Summative Evaluation of CSI: The Experience

July 1st, 2009 | EVALUATION

Fort Worth Museum of Science and History (FWMSH) contracted with Randi Korn & Associates, Inc. (RK&A) to evaluate CSI: The Experience National Science Foundation- and Science Museum Exhibit Collaborative-funded project focused on forensic science. The project included a museum exhibition and an online gaming experience (Web Adventure) targeting children ages 9 to 17 and adults. A summative evaluation explored visitors' overall experiences, understanding of forensic sciences, and the research question: Does the Web Adventure extend exhibition visitors' learning of forensic science? A process evaluation also explored the effectiveness of the CSI project and collaboration model, involving partners from for-profit and non-profit organizations. To explore study objectives and the research question, RK&A conducted 98 timing and tracking observations and 119 in-depth interviews 50 with exhibition-only visitors, 49 with exhibition & Web visitors, and 20 with Web-only visitors. Interviews were rubric-scored and analyzed quantitatively and qualitatively. The process evaluation explored partners' thoughts and ideas through facilitated group discussion and in-depth interviews. Data were collected from November 2008 to February 2009. Select findings and their implications are as follows: (1) The exhibition and Web Adventure were independently successful at engaging visitors and facilitating learning of forensic science concepts. Exhibition-only and Web-only visitors' rubric scores suggest an early understanding of forensic science that point at which a learner experiences an ah-ha moment. The purpose-driven design, as well as the CSI brand, contributed to the project's success. (2) Exhibition-only and Exhibition & Web visitors' rubric scores demonstrate that the Web Adventure did not extend exhibition visitors' learning of forensic science. Findings suggest two reasons: the Web Adventure's usability and museum visitors' low level of interest in an online gaming experience.



Team Members

Randi Korn & Associates, Inc., Evaluator, Randi Korn & Associates, Inc.
Fort Worth Museum of Science and History, Contributor


Funding Source: NSF
Funding Program: AISL
Award Number: 0540335
Funding Amount: 2429234

Related URLs

Crime, Science and Inquiry: An Integrated Exhibit and Web-based Learning Initiative


Audience: Adults | Elementary School Children (6-10) | Evaluators | Middle School Children (11-13) | Museum | ISE Professionals | Youth | Teen (up to 17)
Discipline: Chemistry | Education and learning science | Health and medicine | Life science | Nature of science | Physics | Technology
Resource Type: Summative
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Media and Technology | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Websites | Mobile Apps | Online Media