AEA365 | A Tip-a-Day by and for Evaluators

CAT | Environmental Program Evaluation

We’re Matt Keene and Cameron Norman, from the Silwood Group, a transdisciplinary group of evaluators, systems scientists and conservation leaders. We’re working to address challenges at the nexus of social and ecological systems where complex situations are common, uncertainty is high and predictability is low. Though we can’t be certain of the extent, we are increasingly aware that we see the world not as it is but as we are. Humility must be our touchstone for meaningful reflection on what we perceive and how we act. With that understanding we adapt to the unveiling of reality.

As we enter Earth week we can reflect on the importance and ambition of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the people whose well-being depends, in part, on evaluation’s capacity to honor its role in meeting these goals.

Our team is designing a praxis-orientated approach to grapple with evaluation challenges like those presented by the SDGs. The concept of praxis has a long history, stretching from Aristotle’s practical orientation to knowledge to the political and social activism of Paolo Friere. Praxis is the process of practicing or enacting an idea or theory. Praxis eschews common worldviews that separate and order knowledge and practice and instead positions our knowledge of the world as a practice, enabling us to act on the world more purposefully.

Lesson Learned: Praxis requires attention. It is a living, developmental concept that requires focus, attention and flexibility to continually learn, adjust and improve.

Today, the lens through which we are seeing consists of four elements of immediate relevance to evaluation’s capacity to contribute to the SDGs and other goals set amidst complexity:

  1. Understand values of all stakeholders – values and their relationships may compete, contradict, or complement.
  2. Use wisdom in judgment and action – reflect on our present biases, prejudices and choice, use evidence from the past to design and create conditions for the future.
  3. Learn through ongoing evaluative systemic inquiry – balancing the systematic and the systemic to generate learning through action.
  4. Attend to the whole, humbly – systems thinking in practice to find and understand our limits, acknowledge our “inevitable partiality”…and proceed.

So, that’s a “whole” lot to digest. To help along some admittedly circuitous conversations, we began developing a model of our praxis-oriented approach.

Lesson Learned: This is contentious stuff. The dualism of know / do is deeply ingrained in most of us and our scholarly disciplines. Taking that on is not for the faint of heart.

Lesson Learned: Sensemaking is key. Making the time to come together, learn and reflect is taxing and takes time…but it’s also a party(!) that amplifies learning and extends action.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Environmental Program Evaluation TIG Week with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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My name is Michael Quinn Patton. I am an independent evaluation consultant based in Minnesota but working worldwide.  As part of Earth Week, a worldwide perspective on global systems change seems especially appropriate.

I have taught in the International Program for Development Evaluation Training (IPDET) every year since its inception in 2000.  I conducted the meta-evaluation of the Evaluation of the Paris Declaration on International Development Aid. I joined with evaluators around the world last year in celebrating 2015 as the International Year of Evaluation devoted to enhancing national evaluation capacity in developing countries.  In these and other international evaluation experiences I have become acutely aware that we need global solutions to global problems – and we need evaluators with competence to undertake global systems change initiatives.   Earth Week is a good time to reiterate the need for globally oriented, world savvy evaluators.

Lesson Learned: Albert Einstein famously said: “We cannot solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them.” Nation-state boundaries are the result of war, imperialism, colonialism, enslavement, exploitation, genocide, oppression, greed, politics, and religious persecution. Environmental degradation is but one of the results.  Global problems transcend national boundaries. Examples include:

  • Climate change
  • Economic turbulence
  • Refugees
  • Virulent infectious diseases
  • Dying oceans
  • Global cyber-terrorism
  • International drug cartels
  • Human trafficking
  • Weapons trafficking
  • Poverty and inequality

Hop tip: Global problems need global initiatives evaluated by globally knowledgeable evaluators. To evaluate global systems change means applying core systems concepts globally: attention to perspectives, boundaries, and interconnections.

Lesson learned: Take a global perspective. You can’t see the Earth as a whole unless you get at least 20,000 miles away. On December 7, 1972 the first photograph was taken of Planet Earth: the Blue Marble Shot.

MQPattonBlueMarble

Lesson learned:  Evaluate Beyond Boundaries and Borders.  Earth week and the Blue Marble Shot remind us to Think Globally, Act Globally, and Evaluate Globally because we are truly interdependent.

Rad resource: Blue Marble Evaluation webinars (no cost): March 16, April 20, and May 18.

Rad resource: Global Systems Change Evaluation course, June 23-24.

