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Blog Post #7: An Intense Evaluation Experience

Show your support for new and upcoming evaluators! Consider attending presentations given by the student teams participating in the second round of the 2020 Student Evaluation Case Competition on June 15 at C2020. You might even learn a few new things too! 

The competition is a fabulous opportunity for students to showcase their program evaluation and collaborative skills. It’s an intense experience, but very rewarding. Many see it as an opportunity to deepen their knowledge of evaluation practice, advance their evaluation skills, and learn more about responding to a request for proposals.

The experience definitely delivers benefits for participating students. In their own words, “I was able to test my ability to apply my evaluation skills in a time-constrained context where the pressure was on”, “[I learned how] to work (and not work) as part of a team”, and “Great experience re: evaluation skills, research methodology, project management and working with a diverse team in a dynamic setting.” They also see it as a bonus for their résumés.

Teams of three to five university students participate in the annual two-round competition. Part of the fun and creativity is coming up with a “company” name for the team. The teams respond to a request for proposals based on a real program or initiative. A different case is provided for each round.

For the first round, held in February, students have 5.5 hours to prepare and submit their written proposals. While many teams work together in one location for this round, some collaborate by teleconference. The top three teams then participate in the second round which is held at the CES conference. They have 5 hours to prepare a presentation, which they present in-person to a panel of three judges.

The competition, supported by CES, the Canadian Evaluation Society Educational Fund and many corporate and individual sponsors, has grown considerably, from two teams in 1996 to about 15 to 20 teams annually, sometimes even more. Teams have until late January to register for the 2020 competition.

Students participating in Round 2 of the Student Evaluation Case Competition at the 2016 CES conference.