Blog Relaunch: The start of a 5×52 journey.

Commonplace book, detail
Commonplace book, detail (Photo credit: vlasta2)

For about a year and a half, I’ve kept a blog here at During this time, I have not been posting as enthusiastically as I originally intended. I felt pressured to publish only fully worked-out ideas and to showcase my best wors.  In short, I was bringing to this blog space the same pressures and standards associated with academic publishing. This approach proved crippling.

Instead, starting today, I am transforming this blog space into more of a process journal. More specifically, this shall become my commonplace blog where I chronicle and archive my emerging thinking and serendipitous discoveries around evaluation and design.

I borrowed the concept of writing a commonplace blog from the keeping of commonplace books . Commonplacing is a common practice among authors, a practice I was first introduced to by a poet. It is dissimilar from keeping a journal in that the focus is less about producing a narrative account (I did this… then I did that… ). Instead, commonplacing is more about chronicling and aggregating various bits and pieces of information over time. In effect, it produces a trail of evidence suggestive of the route taken.

Taking this editorial turn  is timely and purposeful. With coursework behind me, I have comprehensive exams and my doctoral research remaining in my doctorate. The act of writing for this blog shall hopefully force me to articulate my emerging understanding around the intersections of evaluation and design.

I shall commit to writing one post for each workday over the next 52 weeks (hence the name, 5×52).

Finally, I hope this space will offer a platform for like-minded evaluation practitioners and theorists to contemplate the potential contributions design theory could make to the field.


By Chi Yan Lam

Dr. Chi Yan Lam is a Credentialed Evaluator and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of evaluation at the Faculty of Education and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Queen’s University; he is also a full-time evaluator practicing in public service. He specializes in evaluating large-scale, complex programs and incorporates multi-, mixed- and design methods in his evaluations to answer questions of importance to program administrators and policy makers working on educational and social programs. His articles on evaluation have been published in peer-reviewed journals, including the American Journal of Evaluation and the Canadian Journal of Program Evaluation. He has been a holder of the professional designation in evaluation since 2014.

6 replies on “Blog Relaunch: The start of a 5×52 journey.”

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