Time and Behavior as Predictors of Learning

April 1st, 1983 | RESEARCH

As more and more people look to institutions of informal education os places where science education occurs (Kimche, 1978; Tressell, 1980), increased attention has focused upon assessing learning in these out-of-school settings. In particular, instituions such as museums, nature centers, and zoos have devoted considerable efforts towards developing evaluation techniques. A multitude of procedures and approaches have been tired. These include questionnaires (Eason & Linn, 1976; Borun, 1977), empirical testing designs (Screven, 1974; Snider, Eason, & Friedman, 1979; Wright, 1980), and various interview techniques (Merrill, Wolfe & Tymitz, 1978, 1979; Miles & Alt, 1979; Diamond, 1980). Other procedures have included tracking (Lakota, 1975; Cone & Kendall, 1978; Rosenfeld, 1980; Borun & Miller, 1980), behavioral rating scales (Gottfried, 1981) and participant observers (Ramsay, 1974). Investigators have focused on both cognitive and affective dimensions of learning, as well as combinations of the two. Most of the methodologies mentioned above tend to be intrusive, requiring the subjects to fill out forms, take tests, or submit to interview procedures. In the few cases wehre evaluators have purposefully collected data unobtrusively, they have focused on affective dimensions of learning (Boggs, 1977; Wiegman & Wiegman, 1973). The development of meaningful unobtrusive measures of cognitive learning, particularly for use in the typical free-choice environment of informed education, has long been a goal of evaluators (Webb et al, 1966); yet it has frequently proved an illusive goal. The study described here is an attempt to unobtrusively assess cognitive learning.


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Team Members

Smithsonian Institution, Contributor
John H Falk, Author, Oregon State University


Identifier Type: DOI
Identifier: 10.1002/sce.3730670214

Publication: Science Education
Volume: 67
Number: 2
Page(s): 267

Related URLs

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Audience: Educators | Teachers | Evaluators | General Public | Museum | ISE Professionals
Discipline: Education and learning science | General STEM
Resource Type: Peer-reviewed article | Research Products
Environment Type: Aquarium and Zoo Exhibits | Aquarium and Zoo Programs | Exhibitions | Museum and Science Center Exhibits | Museum and Science Center Programs | Public Programs