Data Isn’t a Four-Letter Word: Measuring Your Impact (4 Sessions)
Taught by Naava Frank and Laura Shefter
This four-part learning lab will take you through the process of data collection, from start to finish, equipping you with the knowledge and tools you can use to measure the impact of experiential education in your organization. Each session includes practical tools and worksheets, as well as resources from the Schusterman Data Playbook by Rella Kaplowitz. The learning lab will teach you about each of the four stages of measurement: determining your goals, collecting data, analysis, and communicating results. Together, we will apply these steps to measuring experiential education outcomes. As part of this lab, you can engage in your own data collection practice to apply your newly acquired skills and tools, with the support and feedback of a hevruta partner. Finally, you will learn important concepts, terms, and questions that will empower you to become a critical consumer of data. Upon completion of this lab, participants will receive a certificate of completion in “Using Data to Measure Impact.”
Naava Frank, Ed.D. is Founder and Director of Naava Frank, LLC. Naava consults to foundations and non-profit organizations on networks, professional development, and using data to be proactive and measure outcomes. Naava is a nationally recognized expert in the use of communities of practice and networks in the Jewish community. Naava holds an Ed.D. from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from Barnard College/Columbia University.
Laura Shefter is an Ed.D. candidate at the William Davidson School of Education at the Jewish Theological Seminary where she studies professional identity and professional development. She focuses on experiential education and has a background in Hillel work. Recently, Laura served as a coach for summer camp inclusion professionals who were doing action research. Laura has a B.A. from the University of Toronto, where she is originally from.
The Experiential Jewish Education Network
The Experiential Jewish Education Network, funded by the Jim Joseph Foundation, currently serves the 200+ graduates of the four experiential Jewish education connected programs launched under the Jim Joseph Foundation Education Initiative at Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion, The Davidson School of the Jewish Theological Seminary and Yeshiva University.
The Experiential Jewish Education Network strengthens the professional knowledge, skills, connections and leadership capability of experiential Jewish educators, increasing success, innovation, collaboration and engagement in the Jewish community.
For more information about the Experiential Jewish Education Network contact Micol Zimmerman
To sponsor a webinar series or sign up to participate in a webinar series contact Naava Frank
Testimonial: “I am already supremely impressed with the level of professionalism this offering is providing.”
Thank you to our Advisory Committee: Dr. David Bryfman, Deborah Grayson Riegel, and Rella Kaplowitz for their feedback, guidance, and support.
Thank you to Pearl Beck for being a project mentor. Our appreciation to Mark Young and Dr. Jeffrey Kress of The Jewish Theological Seminary for their encouragement and expertise. Our gratitude to the Jewish Evaluation Network of UJA Federation of New York.
I was asked to facilitate a 3-part collaboration track for teachers of Tanach. Our goal was to explore how collaboration with colleagues could improve the teaching and learning of Tanach in Jewish day schools.
Our working definition of collaboration for these sessions was:
- Deep, rich and ongoing back and forth exchange of ideas.
- Generates new options.
- Includes the possibility that you will be changed by it.
- Takes place with other adult colleagues*
We explored three guiding questions:
- Why collaborate? With whom?
- How can you take your collaboration to the next level? What will it take to create a shared culture within your institution to enable effective collaboration? Are there tools that can be helpful?
- What role can collaboration play in achieving your own professional goals once you leave the conference?
In preparing for the event I was inspired by an article I read in the Hayidion Fall, 2016 issue, devoted to the subject of collaboration. The article titled “Dialogue Across Difference: The Power of Collaboration When Colleagues Disagree” by Lauren Applebaum and Sivan Zakai advocates for the benefits of collaboration between professionals who do not necessarily have shared perspectives.
Applebaum and Zakai use the metaphor of a mirror to describe the outcomes of collaboration with like-minded colleagues and a microscope to describe the outcomes of collaboration with diverse colleague. We are naturally drawn to colleagues who are like us. Collaborating with a colleague with whom you share perspectives and values is both useful and important and provides a mirror to see your work more clearly. For example, you may both be committed to supporting students’ development of textual skills and can share and compare assessments and student outcomes.
