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Evaluation and Assessment

Are you required to evaluate programs as a part of your management policy? Do you want your education programs and materials to improve? Do you need to know how effective your programs are?

Environmental education program evaluation uses the same principles and approaches of traditional program evaluation methods, but which are customized to the specific challenges of environmental education. Hands on the Land is now providing links and tools to help program providers evaluate and analyze the quality of their education programs and teaching materials.

On-line Resources Evaluation and Assessment Resources:

  • My Environmental Education Evaluation Resource Assistant (MEERA) provides evaluation resources for formal and non-formal environmental educators. Current offerings include professionally selected and reviewed "how-to" guides and other resources for evaluating environmental education programs as well as a discussion forum. Future offerings will include searchable examples of evaluations of environmental education programs.
  • The NOAA B-WET program strives for rigorous evaluation. Project-level evaluations have been supported as part of required grant activities for many years in order to help grantees document results and improve their activities. While project-level evaluation will continue to be supported, beginning in 2013 B-WET will begin rolling out an across-region, ongoing evaluation system to monitor program implementation and outcomes at the national level. Please see below for more information about these ongoing efforts.
  • The National Marine Sanctuaries Education Evaluation Guide is designed to familiarize you with the evaluation process, with California B-WET evaluation requirements, and with planning and managing a project evaluation whether you conduct it yourself or work with an outside evaluator.
  • The EPA's Evaluation of Environmental Programs web site links to environmental program evaluation information within EPA and to external information.
  • The Digital Library for Earth System Education provides evaluation and assessment tools and evaluation services resources.
  • EE-link provides assessment and evaluation tools for program providers.
  • The Journal of Interpretation Research published an article on The Effects of a National Wildlife Refuge’s EE Programs on Elementary School Classes’ Knowledge and Attitudes.
  • Australia's Department of Environment and Conservation published Does your Project Make a Difference?This booklet demonstrates how to build an evaluation framework based on the logic of your education program or teaching material, through the development and use of an outcome hierarchy model.
  • Planning an Effective Program Evaluation - a Resource for Project Directors.
  • Taking Stock - A Practical Guide to Evaluating Your Own Programs.
  • What is Evaluation? - Document compiled from Dr. Barbara McDonald's PowerPoint presentation on evaluation.

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