Rad resource: Look at real time Blue Marble Shots from Space for Earth Week. Japan’s Himawari-8 Satellite Captures Whole Earth’s Images Every 10 Minutes. Takes 144 photographs of the entire planet a day.

Rad resource:  Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

Image via

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Environmental Program Evaluation TIG Week with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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Hello, I am Rupu Gupta, Analyst at New Knowledge Organization Ltd. and Co-Chair of AEA’s Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group. My evaluation work focuses on learning about the environment and conservation in informal settings. As we celebrate Earth Day, I would like to share some reflections on evaluating these experiences.

Lessons Learned: Informal learning settings are critical to learn about the environment and actions to protect it. Informal learning settings offer opportunities for “free-choice” learning, where the learners choose and control what they learn. They are typically institutions such as zoos, botanic gardens, aquariums, and museums, distinct from formal educational settings like schools. With hundreds of millions of visits to these institutions annually, they are prime settings to engage the public in thinking about the environment. Conservation education is often a key aspect of these institutions’ programming, where visitors can learn about different forms of nature (e.g., animals, natural habitats), threats they face (e.g., climate change), and actions to address them (e.g., reducing energy use). Educational experiences here are often referred to as informal science learning for their connection with understanding natural systems.

Learning about the environment in informal learning settings can happen through a variety of experiences. Informal learning is socially constructed, through a complex process that includes oneself, close others (friends, family) and more distant others (institution staff). Specific experiences, like animal encounters, hands-on interactions with flora in botanic gardens, or media-based elements (e.g., touch screens) enable visitors to engage with information about nature and the environment. Docents play an important role in helping visitors ‘interpret’ the message embedded in the experiences and exhibits. Evaluators assessing the impact of the different experiences in informal settings, need to be mindful of the multiple pathways for visitors to engage with the environmental information.

Informal learning manifests broadly. Learning experiences in informal settings encompass outcomes, beyond learning traditionally associated with school-based education. In the process of making meaning of the various experiences, learning is tied to the multiple aspects of the human experience. They can be cognitive (e.g., gaining knowledge about climate change impacts), attitudinal (e.g., appreciating native landscapes), emotional (e.g., fostering empathy towards animals) or behavioral (e.g., signing a petition for an environmental cause). A mix of qualitative and quantitative methods are best to capture the complex learning experiences. By considering the range of learning possibilities, evaluators can design and conduct effective evaluations to understand how people engage with the multi-faceted topic of the environment.

Rad Resources: The following are great to get acquainted with evaluation in informal learning settings:

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Happy Earth Week from the EPE TIG!  My name is Lydia Lange. I am the Co-Chair of the EPE TIG and an independent researcher/evaluator specializing in natural resource management and sustainability education. In honor of Earth Week, I want to share a bit about environmental evaluation and the privilege we have as a TIG to support this growing field.

I have been volunteering with the EPE TIG Leadership Team for the past three years and am thrilled to be a part of the excitement surrounding environmental evaluation.  The EPE TIG has over 300 members who specialize in environmental arenas including conservation, environmental policy, environmental education, energy, international and global environmental issues and work for government (state and local), academic, consulting and non-profit organizations.  Still, many more bring with them experience from different disciplines and content areas.   However, what we share is a personal and professional passion for the environment, and for promoting a stronger community of practice in environmental evaluation. I’ve have met an inspiring, resourceful, and dynamic community of evaluators – many of whom are leaders in their field. New practitioners learn from the experience of long time evaluators, and more established practitioners learn from the diverse perspectives of an ever-growing member base.

A long standing interest in the environment drove 2014 AEA President Beverly Parsons to join the EPE TIG seven years ago. When I interviewed Beverly last February, she noted the upturn in environmental awareness and discussion generally and talked about her excitement in the potential for the EPE TIG to help shape dialogue.

The success of the Environmental Evaluators Network forum is further proof of the interest in the burgeoning field.  Who knew that what started as a small meeting of 90 individuals in 2006 would evolve into the international network it is today.  A network the TIG has supported each year.

This is an exciting time for AEA, the TIG, and the field of environmental evaluation. The coming year has never been a better time for the field. The TIG looks forward to supporting a vision of evaluation that involves a sustainable AEA, and practice.

Rad Resources: To learn more about the EPE TIG and Environmental Program evaluation check out the resources below.

Clipped from http://comm.eval.org/environmental/home/

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Environmental Program Evaluation TIG Week with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

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Hello! My name is Anna Williams. I have worked on issues related to sustainable development as an evaluator, facilitator, and agent of change for 20+ years.

