TIP: How to determine a sample size for studying your informal education program

May 10th, 2022 | EVALUATION

How to determine a sample size for studying your informal learning program

What’s important to consider when selecting a sample size, or participant group size, for studying your informal (science) education program?  What value does a small sample size have?  If program managers have ample resources for collecting a lot of data, what factors are important to consider? 

Here is a collection of guidelines and examples for use in making an informed decision about determining the sample size for studying your informal learning program.  To design a study whose findings are more authentic and useful, make the sample group as representative as possible of the population that you want to know about.  Then, look at what museum researchers and social scientists recommend. 



Team Members

Rebecca Cors, Author, Wisconsin Evaluation Collaborative


Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | Learning Researchers | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | Social science and psychology
Resource Type: Evaluation | Reference Materials | Research and Evaluation Instruments
Environment Type: Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs

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This material is supported by National Science Foundation award DRL-2229061, with previous support under DRL-1612739, DRL-1842633, DRL-1212803, and DRL-0638981. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations contained within InformalScience.org are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of NSF.

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