Susan Kistler on Humor and Cartoons for Evaluators

My name is Susan Kistler. I am AEA’s Executive Director and I contribute each Saturday’s post to aea365. I sent the final version of the Evaluation 2010 hardcopy conference program off to the printers. After days of typing, proofing, paginating, and picking nits, I want to say a big ‘thank you’ to all of the staff who worked so diligently to pass this annual milestone. Now, it’s time to lighten the day and let off a little steam. But we’re still at work, so I’m going to focus this week’s post on evaluation humor. If you are receiving this via email, you may need to click through back to the site to see the cartoons, but it is worth the trip!

Hot Tip – From the Archives: Alexey Kuzmin reminded us back in January of the value of humor for evaluation reporting (see his post). Humor is also a great icebreaker and can offer a ‘breather’ and transition during presentations.

Hot Tip: Patricia Rogers and Jane Davidson’s Genuine Evaluation Blog regularly features the “Friday Funny” – always worth a look.

Lesson Learned: Respect copyright and terms of use to ensure that you can legally use cartoons and that you give credit where credit is due. Cartoonists and humorists work hard to develop their craft and deserve the recognition and attribution due to them. Search around on a site or send an email to the author to be sure that you have appropriate permissions. For each example below, I have included information on its terms of use.

Hot Tip – Dilbert: This past week, Dilbert featured a great strip on the “Enhanced Assessment Methodology”

Dilbert – Terms of use: Dilbert’s strips may be embedded in blogs, such as this one, with a prominent link back to the original site. They may also be licensed for broader use. Find the Terms of Use here and look for the license me and embed buttons under each strip on the home site.

Hot Tip – Wondermark: I love the 19th century woodcuts that serve as the basis for the Wondermark comic. And, Wondermark’s talented author, David Malki ! (yes, the exclamation point is part of the name) allows embedding of his work in blogs. He has also been kind enough to note via email “You may consider my online archive free for use by your members or yourself in your presentations, so long as attribution is given.” Which is very kind of him to extend this courtesy. Regular readers know of my love of a good font (see July post) when developing reports and presentations. In August, David shared this take on fonts…er typefaces:

I’ll return to the issue of humor in a later post to tell you about two other strips of interest and a project we’re working on at AEA to bring a little levity to us all.

The above represents my own interests and ideas and not necessarily that of the American Evaluation Association.

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