Research & Evaluation

Energy Forum 2011 Formative Evaluation

Report date: August, 2011



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General Description: 

The "Energy Challenges, Nanotech Solutions?" forum was created in 2008 by the NISE Network Forum Team. The report summarizes the findings across six implementations of this forum across the country.

Major Findings: 

The data presented in this report was used to help the team modify and optimize the forum for participants and program educators. In addition, it was felt that the data collected could be used to help future forum educators and expert presenters understand the needs of potential forum audiences and gain advice from past forum educators.

Based on the results of the formative evaluation, advice to those presenting future “Energy Challenges, Nanotech Solutions?” forums includes the following:
• Balance the time allowed for the expert presentations and small group discussion because participants find both of these segments of the forum important.
• Make sure to use facilitation tools throughout the forum to keep the forum running on time and to ensure that participants keep on task.
• Make sure to explain the purpose of the forum and the different forum segments so that participants understand what they are being asked to do and feel that their involvement in the program is worthwhile.
• Make sure to work closely with speakers on their presentations to make it more likely that participants will learn from them.
• If at all possible, make sure the presentations cover the full range of content relevant to the discussion scenarios, including information about applications, risks & benefits, and research related to all three types of energy technologies (nanotechnology-based energy, existing alternative energies, and conservation & energy efficiencies).
• Make sure that participants encounter at least one nanotechnology-based energy discussion card during the small group discussion in order to encourage them to talk about nanotechnology.
• Make sure the participants clearly understand what they are expected to produce for the report-out so that they are not caught off-guard.

Type of product(s) studied: 

  • Forum

Method(s) of data collection: 

  • audio recording
  • interviews
  • observations
  • surveys
  • video recording


Juli Goss
Elizabeth Kunz Kollmann

Associated product(s): 



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