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Findings Cookies

Findings Cookies

If food can get people to meetings, maybe it can get people interested in evaluation findings, too. Introducing, the Findings Cookie.

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The recipe is pretty straightforward, though you’ll want to adjust the number of servings for your audience. I messed up a lot on the first several, so best to give yourself advance time to prototype your cookie before you have to serve it to a stakeholder. For instance, my oven only needed 4 minutes, not the recommended 5-6.

I inserted folded statements of findings from the evaluation, rather than fortunes. Each cookie held a different statement so that the audience was encouraged to open (and eat) them all.

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We go to the effort of some trial and error and burnt sugar because the novelty of the situation will draw out enthusiasm and elicit discussion among those evaluation stakeholders seated around the table (when their mouths aren’t full of cookie).

Though be careful of how you frame this. When I ran my idea past a friend, he said, “Most evaluations are so poorly designed and executed anyway that people might as well use a fortune cookie to determine findings.” Uh, not really what you want to project when you bring a plate of cookies into the room, right? So lead with the message that: These are not fortune cookies. Inside, you will not find your fortune, plucked randomly from a basket at a factory. These are Findings Cookies. You’ll crack one open to discover something we learned about your program performance. (You could probably make them Recommendations Cookies, too!)
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Notice how much room I have on those tiny little strips of paper? Not much, yo! You’ll have to work to encapsulate your findings into something that can fit in about 1.5″. Need some help? Check out the webinar I gave this summer on Message and try the 6-word presentation story activity I suggest there. The bottom line is that each finding should be tweet-able.

Bon appetit!

4 thoughts on “Findings Cookies
  1. Mark Parman says:

    What a great idea. I’m now thinking that there is a way to use this with some of our cultural foods. What a great way to mix evaluation findings and our cultural heritage. “Findings Frybread” maybe?

  2. Sheila B. Robinson says:

    Love this! :-) Yummy!

    You could also do Findings Chocolates, where you print on the wrapper. I’d definitely take more of an interest in the study that way!

    I can see having people at tables and doing an interactive activity whereby they are asked to share their findings (from the cookies), and discuss with table groups to make sense of them, and maybe (depending on the context) even start to develop recommendations collaboratively.

  3. Alanna Koshollek says:

    This is so creative! I can’t wait to try this approach with our group. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Susan Kistler says:

    I meant to post back here but forgot. So…better late than never? After reading your post, and Sheila’s suggestion for Findings Chocolates, I decided to give them a try. Here’s a tutorial on making chocolate wrappers for the data diva’s chocolate box http://thesmarterone.com/2014/03/26/the-data-divas-chocolate-box/.

    You always inspire. Thank you Stephanie!

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2 of the worst fonts, combined into 1 http://t.co/5YH662i8xP

@clysy @laurabeals @SheilaBRobinson @AnnKEmery this http://t.co/CAVld759Ej also handouts are going to be discussed on the podcast soon!

RT @LegoAcademics: Green initiative: Dr Black has only used recycled presentation slides for the past 3 years. http://t.co/MqzxL5xjWc

@seanlahman how do you find the time?

RT @leeclowsbeard: If your PowerPoint presentation also works as a leave behind, you’re doing both wrong.

Missed flight = sketching my 2014 personal annual report on the only paper available (my spare workshop handout) http://t.co/fQZg0gj3fa

I'm suddenly amazingly sleepy.

Wow, heading home after my last workshop of the year. Look for the total number I've given on my annual report, out soon.

RT @rosefass: Start 2015 off right! Learn how present data the proper way - http://t.co/DlcSyS2tXI by @powerfulpoint & @evergreendata