Last week I went to the Australasian Evaluation Society’s conference – mainly because it was happening on my doorstep. Another draw was that Michael Quinn Patton (who needs no introduction to anyone who has done a research methods course) was delivering one of the keynotes. At first I was disappointed when I learned that this keynote was via videolink, but in this instance it worked well, if not quite the same as being in the same room.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from the conference, because I’m not sure I can really lay claim to the title ‘evaluator’. But since evaluation spans such broad areas – public policy, health, international development, education and indigenous programs to name just a few – I wasn’t obviously out of place. Having said that, there was still some unfamiliar terminology and assumed knowledge among the delegates that had me reaching for Google later on.
I’ve compiled a storify of conference tweets which serves as a good overview. While most of the sessions were not directly related to my research, it was interesting to get some different perspectives on theories and methodologies, and see where the commonalities were. I also met some interesting people and gained a different perspective on how my skills could be used in my life post-PhD.