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SE Ep 3: Rigour

Hosted by Chuck Blue Lowry, this episode of Reflecting Value: Evaluation Principles in Practice explores rigour.

Keeping our evaluations rigorous is crucial if we want our findings to be accurate, giving us the best chance of learning from our activity and making meaningful changes to it.

But how do we make our evaluation rigorous? How do we identify the appropriate methods for our work, and apply them properly? How do we balance pure numbers with the human stories that come out of evaluation?

Join us as we ask our guests about identifying methods, sticking to the evidence and balancing analysis with description. We’ll wade into the age old debate – “quantitative or qualitative data?” – and discuss how the two can be properly combined into a mixed methods approach.

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Referenced in this episode:

Guest biographies

Kirsty Sedgman

Kirsty Sedgman

Dr Kirsty Sedgman is an award-winning cultural studies scholar. Based at the University of Bristol, Kirsty’s research asks how audiences find value in cultural participation, and how these experiences are made meaningful within their lives.

Kirsty is the author of numerous academic publications, and is the Editor of the Routledge book series in Audience Research. She has a particular interest in how we construct and maintain our competing value systems, working out how people can live side by side in the same world yet come to understand it in such totally different ways. She is passionate about exploring rigour and what it means in cultural contexts.

Anthony Schrag

Anthony Schrag

Dr Anthony Schrag is an artist and researcher whose cultural practice emphasizes people. His work is largely in-the-moment and performative, and includes, in his own words, ‘blowing things up, climbing on buildings, attempting to break a world record for hand-holding, and walking 2500km across Europe’.

Anthony has produced and performed art internationally, with residencies in Iceland, USA, Canada, Pakistan, Finland, The Netherlands and South Africa.

Anthony is a Reader in Arts Management and Cultural Policy at Queen Margaret University Edinburgh, where he serves as Programme Leader of the MA Arts Festivals and Cultural Management and Co-programme leader of the MA Applied Arts and Social Practice.

Dr Robyn Dowlen

Robyn Dowlen

Dr Robyn Dowlen is an independent evaluator based in Manchester who specializes in understanding ‘in the moment’ experiences, using a range of participatory and co-creative evaluation practices. Robyn has been immersed in culture and evaluation throughout her career. Previously, Robyn worked for the Centre for Cultural Value as a Post-doctoral Research Associate. In this role, she hosted the Reflecting Valuepodcast.

Robyn completed her PhD in 2019 which examined ‘in the moment’ benefits of music-making for people living with dementia. After her PhD Robyn spent time as a research associate at the University of Manchester on the Neighbourhoods and Dementia study before joining the Centre team as the Post-Doctoral Research Associate.

Chuck Blue Lowry

Chuck Blue Lowry

Chuck Blue Lowry is an artist, filmmaker and facilitator. She specialises in art as social practice, with a particular focus on intergenerational exchange and storytelling. She is interested in making work that platforms the voices of those who are often under or misrepresented. She is an associate artist with Magic Me and a lecturer at Central School of Speech and Drama and Central Saint Martins.

Chuck’s work has been presented at Tate Modern, BFI, WOW Festival, LSFF, Battersea Arts Centre and Whitechapel Gallery. She has been commissioned by Clean Break, Cardboard Citizens, METAL, The Yard Theatre and The Barbican.

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