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

TAG | YouTube

Hi my name is Jayne Corso and I am the Community Manager for AEA. Videos are emerging as the most effective way to reach your followers on Facebook.  Here are a few tips for posting videos that are effective on Facebook.

Hot Tip: Avoid Long Videos

Videos should be short and to the point. The attention span of Facebook users is usually less than a minute. Use this time wisely and identify your topic early in the video to gain the interest of your followers.

Hot Tip: Uploading to Facebook

Facebook often favors videos that are posted directly to their platform. Direct uploaded videos will out preform any photo, link, or even external reference to a video.

Hot Tip: YouTube  

If you decide to house your videos on YouTube, here are a few tips to keep in mind.

  • Include a description on your video
  • Create a short title that sums up the topic of your video
  • Use keywords that relate to the topic of your video
  • Add a date and location to your video for reference

I hope these simple video tips are helpful!

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@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

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Greetings from Canada! My name is Chi Yan Lam (@chiyanlam) and I am a PhD student working in the areas of educational assessment and program evaluation at Queen’s University at Kingston, Ontario. You are probably already familiar with legitimate uses of Twitter, LinkedIn, or Facebook in relation to evaluation learning, but have you thought about augmenting your personal learning network to other social media platforms?

In today’s connected learning environments, professional development is no longer confined to traditional codified sources of knowledge, such as peer-reviewed journals or conference workshops. Social media can inform your professional development by facilitating communications with those within and outside of your immediate network, connecting you to those evaluators who share your interests, and allowing you to create and share your learning with others. Augmenting your personal learning network with online resources can be tremendously valuable and rewarding.

Rad Resource: YouTube needs no introduction and, boy, is it a hidden treasure trove of evaluation resources. From short instructional clips to recorded lecture and talks, you can easily locate many hours of learning. Try searching for specific key word (e.g. Empowerment Evaluation; Developmental Evaluation), or for specific theorist (e.g. Michael Patton). You should also search for YouTube Channels organized by evaluation organizations (e.g. AEA; IPDET).

Rad Resource: Pinterest is the virtual equivalent to a corkboard allowing its users to ‘pin’ and collect great visuals from all over the web. Evaluators like Kylie Hutchison and others do a fabulous job of curating great, often visually interesting, resources on evaluation.

Rad Resource: Slideshare is a great repository of presentation slidedecks. Try searching for slidedecks from specific conferences (e.g. eval13) or by evaluation approaches (e.g. developmental evaluation).

Rad Resource: Attend live online PD webinars. AEA offers both their e-Study and Coffee Break series. Did you know AEA members have free access to previously recorded Coffee Break webinars! The Canadian Evaluation Society is also launching a webinar series.

One more thing…

Bonus Rad Resource: Institutions often make available lectures and debates online! For instance, take a look at the 2010 Claremont Evaluation Debate, Claremont Evaluation Center Webinar Series, or Western Michigan University’s Evaluation Café series.

Happy learning!

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@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Right now many of us are making our list and checking it twice. Much advice exists for what to buy teachers, mothers, or your favorite engineer, but I couldn’t find any suggestions on what to buy an evaluator. I’ve compiled some interesting ideas you may want to consider for that amazing evaluator in your life. I invite you to add yours in the comment section!

Hot Tips:

Free creative gift ideas

  • Personalize a song.  If you need inspiration there are several examples on AEA’s YouTube channel including the 2011 Evaluation Pie and Genuine Evaluation Jingle. Kylie Hutchinson at Community Solutions has remixed traditional holiday lyrics with an evaluation twist. I highly recommend The Evaluator is coming to Town.
  • Create a cartoon. You can cartoon any evaluation experience or insider joke. For extra motivation see Chris Lysy’s evaluation cartoons at freshspectrum.  A few of my favorites are It’s Copy Protected and PowerPoint is not the Null.
  • Create a poem or short story. Roger Miranda’s Eva the Evaluator is a good example of a short story that evaluator’s love.
  • Create a handmade book. You could create your own book of their favorite evaluation quotes, event photos,  or aea365 blog posts.

Not-so-free gift ideas

  • Create a personalized website. With many free webhosts and inexpensive domain registrations, you could create a special website for under $20. This could be for a first-time business website or a site just for fun. One year I created a happybirthdaytodad.com website with pages of photos, dad’s favorite websites, websites he might enjoy but hadn’t found, links to YouTube videos of his favorite music, etc.
  • Create your own gift. Go to your local t-shirt company to create an individualized product or use an online service such as Zazzle or Café Press. Here you upload your own graphic onto a product or purchase one premade. A quick search of the terms evaluator, evaluate, and evaluation found hundreds of premade products: I heart evaluators t-shirt, mouse pads with quotes such as John Singer Sargent’s “I do not judge, I chronicle”, or how about a baby bib that says My life is program evaluation.
  • Give the gift of membership. Did you AEA membership rates increase after December 31, 2012? Give your favorite evaluator an AEA yearly membership.
  • Give a book. I did a search of the term evaluation on Amazon. With a return rate of 140,715 on the topic you should be able to find something.
  • Give a gift card. When all else fails, give a gift card. You could add a twist and create one for helpful things like a day of strategic planning, transcription, or whatever your trade. GiftRocket and GiftCard.com are sites that let you create customized gift cards.

