I have been writing this blog since December 2009. That seems like forever from my perspective.
I write. I post. I wait. Nothing.
Oh, occasionally, I receive an email (which is wonderful and welcome) and early on I received a few comments (that was great).
Yet, I know that learning happens all the time and you have some amazing experiences that can teach. So, my good readers: What evaluation question have you had this week? Any question related to evaluating what you are doing is welcome. Let me hear from you. You can email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or you can post a comment (see comment link below).
Hi, We were having a discussion about times when an output can be considered an outcome/impact. I am interested in your thoughts.
I’ve shared your blog with the library faculty and forwarded you post about data management to our ScholarsArchive managers because we are looking at dataset “curation” options. But I feel your pain in the empty comments area and as we just tried one internally here in the library for trend tracking and had the same “anyone but spammers out there?” experience. While we were using it was a pilot project and agreed to close our blog as of last month, I hope you will not elect to do that. Jennifer Nutefall might be a good contact here in the library if you are interested in broadening your audience.
Thanks, Bonnie, for the feedback about developing a data set “curation” option. One of the comments another reader made is that data management (and associated costs) is the part of a grant that is often forgotten and then costs a lot to retrofit. Part of a good evaluation (evaluation criteria here being “use” and “access” as well as merit and worth) is thinking about the various steps from idea to use. In the middle is the data management steo.
I talked with another blogger who said summer is a slow time for blogs. This post (“now it is your turn”) elicited five comments from Oregon, Utah, Colorado. Now I know that someone is reading this, I’ll keep on writing. Please share the link with anyone who might be interested–although I have Extension professionals in mind when I write, I’m sure there are others who will benefit. I think the content is generalizable to other areas. Thanks, again, for your feedback.
Hi Jan–Thanks for the comment about the relation between outcomes and outputs. When I teach logic models (and I think Ellen Taylor-Powell does as well), I talk about the concept of supra and sub models. Supra and sub models relates to the concept of supra and sub systems (think logic models as a system). The little videos “Power of 10″ and “Power of Time” both graphically represent this concept well. Another source that visualizes this concept nicely is the book “Zoom” (by Istavan Banyai, Puffin Books, 1995). If a program is visualized as part of a larger whole, then the outputs of that larger whole could be the outcomes of the program in question–think hierarchy. Sometimes, in order to get to the desired outcomes, one may need to build up as well as down. I’m wishing I could draw in this reply to show you more precisely what I mean. Hope this helps.