The Value in Evaluations

The Value in Evaluations

Learning Objectives: To understand why evaluations are important and one method of evaluation

Why is Evaluation Important?

At Leadership Inspirations, we value feedback as a tool of reflection and improvement. Giving and receiving effective feedback is something that our staff constantly strive for. In fact, at the end of all of our programs, we ask participants to fill out evaluations because we understand that our process and our facilitators will always have room for improvement. The structure and framing of these evaluations has an influence over the feedback we receive, so we are always very intentional about the way we ask participants to fill out evaluations.

Plus/Delta Evaluations

We tend to use plus/delta evaluations because they are easy to use and simple to understand. They are easy to use because they require very little materials. Any paper and pens are sufficient to complete plus/delta evaluations. Furthermore, they are simple to understand because we only need to explain the two columns. The ‘plus’ refers to positives, or things that were done particularly well and that we should continue doing in the future. ‘Delta’ stands for change and refers to things that could be improved for next time. When explaining the ‘delta’, we distinguish it from ‘minus’ or negatives because ‘deltas’ are constructive criticism that identify ways to improve rather than just stating a negative.

One final consideration is that we always ask participants to be as specific as possible with their evaluations. For example, while “activities were great” is nice feedback to get, it would be nice to know which activities and what was great about them. A more helpful piece of feedback would be: “Silent Opera really pushed us out of our comfort zones and Andrew gave really clear instructions.”

An example of a plus/delta evaluation is depicted below:

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Evaluating Ourselves

We are also firm believers in practicing what we preach. As facilitators, it’s important to take time to reflect on our own skills and performance so that we can be aware of our strengths and opportunities for growth. Spend time evaluating yourself, or if you facilitate in pairs or small groups, create a safe space for you to provide constructive feedback to each other.