Saturday, October 27, 2012

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Jennifer Nielsen and Tom Jarosz present at the AEA Evaluation 2012 conference

The American Evaluation Association (AEA) held its annual conference ""Evaluation 2012"" on

October 22-27 in Minneapolis. The Manhattan Strategy Group presented at three sessions during the event which focused on Evaluation in Complex Ecologies: Relationships, Responsibilities, Relevance. During a session sponsored by The Government Evaluation (TIG), Thomas Jarosz and Jennifer Nielsen presented, “Partners in Evaluation: Collaborative and Iterative Feedback Guiding an NSF Program’s Evaluation” as part of the session “National Science Foundation and Related Programs: Advances in Evaluating Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) Education Programs” chaired by Brian Yoder from the American Society for Engineering Education. The paper presented the perspectives of the MSG external evaluation team, as well as that of our federal client, to provide insights into how our collaborative approach to evaluation of the National Science Foundation’s Division of Engineering Education and Centers Nanotechnology Undergraduate Engineering (NUE) program can engage government programs and staff as partners, yielding actionable and relevant findings that facilitate change and program improvement within complex federal government grant-making ecologies.

In the demonstration, “Collaboration Ability, Data Visualization, and Cross Platform Interchange: Addressing Challenges of Complexity and Size Using NVivo9 and NVivo9 Server,” Nielsen presented with Kathleen Toms from Research Works Inc. and Rebecca Walker from Glen Martin Associates regarding the experience of three collaborating private sector evaluation companies in using a software tool and the work environment which it created. The demonstration was sponsored by the Integrating Technology into Evaluation TIG.

Nielsen also served as a discussant for “Advancing a Community of Practice Among Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) Evaluators: Developing and Bridging Formal Networks”, a think tank sponsored by the Pre-K - 12 Educational Evaluation TIG, along with independent consultant Jack Mills, Kimberle Kelly from University of Wisconsin, and Sam Held from Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education. The session was presented by Alyssa Na'im of the Education Development Center.

For additional details or information contact Jennifer Nielsen or visit the AEA 2012 conference website (link to