[APG Public List] Participating in Evaluations

Laura Prescott laura at lauraprescott.com
Wed Oct 7 05:17:29 MDT 2009


When I was involved in GENTECH, we relied on evaluations to inform the next
year's program chairs as well as provide feedback to speakers. The same is
done at New England's NERGC conference. When I worked at NEHGS, I made sure
that speakers privately received any comments and evaluations provided.

On the other side of the lectern, as a speaker, I especially appreciate
hearing the reviews: the good, the bad, and the ugly. GENTECH, NERGC, the
Ohio Genealogical Society Conference, and a few one-day seminars at which
I've presented talks have provided me with comments and ratings which have
made a big difference in my self-evaluation. Evaluations that are developed
well and actually used (by speakers and conference chairs) can be a valuable
tool for creating better conference programs in the future.


Laura G. Prescott
Brookline, NH

On 10/6/09 9:07 PM, "Claire Bettag" <claire at clairebettag.com> wrote:

> The discussion about what should be included in evaluations piques my
> interest. Some of the comments sound as if evaluations have been
> introduced for specific lectures at the national conferences. If so,
> I'm surprised and pleased. So, can someone clarify...have NGS and FGS
> begun to include evaluations on specific presentations?
> For years NGS at least has not used them (but I don't know about
> Raleigh, as I was not there). I've always believed attendees should be
> asked to evaluate every presentation at national conferences, and--
> just as important--that the evaluations should be shared with the
> speakers. I realize this is a hot button, but I nevertheless believe
> it is time for all national conferences to include evaluations and to
> share the evaluations with the speakers.
> For the first several years when I began speaking at national
> conferences I made up my own eval forms. The room monitors passed them
> out to the attendees and collected them for me. The feedback was
> invaluable.
> NIGR and IGHR and probably some of the other institutes and events do
> request evaluations for each lecture / class. As a speaker I must say
> I find them indispensable--we learn what worked in our presentations,
> what didn't, what people found too basic, too advanced, too rushed,
> too detailed, too general--you get the drift. Evaluation forms for
> each presentation should be a wonderful tool, as well, for answering
> the kinds of questions that are being raised here--for example,
> whether more advanced tracks should be offered.
> I'm glad this topic has come up and I hope others will urge conference
> planners to introduce meaningful evaluations not just for the overall
> event, but for each lecture / class. Even if there have been problems
> in the past--and I realize there have been some--isn't it time we
> moved past them? I believe everyone would benefit.
> Claire
> Claire Bettag
> 1685 34th Street NW
> Washington, DC 20007
> 202-625-2598
> cell: 202-436-2121
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