Well, the 2014 ATE PI conference has come and gone. First, let us say thank you to AACC for again hosting a wonderful conference. It was great to meet and share ideas with such an amazing group of professionals. We truly look forward to this conference every year. This blog entry contains the EvaluATE team’s reflections on our personal highlights from this year’s conference and hopes for next year.

Jason

Robots! Guitars! Technology in action! My biggest highlight was getting to see the variety of work that is being done within the ATE program. It can be easy in our day-to-day work to forget how important the work of the ATE program is, but we are truly at the forefront of technological education in the United States. I also enjoy getting to see people that I know from within the program. I hope that next year continues to see even more new amazing tech bits!

Lori

For me, the highlight of the conference was when ATE Program Co-Lead David Campbell quoted EvaluATE’s Emma Perk to a room of 100+ people: “The most important purpose of evaluation is not to prove, but to improve.” She shared this quotation from Daniel Stufflebeam in her portion of the Getting Started workshop the day before. (View Emma and Jason’s Getting Started slides). At next year’s conference, I hope there will be more presentations in the research and evaluation conference track. Participants in the preconference workshop on evaluation appreciated hearing about real-world evaluations and practical tips from seasoned ATE evaluators.  We need more of this at every ATE PI conference! (Check out the workshop slides by Candiya Mann, Amy Nisselle, and Bruce Nash).

Emma

This year was my first time attending the ATE PI conference. The showcase sessions were the highlight of the conference for me. I really enjoyed interacting with the different PIs and staff from all the projects and centers. It was great to learn more about the ATE community and how we can expand on what we offer to them as a resource center. EvaluATE’s showcase booth was situated between ATE Central and Mentor-Connect, so we were able to reinforce our great relationship with them and refer people to their useful resources. My hope for next year is to do an evaluation session or roundtable, focusing on identifying the needs of the ATE community.

Corey

Unfortunately I was unable to be at the ATE conference this year. I missed the opportunity to put faces to names. As the annual survey coordinator, I communicate with many of you over the course of the year, so it’s nice to meet some of you face-to-face at the conference. I enjoy being able to talk in person with individuals about the ATE annual survey, to hear concerns, listen to suggestions, and talk data. If you didn’t see the latest reports based on the 2014 survey—like our data snapshots on the representation of women and underrepresented minorities in ATE—check them out here: http://www.evalu-ate.org/annual_survey/

 

We look forward to seeing you all at the conference next year! For more highlights from this year’s conference, including pictures please visit our

About the Authors

Jason Burkhardt

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EvaluATE Blog Editor

Jason is currently a project manager at the Evaluation Center at Western Michigan University. He is also a PhD student in the Interdisciplinary PhD in evaluation program. He enjoys music, art, and the finer things in life.

Corey Smith

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Doctoral Associate, The Evaluation Center

Corey Smith is a doctoral associate with EvaluATE. He is currently working on his Ph.D. in evaluation at Western Michigan University. His primary responsibilities with EvaluATE are to administer and manage the annual ATE survey, analyze data collected through that survey and produce reports, data snapshots and publications based on that data. PI’s may recognize his name from the flurry of nagging emails he sends about the annual survey each January through March.

Lori Wingate

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Executive Director, The Evaluation Center, Western Michigan University

Lori has a Ph.D. in evaluation and more than 20 years of experience in the field of program evaluation. She is co-principal investigator of EvaluATE and leads and a variety of evaluation projects at WMU focused on STEM education, health, and higher education initiatives. Dr. Wingate has led numerous webinars and workshops on evaluation in a variety of contexts, including CDC University and the American Evaluation Association Summer Evaluation Institute. She is an associate member of the graduate faculty at WMU.

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