However, Applebaum and Zakai point out that there are many assumptions not tested and questions not asked when working with someone who mirrors your perspectives. Collaborating with a colleague who does not share your beliefs and values is more challenging — which has both positive and negative implications. For example, if you are collaborating with someone whose focus is helping students make personal meaning from Tanach, and your focus is the development of textual skills, it is more difficult at first to understand each other’s work.
Nonetheless, the challenge of being understood by someone who is different also encourages you to dig deeper, think harder and examine questions you might not otherwise consider. The metaphor of a microscope points to the details that become visible and open for examination when you collaborate with someone who holds different assumptions. Research shows that unlike pairs produce new thinking that is stronger, richer and more innovative. In the case of teacher collaboration, the result of collaborating with more diverse colleagues can be the ability to successfully reach more diverse students.
I developed and then piloted this Setting the Table for Collaboration Tool at the Pardes Tanach Conference. The tool engages teachers in exploring assumptions about working with colleagues who have different perspectives. It could be used in schools at the beginning of a collaboration as part of a conversation about norms. Taking the time to discuss and agree upon norms can establish an environment and culture that is safe, respectful and welcoming to all perspectives. The result of fostering a rigorous and productive collaboration culture is sure to maximize the learning outcomes for teachers and students alike.
Please click here to download the Setting the Table for Collaboration Tool along with instructions for how to use it. Find yourself a collaborative partner and give it a try. Feel free to share the experience and tools with others.
Read more about norm development from the National Staff Development Council.
I am grateful to the Pardes Center for Jewish Educators, authors of the article, Lauren Applebaum and Sivan Zakai, Prizmah‘s Hayedion, and Suri Jacknis of The Jewish Education Project.
*While there is much to say about collaboration with and between students, that was not the focus of this series of sessions.
The term “network weaver” occurs throughout this issue. This article provides a job description and suggestions for operational techniques for this newest of occupations.
Identify the strengths and gifts of those in your network
How can you learn about those in your network?
Help people with common interests connect
Encourage complex reciprocity
The importance of diverse perspectives
Grow more network weavers
The Introduction Pyramid by June Holley*
Suggesting to A that A should talk to B
Suggesting A talk to B; tell B to look for A
Introducing A to B in an email
Introducing A to B in a joint conference call
Introducing A to B in person
Introducing A to B in person, following up with A & B to nurture connection
Introducing A to B in person and offering transitional collaboration to get A & B off to a successful partnership
Originally posted: Tuesday, October 22, 2013
- Failure to appreciate the value of sharing knowledge.
- Lack of understanding how to effectively share knowledge.
- There are no incentives or rewards (material or psychic) for knowledge sharing.
- People are busy and even with the best of intentions don’t develop a habit of knowledge sharing.
- Professionals are afraid to reveal they do not know something; they do not want to take risks or be shown wrong because they would feel embarrassed.
- Concern that sharing knowledge will reduce one’s own value, prestige or recognition. Competition — real or perceived — for limited resources decreases motivation and safety for sharing.
- Perceived benefits of knowledge hoarding: makes people feel secure, safe or powerful; people hope to benefit (dollars, power, and credibility) from having exclusive access to knowledge.
- Lack of clarity on issues of confidentiality can lead to either withholding information that can be helpful or sharing it inappropriately.
Benefits to sharing knowledge include:
- Enhancement of effectiveness and efficiency by spreading good ideas and practices.
- Cost effectiveness – knowledge is developed and then re-used by many people.
- Time savings – Professionals learn from their mistakes and those of others.
- Emotional relief and decreased tension are experienced when problems are shared.
- Bonds and connections between professionals are strengthened; solving problems brings people together.
- More sophisticated ideas, insights and information sources are applied to problems resulting in better solutions.
