Blogs are engaging?

Filed Under (program evaluation) by Molly on 17-06-2014

“Engaged scholarship most commonly refers to a range of collaborative research, teaching, and learning initiatives rooted in sustained community-university partnerships and pursued across various disciplines and social and cultural contexts.” That is a commonly agreed upon definition of engaged scholarship. So let me ask you: Are blogs engaging?

If I tease apart the definition this way:

  1. it is collaborative IF (and only if) you consider that reading a lot of other blogs is collaborative learning (someone writes; someone reads=collaboration);
  2. that is sustained in a “partnership” that consists of other bloggers who are in the community and bloggers who are  in the university;
  3. that is pursued across various disciplines (remember, I read a lot of other blogs); and
  4. that are in a variety of social and cultural contexts (remember, I read a lot of other blogs);

then I would say yes…and no…because what is really collaborative learning? Or collaborative teaching?  (I’m certainly not doing research.) To me, collaboration is an agreed upon working together in an intellectual effort. I would guess that in this case there is tacit agreement; I write and the reader agrees to read either by subscription or random search engine optimization. Some how that feels really one sided–until I realize that I’m still getting comments on posts that I wrote two-three years ago. So something must be engaging–even if it is random SEO. (though I’m not sure it is collaborative in the usual sense of collaboration).

And since this is a blog about evaluation, my question is, “How do you know?” Chris Lysy has a cartoon about knowing  that always makes me smile (actually several).evaluation and project working ..research v. evaluationI-have-evidence cartoon Remember, you need a rubric to determine if something works you cannot work on gut impressions; only through rigorous evaluation can you determine if a program has merit, value, worth (the root of evaluation is value); and only if you have evidence do you know it works. Can I use comments (many over the last four years of this blog) to say the blog is engaging, that I have evidence? One comment received in the last week suggested that since folks are still commenting on this post, perhaps that is evidence….don’t know.

Any thoughts–comments are welcome; please.

My two cents.





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2 Comments Already, Leave Yours Too

karen on 3 July, 2014 at 11:50 am #

Molly, I’d say analytics and comments are helpful in determining if a blog is engaging. I think it’s important, however, for the blogger to determine what engaging is for them. Ex. 100 followers may seem engaging to some while having 60% of the posts and emails read by followers may be the definition of engaging to someone else. I’ve had spikes of comments and followers when I posted on aea365 or did a guest post but it’s likely that those people aren’t truly engaged according to my standards.

How do you define engaging for your blog?


Keith Koons on 25 April, 2015 at 7:43 pm #

Hey Molly-

Unfortunately, the link-juice from a .edu website can be quite helpful for us bloggers if used in moderation, but there are always those who abuse a good thing and turn it into something else entirely. So is this collaborative? Probably not in the literal sense, but yet here you and I are having a conversation as you do you teach and I thank you…that has to count for something, doesn’t it?


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