Research & Evaluation

Privacy Forum 2011 Formative Evaluation

Report date: August, 2011



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General Description: 

As part of the creation of the “Privacy. Civil Liberties. Nanotechnology.” forum, the program was formatively evaluated three times between September 2008 and September 2009. This report is a summary of those findings.

Major Findings: 

Based on the results of the formative evaluation, advice to those presenting future “Privacy. Civil Liberties. Nanotechnology.” forums includes the following:
When marketing the forum, consider targeting people:
  • Who are already familiar with your institution and its programming, by marketing through internal email lists and member magazines;
  • Who are personally or professionally interested in the programming, by marketing through related organizations; and
  • Who are not as familiar with your institution, by partnering with diverse community organizations who may be interested in the forum topic.
When choosing a venue, make sure that participants can easily:
  • See and hear the presentations, play, and other participants and
  • Travel to and maneuver in the space.
When setting the agenda and content for the program, make sure to:
  • Balance the time allowed for expert presentations and small group discussion because participants find both of these segments important;
  • Clearly frame the purpose of the forum and instructions for the small group discussion and report-out;
  • Cover the full range of content relevant to the discussion scenario and play during the expert presentation, including information about nanoscale science, engineering, and technology, applications mentioned in the scenarios and play, and some of their potential societal and ethical impacts; and
  • Prepare the speaker for the forum by telling them who you expect to attend, working with them to craft their presentation, and giving them forum background materials such as the scenarios, agenda, and play ahead of time.

Type of product(s) studied: 

  • Forum

Method(s) of data collection: 

  • audio recording
  • interviews
  • observations
  • surveys
  • video recording


Elizabeth Kunz Kollmann
Juli Goss

Associated product(s): 



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