Guide For Evaluating Learning Outcomes From Citizen Science

August 14th, 2014

The field of citizen science is rapidly growing—just in this past year, professional associations have been launched in the United States, Europe, and Australia. As more scientists, educators, and audiences become involved, project designers may be increasingly interested in evaluating how effective their programs are at reaching outcomes like interest in science, gains in science content knowledge, and more.

The User’s Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes from Citizen Science is a new resource designed to help citizen science practitioners evaluate their programs. The Guide is designed to make evaluation easy to understand and easy to execute, and shows how project leaders can use evaluation techniques not only to demonstrate their programs’ effectiveness but also understand how their programs operate and help them achieve goals. The Guide builds on over three years of work by Tina Phillips and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology, as well as a team of advisors with expertise in evaluation and citizen science.

In addition to the Guide, the Cornell team has developed validated evaluation instruments, some of which an be customized to different project contexts. The list of available instruments is on the Citizen Science Central website. CAISE will share these instruments as they become available.