Evaluation & Measurement Task Force

Building understanding of and capacity for evaluation and measurement.

As part of the charge from its current National Science Foundation award, under the Advancing Informal STEM Learning program (no. DRL-1612739), the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) is charged with exploring opportunities for synergy among those who conduct and/or study informal STEM learning (ISE) and science communication and public engagement activities (SciComm).

In 2017, we convened a set of task forces to address three common challenges that both fields experience: (1) supporting and sustaining generative connections between practice and research, (2) building understanding of and capacity for evaluation and measurement, and (3) broadening participation of underrepresented groups in STEM and informal STEM education.

About the Evaluation and Measurement Task Force

This task force is investigating how common constructs between ISE and SciComm are being designed for, measured, and documented; identifying leaders who are actively using those; and developing resources to support and advance stronger evaluation and measurement work in both ISE and SciComm. Using the learning strands from the U.S. National Research Council’s Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places and Pursuits 2009 consensus report as a starting point, the task force’s goal is to add texture and nuance to the understanding and use of constructs and measures across the fields.

To date, they have identified three common constructs of interest and study: (1) identity, (2) interest, and (3) engagement. Each set of resources is a video interview series with scholars who are defining, exploring, and measuring STEM. Work continues to explore other types of supports the field might need related to evaluation and measurement. The task force also hosted an August 2018 convening for a small group of 20 researchers, evaluators, and practitioners to discuss common evaluation challenges across ISE and SciComm.



Task Force Leadership:

  • Jamie Bell, Project Director and Principal Investigator, CAISE

  • Kevin Crowley, Professor, Learning Sciences and Policy, University of Pittsburgh, and co-Principal Investigator, CAISE

  • Martin Storksdieck, Director, Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, Oregon State University, and co-Principal Investigator, CAISE

Task Force Members:

  1. John Besley, Professor of Public Relations and Advertising, Michigan State University

  2. Mac Cannady, Director of Quantitative Studies, The Lawrence Hall of Science, University of California, Berkeley

  3. Amy Grack Nelson, Evaluation and Research Manager, Science Museum of Minnesota

  4. Tina Phillips, Evaluation Program Manager, Cornell Lab of Ornithology

  5. Kelly Riedinger, Senior Researcher, Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning, Oregon State University​