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@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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I’m Marc Smith, Chief Social Scientist at Connected Action, co-founder of the Social Media Research Foundation, and one of the team behind NodeXL I’ve been excited to see posts on aea365 from users of NodeXL such as Johanna Morariu, and Shelly Engleman and Tom McKlin.

Rad Resource – The Social Media Research Foundation: A new organization, the Social Media Research Foundation, has been formed to develop open tools and open data sets, and to foster open scholarship related to social media. The Foundation’s current focus is on creating and publishing tools that enable social media network analysis and visualization from widely used services like email, Twitter, Facebook, flickr, YouTube and the WWW.

Rad Resource – NodeXL: The SMR Foundation has released the free and open NodeXL project, a spreadsheet add-in that supports “network overview discovery and exploration”. The tool fits inside your existing copy of Excel in Office 2007 or 2010 and makes creating a social network map similar to the process of making a pie chart. Researchers applying NodeXL to a range of social media networks have already revealed the variations present in online social spaces. A review of the tool and images of Twitter, flickr, YouTube, and email networks can be seen on the site.

Using NodeXL, users can easily make a map of public social media conversations around topics that matter to them. Maps of the connections among people who recently said the name of a program, organization, or event can reveal people who occupy key positions as well as clusters in the crowd. Some people who talk about a topic are more in the “center” of the graph, they may be influential members of the population. NodeXL makes it a simple task to sort people in a population by their network location.  NodeXL supports exploration of social media with import features for personal email, Twitter, Flickr, YouTube, Facebook and WWW hyper-links.

As an example, I built on Johanna’s post focusing on twitter users of the hashtag #eval. Here is a network map, built directly in NodeXL, with vertices sized by the number of followers.

NodeXL #eval hashtag map

Rad Resource – Analyzing Social Media Networks with NodeXL: Insights from a connected world. My co-authored book provides an introduction to the history and core concepts of social network analysis along with a series of step-by-step instructions that illustrate the use of key features of NodeXL. The second half of the books is dedicated to chapters by a number of leading social media researchers that each focus on a single social media service and the networks it contains. Chapters on Twitter, email, YouTube, flickr, Facebook, Wikis, and the World Wide Web illustrate the network data structures that are common to all social media services.

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@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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My name is Juan Paulo Ramírez and I am a research specialist with the University of Nebraska Public Policy Center. I use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) for project evaluations which have included a broad variety of applications both in the social and physical sciences. Recently a lot of interest has been concentrated on geographic visualization, in particular the integration of geobrowsers like Google Earth with commercial GIS software such as ArcGIS and others. This allows distributing GIS data to many who would not necessarily use GIS software but are consumers of geospatial data. The good news is that the use of GIS software and the data associated to it has become easily accessible to the evaluation community at a very reduced cost and sometimes with no costs at all!

Hot Tip: Check out the YouTube videos posted by ESRI, the California based enterprise that created ArcGIS. Search for “ESRI TV.” If you are a neophyte to GIS and in particular to the ArcGIS family, these tutorial videos will save you thousands of dollars in training. Even if you have experience in using ArcGIS, these tutorials will demonstrate new tricks that will enhance your analytical capabilities. http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=esri+tv&aq=f

Cool Trick: The newest versions of GIS software, including ArcGIS, have incorporated exporting features for Google Earth format files, known as “KML” format. This will allow you to distribute your GIS information (points, lines or polygons) along with databases to your stakeholders, colleagues, and community in general who do not have GIS software. The only requirement is that your recipients must install the free version of Google Earth in order to read KML format files, and the geobrowser will automatically display all the geospatial information and associated databases that you sent to them (i.e., attached in a e-mail). To see the new features of Google Earth, check: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GSuJq4UzkIA

Rad Resource: Want to learn more about GIS and spatial visualization? The following book explores the theory behind geographical visualizations, including examples of map animation, and geovisualization tools, and provides insights to the future development of geographic visualization: Dodge, M., McDerby, M., & Turner, M. (Ed.). (2008). Geographic visualization: Concepts, tools and applications. West Sussex, England: John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Want to learn more from Juan Paulo? He is offering a Coffee Break Webinar on Using Google Earth for Evaluation: Applications in Environmental Evaluation and Beyond this Thursday. This is free for AEA members and a paid pass is available for nonmembers. Learn more athttp://comm.eval.org/EVAL/coffee_break_webinars/Home/Default.aspx

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