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Evaluation and Research

Evaluation is a process used to improve the design and function of educational experiences in informal learning environments and to measure progress toward goals. Research studies are designed to generate findings that will inform the broader field of informal science education.

What are different types of Evaluation and Resarch?

Evaluation is a process used to improve the design and function of educational experiences in informal learning environments and to measure progress toward goals.

Research studies are designed to generate findings that will inform the broader field of informal science education.

  • Front-End Evaluation
    During the early stages of a project, front-end evaluation is used to learn about visitors’ familiarity with a topic, their interests and feelings, and what understandings they will bring to the experience.
  • Formative Evaluation
    During the design and development stage of a project, formative evaluation is used to help achieve desired goals; formative evaluation involves iterative testing and modification of prototype exhibits, materials, and programs.
  • Summative Evaluation
    At the end of a project, summative evaluation is used to assess the impact of a completed project; summative evaluation usually includes observing visitors while they experience a program or exhibit and interviewing or surveying them before and/or after this experience.
  • Research Reports
    Research reports summarize the results of research studies conducted on the impacts of informal science education efforts on both public audiences and museum professionals.
  • Evaluation Tools
    Capacity building tools for informal science educators to empower them to get the data they need, when they need it, to improve their products and practices and, ultimately, more effectively engage public and professional audiences. The Team Based Inquiry (TBI) process involves an ongoing cycle of inquiry: question, investigate, reflect, and improve.

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