Methods of Evaluation

Evaluating and making quality assessments of theatre can be tricky, possibly because art and culture can’t be measured. It can be hard to judge which criteria should be applied to assess the value and effect of a theatre production. Previously this has predominantly been avoided and evaluations were restricted to individual analysis of the content and aesthetics of the particular piece. However in recent years companies have shown a growing interest in evaluations, both externally (which is a general cultural political analytical trend in society) and internally within the project to optimize the organization's understanding and to establish constructive knowledge from experience. In psychological terms it also is rewarding to complete a project in a satisfactory manner (whether it has been a good or less successful process) and to utilize the experiences in future work. Evaluations can be useful methods for stimulating reflections and promoting the further development of the project and the organization behind.

Make evaluations as a constructive and organized part of the process that gives voice to everyone who has questions looking ahead. This ensures the continued knowledge.

An evaluation is the systematic gathering of information that provides the basis for creating knowledge on the implementation, organization and impact of specific initiatives/projects. A frequently applied structure in evaluation models is to isolate key questions seen from strength/ weakness perspectives.

6 models of evaluation

Objective achievement evaluation: To what extent did the project met the objectives?

Effect Evaluation: What effects did the project have, also beyond the target audience?

Process Evaluation: How was the project implemented? How to explain a flawed process?

Development Evaluation (runs during the course of the project): How to improve process and project?

Consumer Evaluation: How did the recipient / target audience receive the project?

Peer review: How did the project assessed by experts in the same profession?

These models can be used individually and combined.

The evaluations targets can furthermore be subdivided into four paradigms:

  1. Empirical analytical - to describe and explain the project
  2. Hermeneutic - to understand and interpret project
  3. Critical - to detect and identify project
  4. Operations – to develop more exploits for the project

Less is more (sometimes)

A very simple method to manage the level of discussions and stimulate constructive development is to limit the evaluation to two points:

Mention two things, or more, that were good in project

Make two suggestions, or more, for improvement

This fulfils requirements of reflection on the strengths and weaknesses and focuses on the constructive collection of knowledge.

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