Nerida and I have been running a number of workshops over the past year, and we eagerly read the evaluation forms we collect at the end of each of these events. In the lead up to two more workshops, I revisited the evaluation forms from the recent Melbourne and Sunshine Coast Council events. These quotes are from the qualitative parts of our evaluation forms:
“Thank you, communicating verbally in groups is not my strong point, but these techniques seem easy and less threatening – very valuable” (Melbourne)
“A great workshop with real application. I look forward to using some of these tools as we engage the Sunshine Coast community in implementing our Waterway Strategy” (Sunshine Coast)
Generally we leave it at that, just read through the comments and get a general impression of what attendees felt. Today, however, I put the results into a column format and I found it easier to get a picture of what people felt about our work. This diagrammatic representation of responses gave me a very good understanding about our strenghts, areas for improvement and how to continuously adapt to meet the needs of our clients.
Overall, this exercise confirmed my view that the evaluations with greatest insights are those that use both qualitative and quantitative assessment approaches.
Our Melbourne (graph 1) and Sunshine Coast Council (graph 2) results are shown below, with the categories from left to right recording how attendees felt about a range of workshop factors – meet expectations / presenters subject knowledge / maintain attendees interest / teaching methods used / relevance to attendees work / stimulating content / well organised / supporting workshop materials. The rankings are Excellent, Good , Satisfactory - just the one satisfactory out of 30 people, and I am pleased to say that there are no Poor rankings which is brilliant! Siwan
Sustainable Living Festival Presentation
Well, you really know you have ‘made it’ when you get on to You Tube! The Power of Story presentation we prepared for the recent Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne is now available for you to take a look at. It is somewhat confronting seeing yourself on video and I don’t think Hollywood will be calling us anytime soon (!), however, a good tale is told and you might enjoy being able to tap into some inspiration for the work you do whenever you feel like it. Thanks again to the Victoria Naturally Alliance for inviting us to present, it was a wonderful opportunity. Our new page on the Power of Story – Using Multimedia is now ready for you to enjoy and we have also included some links to favourite story sites that you might want to explore.
Siwan and Nerida
It is with a great sense of disappointment that we have made the decision to cancel the Sharing Water Knowledge Forum due to be held in Albury at the end of this month. The flooding in Queensland and in parts of the Murray-Darling Basin, combined with the release of the Guide to the Basin Plan, has meant that two of our main sponsors, the CSIRO and MDBA, have been unable to spend sufficient time on planning and organising their workshop sessions. As a result, we feel we have no alternative but to cancel, as we wanted this event to be brilliant, not ‘ho hum’. We hope to offer some of these sessions as stand-alone workshops or as part of other events as opportunities arise. The Indigenous Knowledge and Cultural Flows, and Science Communication and Storytelling were well supported by those who registered, so these might be the first two we re-examine and offer in another format. At this stage we have no dates and we need a bit of time to regroup. Once again, please accept our sincerest apologies,
Siwan and Nerida
The Hawkesbury Nepean River Recovery Program (HNRRP) aims to help improve the health of the river system by reducing the amount of nutrients entering the river system and making more water available for environmental ﬂows. The March 2011 issue of HNRRP e-news explores one of these important objectives, looking at how the HNRRP is working to prevent an estimated 48.2 tonnes of nutrients entering the river system each year and discussing how this will beneﬁt the river. You can also read about the start of works for the Hawkesbury City Council South Windsor Efﬂuent Reuse Scheme and some interesting insights into other HNRRP projects.
Nerida and I have had a really busy two weeks running workshops in both Maroochydore and Melbourne, as well as participating in the Sustainable Living Festival where I was privileged to be asked to speak in the BMW Edge ‘glass box’ in Federation Square, downtown Melbourne. What a treat, as the space is very beautiful and we were thrilled when it filled up with people to hear about the Power of Story.
Earlier in the week we had the pleasure of spending three days on the Sunshine Coast with Mick Smith and his team – a group of highly motivated and passionate people who love their rivers, upland and coastal regions, and who want to harness the strength of conversation and story to assist them in working with their local community to implement a new and vibrant Waterway Strategy.
Thank you to Sunshine Coast Council and the Victoria Naturally Alliance for inviting us to be part of these events and to share our belief in the need to value people and the stories they can tell – we are now pleased to be home and working full steam ahead on the Sharing Water Knowledge Forum – we would love to see you there!