Evaluation Planning Projects

Evaluation of National Geographic Educational Programs Massive Open Online Course (MOOC)

The Evaluation and Training institute (ETI) partnered with National Geographic Society’s Educational Programs (NGEP) to develop a comprehensive evaluation strategy for their fledgling Massive Open Online Course (MOOC), Water: The Essential Resource. Through course participation, teachers will learn how to develop lesson plans that integrate environmental principles and concepts from the California Education and the Environment Initiative (EEI). In addition, teachers will learn how to reach students using innovative, modern environmental education instructional practices. As a new technology, very little is known about the measures of success within MOOC platforms, including how to evaluate program success. The first evaluation goal is to design an evaluation process that can be flexible enough to capture information across a wide variety of MOOC specific features (i.e. online communities, user behaviors, active vs. lurker characteristics, etc.) and powerful enough to inform instructional designers as they continue to improve the MOOC course. Finally, a long-term evaluation goal is to develop a set of outcome metrics to evaluate the impact of the MOOC in a summative fashion. 

National Science Foundation Roadmap Project

ETI was contracted by the National Geographic Society (NGS) to serve as their evaluator on a two year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant project aimed at charting geographic educational instruction, assessment and research for the next twenty-five years. The NSF charged project staff to develop recommendations in these three areas that would serve as “roadmaps” for professionals working in each field. As part of a comprehensive process evaluation, ETI worked collaboratively with committees of experts in the three areas along with stakeholder groups, such as educational professionals, testing and assessment professionals and educational policy experts, to analyze the processes the project staff employed to reach consensus and meet their stated goals. Qualitative data analysis methods were used to review archival committee documents, digital artifacts and primary data collected through interviews and open-ended survey research methods. 

Program-wide Evaluation Plan for Naturebridge

NatureBridge is an organization that provides environmental and field science opportunities to K-12 youth. ETI was contracted by NatureBridge to design a program-wide evaluation plan that will position NatureBridge to conduct targeted, outcomes-based evaluation for its field science programs. Using site visits as well as an extensive review of the literature for place-based learning outcomes and assessment, ETI has developed a logic model that will serve as a blueprint for evaluation and includes NatureBridge’s educational resources, activities, and anticipated student outcomes. We are in the process of developing a set of valid and diverse outcome measures along with recommended modes of data collection in an “evaluation toolkit” that will be used for evaluating student outcomes across many settings. We will focus on such educational concepts as building connections to students’ home communities, scientific inquiry, place-based content, active learning, team building and group work.

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