The concept of sustainable development took hold 25 years ago, but several challenges have hampered interpretation and analysis of progress, starting with these:

The future of sustainability.  Advancing the well being of girls and women is now commonly understood as a critical underpinning to sustainable development

The future of sustainability. Advancing the well being of girls and women is now commonly understood as a critical underpinning to sustainable development

1. The oft-cited 1987 Brundtland Commission definition of sustainable development is “development that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.”  This definition does not translate well into practical application, and it causes confusion.

2. Sustainability and social equity are often viewed as inherently at odds, even when they are inextricably tied and win-win solutions are available in several areas, such as maternal health, energy efficiency, and subsistence fisheries.  (This is not to discount the reality that some real tensions and tradeoffs do still need to be addressed.)

3. Efforts to identify sustainable development goals and indicators, and to measure and evaluate progress toward sustainable development, have struggled, and many faded into the background around ten years ago.

The good news: This past paradigm has faded, and in its place is the next era of sustainable development. 

According to the Marine Stewardship Council, about 1 billion people - largely in developing countries - rely on fish as their primary animal protein source.

According to the Marine Stewardship Council, about 1 billion people – largely in developing countries – rely on fish as their primary animal protein source.

There is now consensus that human equity and well being are at the heart of sustainable development; that realizing environmental sustainability requires addressing extreme poverty, energy access, and maternal and reproductive health, among other fundamentals.  In The Future We Want, the Rio +20 Resolution adopted in July 2012, the UN General Assembly stated, “Eradicating poverty is the greatest global challenge facing the world today and an indispensable requirement for sustainable development. In this regard we are committed to freeing humanity from poverty and hunger as a matter of urgency.”

To prepare for a 2015 post Millennium Development Goals agenda, efforts are underway to redefine sustainable development and create ways to understand progress toward it. One promising example of improved goals, targets, and indicators is the UN-commissioned Sustainable Development Solutions Network’s proposed framework for sustainable development, which has 10 goals, 30 targets, and 100 indicators.   The first proposed goal is end extreme poverty, including hunger.  Other next-generation efforts are taking place at the global, national, and local levels.  It is an inspiring time when the past 25 years are informing the next 25, and evaluation of sustainable development initiatives will be able to benefit greatly from these advances.

Rad Resources: Below are a few resources for next-generation indicators and evaluative analysis tools for sustainable development:

Climate change will disproportionately affect those who are least responsible.  Prevention and adaptation are squarely humanitarian concerns.

Climate change will disproportionately affect those who are least responsible. Prevention and adaptation are squarely humanitarian concerns.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Environmental Program Evaluation TIG Week with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

Hi everyone!  I’m Yvonne M. Watson, an Evaluator in U.S. EPA’s Evaluation Support Division and Chair of AEA’s Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group.  As we celebrate Earth Week in April and prepare for the annual American Evaluation Association  (AEA) conference in October, the theme of sustainability looms large.

As I think about an area where organizations and individuals can make a significant difference to ensure a sustainable future, consumer choice and green purchasing/procurement comes to mind.  The federal government’s role as the leading purchaser of green products is vital to ensuring a sustainable future.  Equally important is the role that households and individuals play in this equation.

Lesson Learned: According to Fischer’s 2010 report, Green Procurement: Overview and Issues for Congress, at the institutional level, federal government procurement accounts for $500 billion annually. Because of its size and purchasing power, the federal government influence on the market is broad—“affecting manufacturing (product planning and development), and purchasing (large institutions and States that mimic federal specifications) both nationally, and internationally.  Established in 1993, the purpose of EPA’s Environmentally Preferable Purchasing (EPP) Program is to: 1) achieve dramatic reductions in the environmental footprint of federal purchasing through creation of guidelines, tools, recognition programs, environmental standards and other incentives and requirements, and (b) make the overall consumer marketplace more sustainable through federal leadership.  In 2011, the EPP program initiated an evaluation to examine the changes in spending on green products across the federal government since 2001. The results indicate greater awareness and positive attitudes towards green procurement among federal purchasers surveyed.

At the individual level, consumers not only vote with their feet – they vote with their purses and wallets too, through the purchase of food, cars, electronics, clothes and a host of other services. In addition, the prominence of green and eco-labels is a prime example of the manufacturing industry’s response to greater demand from consumers who look for green products.  During Earth Week, I encourage organizations, individuals and evaluators alike to take a step back and assess our individual and collective consumer purchasing decisions and the implications for a sustainable future.  After all, the purchasing choices we make today affect the future we have tomorrow.

