NOVA scienceNOW Season 5 Summative Evaluation

August 1st, 2011 | EVALUATION

WGBH has produced NOVA scienceNOW (NsN) since 2005, with major funding from the National Science Foundation, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Alfred. P. Sloan Foundation. Along with the associated web site and outreach initiative, all NsN resources share the overarching goals of: (a) increasing the public's use of multimedia resources to learn about current science research, (b) increasing public awareness and understanding of cutting edge science content and its relevance to their lives, and (b) increasing public engagement in science-related activities. Goodman Research Group. Inc. (GRG), a research firm specializing in the evaluation of educational programs, materials, and services, conducted summative evaluation of NsN's Season 5, as we have the previous four seasons. The five-month viewing and engagement study focused on how users engage and interact with all program components and examined the extent to which NsN resources, as a whole, achieved their intended impacts on public audiences.NsN effectively engages viewers with the TV episodes, the website, and other related resources. After engaging with NsN, users turned to multimedia resources to learn about current science research, they recognized the relevance of such research to their own lives, and they reported ways in which they integrated science learning into their routines. Among the intended public audience impacts, most notably, NsN resources led users to increased interest and awareness of current events in science and an interest in learning more about them. Over the five years that GRG has conducted summative evaluation of NsN, findings have consistently indicated that viewers of various ages and science-related backgrounds (including science novices and science enthusiasts) find the series and related multimedia resources to be engaging and educational. Copies of all surveys used in the study are included in the appendix of this report.


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Team Members

Elizabeth Bachrach, Evaluator, Goodman Research Group, Inc.
WGBH, Contributor
Kate Parkinson, Evaluator, Goodman Research Group, Inc.
Irene Goodman, Evaluator, Goodman Research Group, Inc.


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 0917517
Funding Amount: 2600000

Related URLs
NOVA scienceNOW Seasons 5 and 6


Audience: Adults | Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM | Nature of science
Resource Type: Evaluation Reports | Research and Evaluation Instruments | Summative | Survey
Environment Type: Broadcast Media | Community Outreach Programs | Media and Technology | Public Programs | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media