AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators



Bloggers Week: Karen Anderson on On Top Of the Box Evaluation

Hi there! I’m Karen Anderson and my blog On Top Of the Box Evaluation is almost 2 ½  years old. I’ve published 65 posts over that time span with a range of topic areas. That may seem like a lot of posts and a long time, but that’s not the case in “blog years.” Most of the evaluation blogs that I frequent have been around much longer than I have.

Why I started blogging: Simple. I needed writing samples. In order to generate writing samples I started to create my own content via my blog. Most of my blog content includes my experiences as a new(ish) evaluation professional, which includes posting questions to others in the field for knowledge sharing and community building.

Little known fact: OTBE actually started out as TH33 ?v@lu8r. I thought the combo of numbers and symbols was kind of cool. Probably not the best for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or telling anyone how to get to your blog in a quick way so I changed it after a month or so of starting out.

Top posts:

Surprisingly my very first post, written over 2 years ago, is my most popular post. If you’re a historian or interested in learning more about evaluation roots this is a great post to read.

Paying Homage:Ralph Tyler “The Father of Education Evaluation”-Part 1

Publish Your Resume {Microsoft Publisher} is another popular post. It includes some tangible ideas on how to spruce up your resume and includes an example I created, for additional ideas. Ironically, the example is for an aea365 internship listing that was posted over a year ago!

My post  Killer {Powerpoint} Slide Titles, and Why You Need Them provides a remix on a post about blog post titles.

An Eval World Without Qualitative Data also caught little buzz this year. This post was really an opportunity for me to “check in” with the rest of the world (well the people who came across the post) to see what amount of value they placed on qualitative data.

Lessons Learned: I like to get people talking! I thoroughly enjoy the community aspect of having a blog.

Lessons Learned: Tune into other blogs of interest, including bloggers who blog about blogging, such as Darren Rowse at Problogger. I don’t plan on becoming a full time blogger, however, Rowse’s expertise on blogging spans over a decade and is definitely worth checking out. I love reading about blogging almost as much as I love to write on my own blog!

This winter, we’re continuing our occasional series highlighting evaluators who blog. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.



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