Rad Resources: EPA’s Greener Products website provides information for consumers, manufacturers and institutional purchasers related to green products.

The EPP Evaluation Report is available here.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Environmental Program Evaluation TIG Week with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Andy Rowe here, I evaluate sustainable development and natural resource interventions.  I am convinced evaluation is facing a key adapt or decline juncture.

Connectivity is the mechanism enabling us to understand how interventions reach to the public interest and effects in the natural system. Our siloed governance approaches come from cost and accountability structures in the for-profit sector.  For-profits recognize the importance of connections to the larger mission and judges performance accordingly; now in the mission includes sustainability.  Major corporations such as Mars and WalMart are acting decisively to ensure sustainable supply chains, which they judge essential to survival of their businesses.  We need to begin the process of incorporating sustainability into evaluation.

The story of how domesticated cats contribute to climate change illustrates how obscure but important these causal connections can be.

RoweLesson Learned: Domesticated cats living with humans, and feral cats are a significant predator of songbirds taking an estimated 40% annually.  Birds carry a parasite Toxoplasma gondii. The unharmful parasite departs in stools, often in litter, which ends up in landfills. Landfills are often connected to the sea via groundwater and streams and the parasites enter coastal waters where bivalves ingest them.  Sea otters love bivalves ingesting the parasite, which attacks the otter brains.  Poor otters.

Another system connects with our story. Fertilizer and waste from sewage treatment and other sources deliver nutrients to the sea causing algal growth in the water that weaken sea grasses.  Otters address the effects of excessive nutrient loading on grasses keeping the sea grasses alive.  Sea grasses are amazingly effective at storing carbon – with the help of otters Pacific sea grasses store the equivalent of annual carbon dioxide emissions from 3 to 6 million cars.

So, cats contribute to climate change via mechanisms that are far from transparent.  As evaluators we need to attend to the connections from the intervention to important effects, including effects in the natural system.  By tracing connectivity within and across systems, evaluation can play an important role in ensuring that interventions are designed and undertaken so that the world we leave for our grandchildren is at least as good as the world we inherited.  It is time that sustainability becomes an expected element in evaluation.  Several years ago the National Academy of Science gave sustainability science a room of its own –time now for sustainability to become a required element in our Standards.

Lesson Learned:  Take a look at sustainability in the for-profit sector:  1. Mars Corporation here and here and 2. Walmart here.

Rad Resources:  Otters and weeds:

Also, see Sustainability Science Room of Its Own by William C. Clark (2007).

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Environmental Program Evaluation TIG Week with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

Hi all! I’m Juha Uitto, Deputy Director of the Independent Evaluation Office of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). I’ve spent many years evaluating environment and development in international organizations, like UNDP and the Global Environment Facility (GEF).

As we all know, evaluating sustainability is not easy or simple. Sustainability as a concept and construct is complex. It is by definition multidimensional encompassing environmental, social, cultural, political and economic dimensions. It cannot be evaluated from a single point of view or as just one dimension of a programme. Apart from the above considerations, sustainability refers to whether the programme or intervention that is the evaluand is in itself sustainable. Sustainability evaluation, must take all of the above into account.

At its simplest, sustainability evaluation would look into whether the intervention would ‘do no harm’ when it comes to the various environmental, social, cultural and other dimensions that may or may not be the main target of the programme. At this level, the evaluation does little more than ensuring that safeguards are in place. The evaluation also has to look at whether the intervention itself was sustainable, i.e. whether it has developed exit strategies so benefits will continue beyond the life of the intervention.

But this is not enough. It is essential for evaluations and evaluators to be concerned with whether the evaluand makes a positive difference and whether it has unintended consequences. In environment and development evaluation a micro-macro paradox is recognized: evaluations show that many individual projects are performing well and achieving their stated goals; yet the overall trends are downward. There are lots of projects focused on protected areas and biodiversity conservation; still, we are facing one of the most severe species extinction crises ever. Many projects successfully address climate change mitigation in various sectors ranging from industry to transportation to energy; still, the global greenhouse gas emissions continue their rising trend. It is not enough for evaluators to focus on ascertaining that processes, activities, outputs and immediate outcomes are achieved.

Lessons learned: In evaluating environment and poverty linkages, one should never underestimate the silo effect. Sustainable development requires a holistic perspective but few organizations operate that way. People have their own responsibilities, priority areas, disciplinary perspectives, partners, networks, and accountabilities that often preclude taking a holistic perspective. Evaluators must rise above such divisions. An evaluation – such as the Evaluation of UNDP Contributions to Environmental Management for Poverty Reduction – can make a major contribution to how an organization acknowledges, encourages and rewards intersectoral and transdisciplinary cooperation.

