Sheila B Robinson

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


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#Eval13: #omgmqp, ESM, DataViz, Program Design, Blogging, and the Great Big Nerd Project

Here it is, less than a week after returning home from Evaluation 2013, and I’ve already used what I’ve learned in all three workplace settings. I’ve also enjoyed reading other bloggers’ conference highlights (see below for links) as they in a sense, let me peer vicariously into sessions I didn’t attend, or they enhance my own experience by offering a different perspective on sessions I did attend.

Here’s a recap (in a “longform” post, which, I’m told, is an effective blogging strategy) of what resonated most with me: Continue reading


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Where have all the (qualitative) data gone?

As is evidenced in recent posts co-authored with fellow blogger Kim Firth Leonard of actionable data (read them here and here), I’m fascinated with surveys and survey research. Just last week another fellow blogger, Brian Hoessler, of Strong Roots Consulting offered this post on open-ended questions.

I shared with Brian that I recently saw a needs assessment instrument composed of all open-ended questions – maybe a dozen or so questions in all. I always wonder when I encounter surveys with open-ended questions whether the qualitative data collected is indeed systematically analyzed and not just scanned or read through, especially in the case of very brief responses to open-ended questions. If data are analyzed, I wonder what kinds of coding strategies evaluators use – inductive or deductive? Constant comparison? Grounded theory?  Continue reading


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Why blog?

As I thought about why I started this blog (and had trouble gathering my thoughts on the topic), I decided to learn a little about why other evaluators blog. So what did I do? I did what I love best – collected data and did a little analysis! I went to my favorite evaluation blog AEA365, and searched the phrase “why I blog.” Here’s my data:

  • 25 bloggers / 25 posts
  • posts dated from December 2011 – April 2012
  • 1800+ words

I did some qualitative coding and created categories. My findings? Those who blog do so primarily to share information and ideas with others, to connect, network and build relationships, and to learn. Other themes include expressing their identities and blogging so that others get to know them, for reflection on learning, to contribute to the field and finally, (most surprising to me!), to help them organize and archive their work!

Just for fun, I fed the data into Tagxedo and voila:

So…I think I will blog for many of the same reasons! Were you surprised by any of these categories?