Hi! I’m Molly Engle, Evaluation Specialist for the Oregon State University Extension Service. I blog weekly (unless I’m out of town) at a blog I call, Evaluation is an everyday activity.
Rad Resource –Evaluation is an everyday activity was started in December 2009 to provide program personnel, nascent evaluators, faculty interested-in-evaluation-and-not-evaluators, and anyone who might find the topics interesting information about evaluation and evaluation related topics. I started blogging because resources in Extension for evaluation are scarce and this is one way to build capacity without having to travel. I blog weekly and try to keep the posts under 500 words. An evaluative question underlies most posts—evaluation, after all, is an everyday activity.
Hot Tips – Below I’ve listed the posts which had the highest popularity index. I was surprised when I went back through the archives to find the most popular posts. As my assistant said, “Program theory sounds really dull to me.” Apparently not. The post, Timely Topic: Thinking carefully, generated the most comments. Probably my all-time favorite is this one: Twelve Days TO Christmas (even if the popularity was only 5%).
- Demographics (100% popularity)—talks about the value of demographics for evaluation.
- Thinking Carefully (68% popularity)—addresses the need to think carefully when reporting evaluation information.
- Program Theory (64% popularity)—explores how program theory relates to an evaluation plan.
- Did you know… (17% popularity)—talks about scaling and use of scales.
- On-line survey software (16% popularity)—explores various on-line survey software.
- Research, evaluation, scholarship (16% popularity)—attempts to relate research, evaluation, and scholarship.
Lessons Learned – I blog to provide resources to evaluators. I blog to provide a place to start to look for answers. I blog to share thoughts on evaluative questions.
Lessons Learned: Blogging is hard work; being succinct, being timely, being relevant all while writing with clarity, coherence, conciseness, correctness, and consistency is a challenge. Yet, I return to blog weekly. I like that I can contribute from my experience; I like that I can share resources; I like the opportunity to think deeply then succinctly about an evaluation question.
This winter, we’re running a 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 email@example.com. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.