Sheila B Robinson

Reflections of an everyday educator/program evaluator/professional developer…LEARNER


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“They say that numbers never lie…”

This portentous first line inside the dust jacket of Proofiness: The Dark Arts of Mathematical Deception by Charles Seife sets the hook for the reader. The author  then reels us in with a cynical assessment of how numbers are used to do exactly that. In fact, it might be said that Seife’s position is, as a variation of an old aphorism goes, “figures lie and liars figure.”

I don’t intend to provide a book review here; you can easily find them elsewhere. Instead, I will share just a brief excerpt of what I found particularly interesting and well-written. As you can see, this book passed the “tape flag test” for me, meaning there are plenty parts I intend to reread or share.  Continue reading


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Harnessing the power of the ULTIMATE evaluation resource

I’m adding a few letters after my name…GPS. No, not THAT GPS – Google Power Searcher! Did you know Google has not one, but two online Power Searching courses? I missed the first one, but found the materials here and am making my way through the course on my own. Much like other online courses, Power Searching includes a series of video lectures and exercises that offer the opportunity to apply and test your skills.  Continue reading


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Ode to AEA365: A “Meta-post”

This is a blog post about blog posts…a meta-post, if you will (and even if you won’t). 🙂

I call myself AEA365’s biggest fan. It’s true. I’ve been a daily reader since its inception.* For the uninitiated, AEA365 Tip-A-Day by and for Evaluators is the official blog of the American Evaluation Association. It’s well-designed, reader-friendly and very searchable. I strongly encourage everyone to spend time exploring posts using keyword searches, or posts tagged for Topical Interest Groups (TIGs). Or, simply click on Archive and see every title and author of the more than 1000 posts.  Continue reading


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What makes a good question GOOD? (cross post with actionable data)

Now, THAT’S a very good question!

Sheila here, writing with the fabulous Kim Firth Leonard of the actionable data blog.

We have been tweeting and emailing about challenges related to survey design and as a result, this is the first in a series of posts we have co-authored about our discussions.  Continue reading