Read About the Series with an introduction from Jean King, PhD, Director of the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Insitute (MESI).

Graduate Review and Improvement Process

A How-to Manual for the Graduate Review and Improvement Process

by Leah Hakkola, Doug Moon, and Michelle Gesinger

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The inaugural volume of the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI) Program Evaluation Series features the Graduate Review and Improvement Process (GRIP). GRIP is an innovative student-centered process designed to develop actionable steps to enhance student success in graduate programs. MESI staff, primarily graduate students in the Evaluation Studies program, developed and implemented the process in consultation with the University of Minnesota Graduate School as an alternative to the traditional University external review process that typically occurs every five to ten years and produces largely quantitative information about a program (for example, time to degree, retention, and number of publications). With its commitment to active student involvement in the evaluation, GRIP can serve as a complementary process to external monitoring and surveying, one that allows students and program leaders to assess the quality of their curriculum, advising, instruction, and related services and to devise realistic plans to improve them.


ISBN:  978-1-946135-32-2 (ebook) 978-1-946135-33-9 (print)

Publication Date:  September 2017

Publisher:  University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing

City:  Minneapolis

License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License




A Field Guide to Ripple Effects Mapping


A Field Guide to Ripple Effects Mapping

edited by Scott Chazdon, Mary Emery, Debra Hansen, Lorie Higgins, and Rebecca Sero


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The second volume in the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute Program Evaluation Series focuses on the emerging evaluation technique of Ripple Effects Mapping (REM). This participatory data collection method is designed to capture the impact of complex programs and collaborative processes. Well-suited for evaluating group-focused efforts, Ripple Effects Mapping involves aspects of Appreciative Inquiry, mind mapping, facilitated discussion, and qualitative data analysis. As the REM process unfolds, the intended and unintended impacts of participant efforts are visually displayed in a way that encourages discussion and engagement. Using these visuals, plus other graphics, pictures, and real-life examples of how Ripple Effects Mapping has been successfully used in multiple settings, this book provides a comprehensive overview of REM. Providing an in-depth examination of the origins, elements, and how-to of the REM process, the Field Guide to Ripple Effects Mapping is a step-by-step guide to successfully implementing this process with a group, collaboration, or community of choice.


ISBN:  978-1-946135-34-6 (ebook) 978-1-946135-35-3 (print)

Publication Date:  October 2017

Publisher:  University of Minnesota Libraries Publishing

City:  Minneapolis, MN

License: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License


About the Series:

With pleasure I introduce the Program Evaluation Series, an occasional publication of the Minnesota Evaluation Studies Institute (MESI), which has its home in the Department of Organizational Leadership, Policy, and Development at the University of Minnesota. Owing to the lengthy history of its evaluation training programs (extending back to the late 1960s when the field originated), the University of Minnesota has a strong reputation for evaluation, both nationally and internationally. For over two decades, MESI has sponsored exceptional professional development on program evaluation* and provided graduate students hands-on opportunities to hone their skills on evaluation projects in a variety of organizations. This new endeavor, the Program Evaluation Series, seeks to broaden the number of people who can benefit from MESI activities by providing high quality, up-to-date, and affordable materials on critical developments in the field.

Why now? There are three reasons we are launching the e-book series at
this time:

  • As the field of evaluation continues to grow around the world, it increasingly relies on on-line electronic materials to keep people current. The benefit of a series of e-books is clear since these books can be downloaded and re-produced for only the cost of the printing or formally printed for a nominal fee.
  • The practice of program evaluation is a growing activity internationally, and the number of novice evaluators and people conducting evaluations who do not consider themselves professional evaluators is expanding. Knowing that only a small number of colleagues nationally and globally are able to attend trainings in person, this series of e-books will enable MESI to provide useful materials to a broader array of individuals engaged in the field.
  • An e-book series provides a vehicle for dispersing innovative evaluation content stemming both from academic settings like universities and, equally important, from the world of practice, including the multiple communities in which evaluators ply their trade. Practicing evaluators, many of whom write weekly or monthly blogs, routinely develop materials that they would like to share widely. The Program Evaluation Series provides a mechanism for such dissemination.

We hope you find this publication of value to your evaluation practice and sincerely invite your feedback ( and suggestions for additional volumes.

Jean A. King, PhD
Director, MESI

PS: Each volume in the Program Evaluation Series will include one example of a signature MESI product: A top ten list that compares program evaluation to something else. These lists are created collaboratively at our Spring Training each year and highlight the fact that evaluation really can be fun.