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CONFERENCE EVALUATION DATA COLLECTION. WHEN TO COLLECT DATA?. Survey, Interviews, etc. Polling, Observation, Focus groups, Interviews, etc. Interviews, Surveys, etc. WHAT TO COLLECT?.

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when to collect data
WHEN TO COLLECT DATA?

Survey,Interviews,

etc.

Polling,Observation,Focus groups,Interviews, etc.

Interviews,

Surveys,

etc

what to collect
WHAT TO COLLECT?
  • You have to move from the objectives you want to evaluate to concrete questions – “operationalisation”

“Assess what were key learnings

of the conference”

Change to knowledge

Which of the following issues did the conference address for you?To what extent did the conference increase your knowledge on the following issues?

  • You then need to put questions into the appropriate surveys, interview guides, etc.
how much data to collect
HOW MUCH DATA TO COLLECT?
  • The number or survey responses needed or persons interviewed largely depends on the size and type of the conference
  • You are not trying to achieve scientifically valid sampling but collecting enough feedback to make your evaluation credible and representative
  • Some general recommendations:
    • Surveys: aim to have 30 – 60% of all conference participants respond to your survey
    • Interviews: 8-12 interviews per demographic group is usually sufficient to gather enough feedback
guidance for data collection
GUIDANCE FOR DATA COLLECTION
  • Evaluators have to be impartial, cooperative and respectful
  • Good data collection guarantees anonymity to participants
  • Collect only data you need – evaluations tend to collect too much data that is never used
  • Develop a feeling for when you have collected enough data – this is called “saturation” – e.g. in interviewing when you keep hearing the same things with no variations
the interview data collection
THE INTERVIEW - DATA COLLECTION
  • Semi-structured interviews often work well in conference evaluations
  • When interviewing:
    • Ask for amplifications, examples and have participants define terms
    • Use phatic language to encourage responses “I see..” “ah huh..”
    • Listen to what the respondents don’t tell you
    • Write up your notes as soon as you can after the interview
the survey data collection
THE SURVEY - DATA COLLECTION
  • General advice:
  • Key when to give out the survey – during, at the end or after the conference (paper vs. online versions….)
  • Keep the survey short! Always link the survey questions back to your evaluation objectives to avoid “survey creep”
  • Start with more general questions (e.g. attitudes) and move to the more specific (e.g. demographic)
  • No need to reinvent the wheel – look at other conference surveys and use commonly used question scales and terms
  • Repeat questions from year to year to allow comparison
  • Test your survey before deployment
the survey data collection1
THE SURVEY - DATA COLLECTION

Structuring the survey:

the survey data collection2
THE SURVEY - DATA COLLECTION
  • Type of questions
  • Different question types are suited to different types of information sought:
    • Open questions
    • Closed questions:
    • Likert scale
    • Rank order scale
    • Multiple choice (singular response)
    • Multiple choice (plural response)
    • Binary (e.g. yes/no)
    • Numerical response
the survey data collection3
THE SURVEY - DATA COLLECTION
  • Writing question
  • All surveys should have at least one open-ended question - often useful for the “why” and the “how”
  • Only ask one piece of information per question
  • Be consistent in the use of terms and words
  • Ensure that questions are answerable
  • Avoid biased questions
  • Avoid having similar questions with same response set
  • For closed questions with pre-listed responses, make sure list is exhaustive (include “other” if in doubt)