- Innovation and discovery increase as does: excitement, engagement and motivation.
- A feeling of satisfaction from sharing knowledge, much like giving charity, results from making a contribution to society.
- Respectful ways of using knowledge – with attribution and permission — benefit the person who generates the knowledge and the person who shares it.
People who have a positive experience of knowledge sharing typically wish to continue to invest in knowledge sharing activities.
Good Habits of Knowledge Sharing
“Whoever repeats a statement in the name of the one who said it brings redemption to the world.” (Avot 6:6)
Commentary: The sages deemed it so imperative that credit should be given for another’s ideas that they identified the act as a cause for redemption, both communal and personal (Midrash Shmuel).
Thank you to Michael Miloff and Ilene Vogelstein for their contributions to this document.
Distributed by Naava Frank & Associates/ Knowledge Communities
Originally published: Tuesday, May 07, 2013
Originally Posted: Thursday, May 02, 2013
Originally Posted: Thursday, April 25, 2013
The nuanced distinction in the article below between feedback for young people and feedback for senior people is important. I like when the complexity of an issue is presented and this article does that. It also validates my own experience.
At the goodbye party held for me at YU School Partnership I was touched and surprised by the ways that younger staff in the office articulated the positive impact my encouragement had on them. They reported things like I had pushed them out of their comfort zone, helped them gain confidence and find their voice.
I learned a great deal from the feedback I received from Dr. Scott Goldberg my supervisor at YU School Partnership and Jane Taubenfeld Cohen my wise colleague.
Hope others find this useful as well.
“I’ve aggregated the Very Important and Essential scores and highlighted in blue the top 5 rated ways of learning in the workplace. This shows …
- that company training/e-learning is the lowest rated way to learn at work , and
- that workers find other (self-organised and self-managed) ways of learning at work far more valuable – with team collaboration being the highest rated.”
“Nevertheless as a whole, these survey results are yet another piece of evidence that show how workers are continuing to organise and manage their own learning in many different ways – and in doing so are bypassing the L&D Department. What’s more a comparison with the 2012 Learning in the Workplace survey results shows that this is a continuing trend.”
How are you organizing learning in your workplace?
#1: A famous example of a community of practice within an organization is that which developed around the Xerox customer service representatives who repaired the machines in the field (Brown & Duguid 2000). The Xerox reps began exchanging tips and tricks over informal meetings over breakfast or lunch and eventually Xerox saw the value of these interactions and created the Eureka project to allow these interactions to be shared across the global network of representatives. The Eureka database has been estimated to have saved the corporation $100 million. source: Wikipedia article on Etienne Wenger
My work is helping people who are accustomed to working in a hierarchical way to make room in their repertoire for working in a networked way. They are embedded in a hierarchy but when they want to work on engaging their constituents, they need to shift their thinking – and it’s hard – it takes time and conversation and dialogue because it’s so far away from their experience of what it possible.
I need to say things like “what would happen if we tried it this way.” It’s soo exciting when that ‘aha’ happens like it did today!
We were talking about how to get staff onto the new web-platform. And our introductory buddy system visit (see blog post ) worked well so we had leaders identified who were ready to go.
My clients wanted to go back to planning mode, which is their comfort zone, get teams ready to go into the platform as a group — like the marines – no man left behind – and I said: “what about if we just let the people who are ready start now.” The teams can reflect on and organize themselves after we have some action and facts on the ground in two weeks from now.
A light bulb went off — all of a sudden they did not have to carry their team members on their back into the platform — it was every man and woman for themselves. It was exhilarating.
Also a little scary. But I reassured them the order and structure emerge from the activities of the individuals. Instead of hierarchical control – we have other means of control – like peer pressure, norms, policies, taxonomies, technology structures.
It takes practice and reinforcement to keep the light bulb lit – but I know over time it will become second nature. And then my job is done.
At least until the community moves into another phase of its development.