Evaluation of learning in informal learning environments

July 21st, 2007 | RESEARCH

In 2006, the National Research Council initiated a study on Learning Science in Informal Environments. The purpose of the study is to synthesize a range of relevant literatures and recommend strategic directions for future research in the area. In the course of working on this study the Committee has found one of its challenges to be the identification and assessment of evaluation studies of informal science programs, in particular those which have probed science learning outcomes. To that end they commissioned the Institute for Learning Innovation to produce a paper that would help them discern the state of evaluation practice, the range of methods used to assess learning in these settings, and the quality and strength of the evidence for such learning. This paper will be used by the Committee as they address the issue of evaluation in their report and make specific recommendations to their sponsor, the National Science Foundation, and the field of science learning in informal environments at large about how to best support and shape quality evaluation practice (questions, methods, etc.) in the future. In addition, the paper addresses the contribution that evaluation has made to the field's understanding of the impacts of informal science learning experiences and suggests how evaluation practice can be enhanced in the future.



Team Members

Institute for Learning Innovation, Contributor, Institute for Learning Innovation

Related URLs

Learning Science within Informal Environments


Audience: Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
Resource Type: Reference Materials | Report
Environment Type: Exhibitions | Informal | Formal Connections | Media and Technology | Professional Development | Conferences | Networks | Public Programs