CAISE Hosts Convening On Evaluation In Informal Science Education

July 18th, 2013

From June 20-21, CAISE held a convening on evaluation in informal science education as a part of our Evaluation Capacity Building Initiative. This convening was one in a series of activities that CAISE is undertaking to provide opportunities and resources to enhance understanding of the role of evaluation in ISE, and to improve practices and documentation of evaluation. Leading up to the convening, CAISE hosted an online forum that engaged participants in dialogue about some of these topics. CAISE and the National Science Foundation (NSF) also held a pre-convening webinar on a forthcoming document, Common Guidelines for Education Research and Development, being produced by the NSF and the Department of Education. Both of these activities informed the convening agenda and discussion trajectories. The first day of the meeting focused on improving the practice and outcomes of ISE, encouraging innovation in ISE, the roles of evaluation in ISE, and building evidence for its impact through evaluation. On the second day, the group identified key areas that CAISE, NSF, and the field could address over the next 2-3 years to advance the field. These areas included: better measures, aggregation, and common outcomes; advocacy and value; professional development; and sharing and access and community building. A follow-up discussion at the 26th annual Visitor Studies Association conference in Milwaukee expanded on potential next steps for the field in these areas. Some convening participants have also begun to plan related meetings that would build on the work of the CAISE convening. In order for others to have access to and comment on the topics discussed and ideas raised at the convening, CAISE has set up the CAISE Evaluation in Informal Science Education Convening group on Join the group to view the pre-meeting activities and follow-up conversations, and participate in future discussions. Questions about the initiative or convening can be addressed to Jamie Bell, PI and Project Director of CAISE or Kirsten Ellenbogen, Co-PI of CAISE and leader of the initiative.