OPMS Baseline Surveys To Open In March For NSF AISL Grantees

March 12th, 2015

The Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program’s Online Project Monitoring System (OPMS) is on online system that obtains information about the activities and accomplishments of AISL-funded projects. The OPMS is comprised of a series of online surveys that Principal Investigators complete at different points in time during their grant award period. In early March, the OPMS Baseline Survey will open for all Broad Implementation, Innovations in Development, and Research in Service to Practice projects awarded in Fiscal Year 2014.

What information does the OPMS collect?

The OPMS is specifically tailored to collect information about AISL grants. The system is structured to collect information about the overall project, as well as specific details about the products, programs, and experiences (or deliverables) the project is funded to produce. At the project level, the OPMS collects information about the lead organization, the roles and contributions of both key personnel and organizational partners, the design of the formative and summative evaluations, and overall project accomplishments. At the deliverable level, the system obtains a considerable amount of information for each public and professional deliverable entered into the system—including the number of participants reached by a given deliverable, specific population types targeted, the content the deliverable is designed to communicate, and the impacts the deliverable has on the intended audiences.

How many OPMS surveys are there?

The OPMS collects information about these data at different points in the project life cycle using three types of surveys: Baseline, Annual, and Closeout. The Baseline Survey is completed at the beginning of the grant and collects information about what a project is anticipated to accomplish. An Annual Survey is completed during each subsequent year until the end of the grant; Annuals collect information about what a project accomplished during the previous calendar year. At the end of the grant, Principal Investigators complete a Closeout Survey that obtains information about actual accomplishments over the grant lifespan.

How are OPMS data used?

Because the OPMS is specifically tailored to the AISL program, the system allows NSF to monitor individual projects’ activities and accomplishments, to assess the impact of the portfolio of AISL projects, and to provide Congress and other stakeholders with timely information about the range of activities and outcomes associated with the AISL program.