NISE Network Regional Workshops: First Round of Workshops Formative Evaluation

March 1st, 2008 | EVALUATION

The Nanoscale Informal Science Education (NISE) Network held Regional Workshops workshops around the country during the summer of 2008. Formative evaluation was carried out to measure the workshop's success and related improvements in 1) integrating new and existing partners into the NISE Network, 2) providing valuable networking opportunities among workshop attendees, 3) creating a foundation for strong and lasting regional partnerships within the NISE Network, 4) presenting NISE Net's catalog of existing products, and 5) providing professional development resources including knowledge, tools, and skills to increase museum educators' capacity to engage a diverse public in nanoscale science, technology and engineering. The evaluation was carried out using a mixed-methods design. Data collection methods included partner pre-survey, workshop observations, partner post-workshop survey, partner resource survey, NISE Net staff post-workshop survey, debrief with regional workshop team, and content analysis of workshop correspondence, documents, and action plans. A total of 61 partners completed the pre-surveys, 65 completed the post-surveys, and 63 filled out a resource survey. Key findings include: The social activities proved to be important components of the workshop, providing various networking opportunities. Partners most frequently cited networking as the most valuable aspect of the workshop. Partners came to the workshop with varying levels of comfort talking to visitors about nano and answering their nano-related questions. By the end of the workshop, partners had significantly increased their comfort with nano and no one felt uncomfortable. Overall, partners left feeling much more comfortable talking about nano than answering visitors' questions. Overall, partners felt prepared to implement an action plan they were going to carry out upon returning to their institution. They desired support from NISE Network staff while carrying out their plan, including follow-up communication and being available for their questions. After the workshop, partners felt more comfortable working with scientists and industry representatives than they did before the workshop, with partners feeling more comfortable working with scientists than industry representatives. The appendix of this report includes survey instruments and interview questions used in the study.



Team Members

Amy Grack Nelson, Evaluator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Claire Philippe, Evaluator, Science Museum of Minnesota
Nanoscale Informal Science Education (NISE) Network, Contributor


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: NSEC; Materials Centers & Education; NUE; Collaborative Research; NIRT; AISL
Award Number: 0532536
Funding Amount: 19999169

Related URLs

Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | Technology
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Formative | Interview Protocol | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Survey
Environment Type: Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Professional Development and Workshops