Rad resource: All UNDP evaluation reports and management responses to them are available on a publicly accessible website, the Evaluation Resources Centre, and independent evaluations at Independent Evaluation Office of UNDP.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Environmental Program Evaluation TIG Week with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

My name is Sara El Choufi and I wanted to share with you some of thoughts on evaluating the effectiveness aid to the environment.

As evaluators, we tend to focus our work on programs and projects. We thoroughly evaluate a project, or a set of projects and draw out conclusion, best practices, lessons learned, etc. But, I wonder if we ever take a step back and take a look at the bigger picture. I mean really take a step back and try to figure out what the world has achieved in terms of environmental protection in over four decades.

Of course such a study is not an easy task to undertake; for starters, where do we get the data? How reliable is it? Assuming we do have remarkably detailed and reliable accounts, how can we generalize and draw conclusions? To what degree do we rely on quantitative studies, and how much thematic and qualitative work needs to be done?

Thinking about this lead me to Greening Aid? – a book solely focused on the foreign assistance and its impact on the environment. I also discovered what could be considered the most comprehensive database for foreign aid – AidData. Collecting data from the OECD, donors, and recipients, AidData “aimed to create a database of development finance activities with as much descriptive detail as possible at the project level for use in the research community.”

Ok, so we have data, now what? How does one begin to evaluate the impact of aid to the environment on the protection and conservation of the global commons, or forests for example? What about measuring to what degree aid has contributed to the reduction of CO2 emissions? What about marine ecosystems? The list goes on…

Another layer is what indicators do we use? Are the World Development Indicators enough? Do we rely on locally assembled data (be it from government, research institutions, or civil society)? Do we need to have boots on the ground and do our own data collection? So on and so forth…

This seems like an impossible undertaking, or at least an impractical one. Should it be done? How can we as evaluators contribute to such a study?

This is meant as a thought piece, and I hope it compels you to respond and weigh in 🙂

Rad Resources: AidData – “a research and innovation lab making information on development finance more accessible and actionable.”

Greening aid? : Understanding the environmental impact of development assistance by R.L. Hicks (2010).

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Environmental Program Evaluation TIG Week with our colleagues in the Environmental Program Evaluation Topical Interest Group. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from our EPE TIG members. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

 

 

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Hi! This is John Baek and I am the Education Evaluator in the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Office of Education. NOAA is a member of the tri-agency climate change education collaboration with NASA and NSF. As a part of the tri-agency evaluation community, my colleague Susan Lynds (CIRES) and I identified a need for high-quality content knowledge assessments for climate change education projects. Over the past six months we’ve been prototyping and crowdsourcing on an online item bank of climate science assessments. So far we’ve collected 75 multiple-choice items.

Lessons Learned:

  • We chose to focus only on multiple-choice items and only focus on content knowledge. By narrowing our focus, it only took a few weeks to get something working. If others are interested in expanding the item bank and being responsible for those collections, you are more than welcome to join us.
  • Keywords and metadata are really important for making an item bank searchable, especially if the item bank gets large. We coded each multiple-choice item using a set of categories of climate science topics developed by the CLEAN Network. The CLEAN website is a curated and reviewed collection of educational resources in climate and energy science.
Clipped from http://cleanet.org/index.html

 

Hot Tips: Think grassroots. Just get started and develop a minimum viable product that is focused on the core function. Yes, an online database would make this better, but Google Forms and Spreadsheets do the job. It’s easier to use and free!

Rad Resources:

  • Google Forms and Spreadsheets has been a great tool to rapidly prototype with working group members that are geographically dispersed. I would rough out a form in D.C. and Susan could test it immediately in Colorado. As the prototype got more stable, Google’s sharing features made it easy to expand the pool of collaborators.
  • Terascore.com is an online assessment tool that I considered as a possible tool for sharing items and even collecting data. We’ve shelved the idea, but I think this tool has great potential. Here’s the link to my account in Terascore with sample item bank questions.

Get Involved: Want to contribute or use the item bank? Contact John Baek at john.baek@noaa.gov.

The American Evaluation Association is celebrating Climate Education Evaluators week. The contributions all this week to aea365 come from members who work in a Tri-Agency Climate Education Evaluators group. Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to aea365@eval.org. aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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