Summer reading 2 Many of you have numerous lists for summer reading (NY Times, NPR, Goodreads, Amazon, others…). My question is what are you reading to further your knowledge about evaluation? Perhaps you are; perhaps you’re not. So I’m going to give you one more list 🙂 …yes, it is evaluative.

If you want something light:  Regression to the Mean by Ernest R. to the mean It is a novel. It is about evaluation. It explains what evaluators do from a political perspective.

If you want something qualitative:  Qualitative Data Analysis by Matthew B. Miles, A. Michael Huberman, and Johnny Saldana.Qualitative data analysis ed. 3 It is the new 3rd edition which Sage (the publisher) commissioned. A good thing, too, as both Miles and Huberman are no longer able to do a revision. My new go-to book.

If you want something on needs assessment: Bridging the Gap Between Asset/Capacity Building and Needs Assessment by James W. Altschuld. Bridging the Gap-altschuld Most needs assessments start with what is lacking (i.e., needed); this proposes that an assessment start with what is present (assets) and build  from there, and in the process, meeting needs.

If you want something on higher education:  College (Un)bound by Jeff unbound by jeffry selingo  The state of higher education and some viable alternatives by a contributing editor at the Chronicle of Higher Education. Yes, it is evaluative.

Most of these I’ve mentioned before. I’ve read the above. I recommend them.

I haven’t read the following. They are on my list.

Surveys: Internet, Phone, Mail, and Mixed-Mode Surveys: The Tailored Design Method 4th Edition by Don A. Dillman, Jolene, D. Smyth, and Leah Melanie Christian. surveys 4th ed dillman  The 3rd edition is always on my desk and my survey go-to book. This 4th edition will be published by Wiley. It is due out in August.

Systems: Systems Concepts in Action by Bob Williams and Richard concepts--tool kit It has been available since 2010; Amazon has three customer reviews giving four or five stars; all are different. Read the reviews; read the book.

I know many of you are writing this summer, between fairs and vacations. I keep the following on my desk. ALWAYS. APA Publication Manual, 6th Edition.APA style guide I’ve read it. I know it is often a pain…still evaluation literature requires that style. Good idea to learn it. I’m still learning.

I hope you are doing some non-evaluative reading as well. The Corvallis Public Library currently has a summer reading program for adult patrons; it even provides suggestions. (I guess that is really two lists… 🙂 )

That is what I’m reading. What are you reading? I want to know–please comment.

my two cents.


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Anne on 24 July, 2014 at 11:53 am #

Great reading list, Molly. This summer I went “back to basics” with E. Jane Davidson’s minibook Actionable Evaluation Basics. Accessible for a beginner and full of great reminders for seasoned practitioners. I have it on my Kindle as an “emergency evaluation” kit. As a former Girl Scout, I must be prepared for any emergency.

englem on 30 July, 2014 at 12:29 pm #

What a wonderful idea, Anne. Thanks for thinking of it and sharing it. Back to basics is something that we all need to do periodically. Good advice.

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