Sheila Kohn on Using the AEA365 Blog as a Teaching Tool

Hello! My name is Sheila Kohn, and I teach Program Evaluation Methods at the University of Rochester’s Warner School of Education. I’d like to share a Cool Trick and Hot Tip for other evaluation educators.

I was very excited by AEA’s announcement of a daily evaluation blog and have faithfully read each entry since January 1. In fact, it has become part of my morning routine! I have my oatmeal, my coffee, and check out each day’s blog.

Cool Trick: I wanted my evaluation students to read and appreciate what the blog entries have to offer, so I created an assignment. Since one of the purposes of the course is for students to “develop the knowledge and ability to become savvy and critical users of evaluation information,” having them read the AEA blog is a perfect fit!

Here is the assignment: Read at least 3 entries from the aea365 Daily Tips Blog. Share with the class one Hot Tip, Cool Trick, or Rad Resource and how you might use it. Please share with the class the date and author of the blog entry so that others may readily find it if they wish. ***Note: No two people can share the same Hot Tip, Cool Trick, or Rad Resource, so be prepared with more than one!

Hot Tip: I passed around a sign-up sheet the first night of class so students could choose when in the semester they want to share. Of course, the earlier they do so, the more entries that have to choose from! And since 3 students share their chosen entry with the class each night, they have to communicate beforehand in order not to repeat an entry.

The blog entries shared by students serve as excellent catalysts for rich discussion about the nature, nuances, and complexity of evaluation work.

I’m finding that this assignment also engenders collegiality and a sense of community in our classroom, and I hope at least a few students become devoted blog readers like me and perhaps even future contributors!

This contribution is from the aea365 Daily Tips blog, by and for evaluators, from the American Evaluation Association. Please consider contributing – send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org.

4 thoughts on “Sheila Kohn on Using the AEA365 Blog as a Teaching Tool”

  1. Pingback: Ode to AEA365: A “Meta-post” | Sheila B Robinson

  2. Cheryl Stanton

    As one of Sheila’s students I can attest to the wealth of knowledge we have been exposed to from this assignment and I would highly recommend it for your students!

  3. Hi Sheila,

    I’m glad you’re finding great use of the blog! I’ve spoken with several evaluators, academics, and general social science researchers, and they’ve all praised how much they love the blog. And what’s not to love? It’s a blog FUBU (for us, by us)!

  4. Hi Sheila,

    Thanks for reading my blog post. I read yours with great enthusiasm. I’ll be teaching a program planning and evaluation course for the first time this fall and will encourage students to scroll the AEA365 Blog as you’ve done with yours. Always in search of fun, teaching or training tools, I might tap you in the fall to exchange some more.

    Be well,
    Norma

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