I’m an evaluator. I want to make a difference in my programs.

One program that I run is this blog.

I want to know if I am making a difference because that is what evaluation is.


I have over 300 comments on the blog post by this title currently in my queue.

These need to be read (definitely). Reacted to (or not). Approved (or not).

Perhaps that there is over 300 comments is a measure of difference to the reader; perhaps not.

I am curious as to how people find this particular blog post [Is this blog making a difference (2)].

So here are some of the comments from this post:

    It’s difficult to tell but ultimately, any blog will have it’s own benefits. Keep it up!

    I love reading books and articles and some of those makes difference in my life or my Behavior.

    Your bolg is good and even inspired me too.

    My answer is yes. Your posts were made sense and a difference. If you think that your doing able to help others, keep going and do the best.

    Blogs are really helpful according to me it gives me a freedom to express my knowledge

   …Your article is thought provoking, and I appreciate your post.


This is only a small sample. Most are one line. Occasionally, I get a comment that is longer than one line.

So I will keep on doing what I’m doing–writing weekly (more or less).

New Topic.

The Iranian new year (Norooz) happened March 20, 2017.

Norooz has many spellings.

Like most holidays that have been around for a while, Norooz has a lot of symbolism. Basically, Norooz is the beginning of spring in the northern hemisphere. (I have friends in the southern hemisphere who decry my acknowledgement of this holiday as it is the beginning of Autumn where they are.)

Each year, I celebrate the holiday in verse. The offering this year follows: (I include an image of Daphne because Daphne is one of my favorite flowering plants that occurs when Spring comes.)

Once again the new year is here,

giving us the opportunity to see a new world.

Let us hear from the physicist looking deeply,

the chemist breathing completely,

the biologist listening closely.

Not the ideologue or the fanatic.

As we look and breath and listen,

the Mother renews with the new year.

Related image


Rejoice. Once again.

Monday, March 20, 2017 at 3:29 am PDT






We all have an audience (unless we are a reclusive hermit). The issue is what kind an audience.

An absent audience?

An all inclusive audience?

A captive audience?

An exclusive audience?

Reminds me of the saying, “You can please some of the people, some of the time; all of the people some of the time and not all of the people all of the time.”

So when I teach evaluation (or try to teach evaluation–evaluation is a scary concept), I begin by saying that we are all evaluators, that we evaluate daily. It is truly an everyday activity.

Some people engage at that point. Others are skeptical. Others are deniers.

Like the old saying–some of the people…

Unconsciously (maybe consciously) you identify criteria that will help you make a decision.

That decision will provide you with a decision tree, to be able to make decisions throughout the day.


The other day, I had the opportunity to explore a “teacher-made” test; to determine if it had face validity. The audience was similar to and different from the audience who will ultimately take the test (survey, actually). I needed to capture the concerns about the instrument; to determine if it did what it was supposed to do; and wording issues.

Then a decision needed to be made about its use. We were using the TOP model (Bennett and Rockwell, 1995*).  Specifically the KASA portion of the model.  This model can be used for program planning/development AND program evaluation/performance. Just one  example of a logic model.

There were concerns that the “knowledge” wasn’t specific enough; that the words used were not clear; that “skills” were not specific enough; that not all response options were included in the response set. Some KASA questions   could be easily fixed (the response set); some were not (the specificity issue). I sent the compiled responses to the people in charge of the project. I did not make a decision on the specificity. Perhaps if I knew more about the topic, I could have. Obviously, the survey needed changing.


Is all evaluation about making decisions? It all depends.

Evaluation is determining the merit, value, worth of a program or project.

You want to find out if you have made a difference in the lives of the target audience.

If you can answer that, you have captured your audience.


*Bennett, C. & Rockwell, K. (1995, December). Targeting outcomes of programs (TOP): An integrated approach to planning and evaluation. Unpublished manuscript. Lincoln, NE: University of Nebraska.