Developing Tomorrow’s Anglers and Aquatic Stewards: Formative Evaluation of MinnAqua’s Leaders’™ Guide for Grades 3-5

July 1st, 2006 | EVALUATION

The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources€™ (DNR) MinnAqua program educates the state'€™s youth about angling and aquatic resources. In 2001, MinnAqua developed a Leaders' Guide so educators could carryout MinnAqua activities in their own setting. As part of the development process, a formative evaluation was undertaken to answer the questions: (a) To what extent are MinnAqua'€™s rewrite guidelines addressed in individual lessons and the Leaders'€™ Guide as a whole?, and (b) To what extent does the Leaders' Guide meet the educational needs of intended users in both formal and informal education settings? Evaluative feedback was attained from a variety of individuals over two stages of data collection, with revisions made to the Leaders'€™ Guide after each stage. During Stage One, formal and informal educators pilot tested lessons in their respective educational settings and provided input through surveys, critiques, and focus groups. DNR Fisheries staff also critiqued lessons to ensure scientific accuracy. Stage Two involved three types of reviews: 1) instructional design experts verified specific educational content in the lessons, 2) educational outreach partners provided written feedback on how the Leaders' Guide could be used to support their outreach efforts, and 3) an accessibility expert created planning documents to adapt MinnAqua lessons for use with individuals with physical disabilities. The evaluation results were used to verify the incorporation of the rewrite guidelines, identify ways to strengthen the extent to which the guidelines were addressed, and modify the Leaders'€™ Guide to more fully meet educators'€™ needs. This formative evaluation provides a useful model for others looking to evaluate informal education materials. The appendix of this report includes a consent form, questionnaire, and interview protocol.



Team Members

Amy Grack Nelson, Evaluator, University of Minnesota
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources, Contributor


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Ecology | forestry | agriculture | Education and learning science | Life science
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Formative | Interview Protocol | IRB | Consent Form | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Survey
Environment Type: Community Outreach Programs | Informal | Formal Connections | K-12 Programs | Park | Outdoor | Garden Programs | Public Programs