General Assessment and Evaluation Resources
- The Community Toolbox provides a detailed Introduction to Evaluation from a community development perspective.
- For a deeper dive into evaluating connected learning programs, Program Evaluations for Connected Learning (William Penuel & Carrie Allen, 2016) is a free online course consisting of eight modules covering topics like "measuring and using implementation evidence" and “developing a theory of change to guide evaluation.”
- BetterEvaluation is an extensive collection of information for every stage and aspect of evaluation.
- IMLS (2015) has collected a list of Evaluation Resources from a variety of sources.
- The Learning Loop Tool from the DIY Toolkit can help you use lessons learned from the past when creating a new initiative.
Assessing and Evaluating in Informal Learning Contexts
- See Chapter 6 of Surrounded by Science (Marilyn Fenichel & Heidi A. Schweingruber, 2010) for a discussion of “Assessing Learning Outcomes.”
- The Principal Investigator’s Guide: Managing Evaluation in Informal STEM Education Projects (CAISE, 2011) was written for NSF-funded projects, but it contains extensive advice and examples that are useful for any informal learning context.
- Chapter 5 of Putting Teens First in Library Services: A Roadmap, (Linda Braun & Shannon Peterson, eds., 2017), discusses “Assessments and Outcome-Based Evaluation in Formal and Informal Learning Spaces.” (Chicago, IL: YALSA).
- Chapters 5 through 10 of Framework for Evaluating Impacts of Informal Science Education Projects, edited by Alan J. Friedman for the National Science Foundation, discuss the challenges of evaluating particular types of informal learning experiences like exhibits or media productions.
- InformalScience.org has a set of evaluation resources specifically designed for informal STEM learning.
Tools and Instruments
- The PEAR Institute’s Assessment Tools in Informal Science is a database of assessment instruments, complete with user reviews.
- The STEM Learning and Research Center also has a database of assessment instruments.
- The Activation Lab provides instruments to assess science learning activation, as well as an observation protocol to measure engagement with learning.
- IDEO has created a Human-Centered Design Kit with dozens of methods for gathering ideas and information, many of which can be used for creatively assessing connected learning programs.
- InformalScience.org has a collection of evaluation materials from informal STEM learning projects, including evaluation reports and assessment instruments.