Sheila B Robinson on Fulfilling Your New Year’s Resolution (if it’s upping your evaluation game, that is!)

Greetings! I’m Sheila B Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor. If you’re a confessed evaluation nerd, perhaps one of your resolutions this year was to devote yourself to learning even more about our field. What better way to do that than to begin your quest by exploring the nooks and crannies of our home base –

Lesson Learned: has grown! We’ve had a website since at least 1998. How do I know that? I checked the Wayback Machine! Susan Kistler wrote about this little gem in this aea365 post. The Wayback Machine tells me it has saved pictures of 728 times between then and now.

Not much there, huh? Well fast forward nearly 16 years and there is a wealth of evaluation know-how embedded in our pages and links.

Lesson Learned: The more you revisit and click around the place, the more you will find. Like any modern website with a lot to offer, its pages and links can seem labyrinthian, even if they are well organized. Dig around the deep recesses of the site and you will uncover new treasures. In fact, just the other day, I found a page I didn’t know exists.

Rad Resource: Check out the great resources and links in the Reading page. I found the “Links of Interest” (Called “Online Resources” when you get to the page) especially exciting. It features links to evaluation sites, free literature on evaluation, links to data collection tools and instruments, evaluation blogs, AEA statements, and much, much more. You can get lost reading about evaluation for days if you click on all the links!

Hot Tip: When I want a thorough exploration of any site, I often start on the left (or top, depending on how page links are organized) and check out the available subpages of each one. Then, I go back and start visiting the subpages.

Hot Tip: Getting lost is no problem with tabbed browsing. I’ll often get lost clicking on links, some inside the site, some that take me outside. Often I can’t member how I got to a page and I want to be able to return to it. Instead of adding a bookmark to it right then, I simply open a new tab in my browser, go back to, and start again! Once I end up with a bunch of pages whose links I want to save, I start adding bookmarks to the appropriate bookmark folders.

Get Involved: What areas or pages of are your favorites? Where have you found the most useful or helpful links? We’d love to know. 

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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