ways of thinking and doing. She wished to see how well their ideas had stood the test of time. Judy considered how their ideas informed her current practice.  She reflected on what this means for evaluators going forward.

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Thoughts on the components of evaluative rubrics

Judy outlines her most recent thinking about the components of rubrics.  She produced this ebook on how rubrics are constructed. Download it here.

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What is on the rubric’s horizon?

Evaluators in Aotearoa New Zealand are increasingly using rubrics in their evaluative practice. A working knowledge about using rubrics is emerging. We now have some idea of what makes them more or less effective. While rubrics have shifted our evaluation practice, it has not been without challenges. Judy comments “I’d put my money on rubrics being here to stay, but I think we need to understand the challenges of using them and mitigate against the risks.”

In this e-book Judy Oakden and Melissa Weenink explore some of the challenges encountered in their rubrics use. They explore difficulties they and others face with rubrics. This e-book includes feedback from their ANZEA Conference session in Auckland, New Zealand in 2015.

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The use of rich pictures in evaluation

Rich pictures are a Soft Systems Methodology (SSM) tool. Rich pictures offer a quick and efficient way to work with key stakeholders to better understand their “problematical situation”. However, they can be hard to do well. Judy presented  a session on using rich pictures at the American Evaluation Association Conference in Denver in 2014. She demonstrated how to develop up a rich picture and discussed ways to use this methodology well in evaluation. You can download the e-book companion from this workshop.

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