For all of the RRR workshops held during our three years together, we used the same four-point evaluation questions. We wanted our same people to answer the same questions about each workshop so that we could compare data among workshops. Since we would be presenting to different people in each different region for the RRR Outreach Conferences, I chose an open evaluation design. Here is a sampling of what people wrote:
New Things I Learned
I learned that these people really enjoyed being together
I found an awesome website on canals
I learned several new websites to use in the classroom
I gained knowledge of a book I can use with my high school students
All about the Cultural Gardens
I learned the two-finger method of speeding up cursor to move up and down
Great U of Va. resourceâ€”library census tool
I think I would like to visit the Cultural Gardens
I learned new information about the Ohio Erie Canal
The Best Thing About Tonight
Learning about Maureen’s application of the Cultural Gardens
Being with teachers stretching, growing, flying
Being with friends
Websites and resources
TROUBLE DON’T LAST
How to apply the Ohio & Erie Canal to other content areas
The enthusiasm of the presenters
Lots of great people participating in an awesome workshop
The Cultural Gardens Website
The diversity of the presentationsâ€¦books..canalsâ€¦gardens..data
I have driven by the gardensâ€¦now I have to stop and enjoy them
Transfer to Your Classroom
Use some of Mike Sears’s resources for the canal
New ideas for canal study
Life and Death on the Canalâ€¦I learned a lot
Field Trip suggestionsâ€¦I wish I could take my class
Use of new Web sites
I loved the bag of resources. I can use all of them
I would like to take TROUBLE DON’T LAST to my classroom
I will share with my friends!
Cultural Gardens lesson plan was fantastic
Cultural heritage when we talk about celebration
Looking around me. Knowing what’s near to teach history
Suggestions for Improvement
Are you kidding?
How can we do a better job to get the word (and people) out?
More! More! More!
NONE! This was great
I loved it! I am so glad I attended
I wish I had more time to visit all of the sessionsâ€¦instead of choosing only two
More people should have attended
Great opportunity for sharing
This type of evaluation does not give us data. What it does is recognize in writing the great effort of the presenters. My own sentiments echo wanting more people there. I, too, wish I had a way of â€œgetting the word out.â€ The superintendent and the building principal, however, reassured me that they were please with the number of teachers who attended. Teaching is a difficult job and teachers usually want to go home to their families.
In a perfect world perhaps all professional development would be scheduled during the school day. In my years leading professional development in the public schools, I know that teachers complain about having to give up class time for professional development. They’d rather have the time to draft lesson plans or collaborate with colleagues.
We have what we have. I am not unhappy with the conference. The comments indicate how well those who attended received our message. Most of all, I am proud of our RRR presenters. They could not have given more if there had been a thousand teachers in their audience.
As I listened to our people interact with other teachers, I became aware of how much they had grown. I became aware of how much I have learned in our three years of work. It was a great day for me when I agreed to be a part of this project.
Our next Outreach Conference is in Nordonia! I will use the same evaluation and I will report on our efforts there!