Connected Science Learning: Linking In- School and Out-of-School STEM Educators - Final Evaluation Report
This final evaluation report shares findings from the summative evaluation study of the Connected Science Learning: Linking In-School and Out-of-School STEM Learning (CSL) journal as well as themes that emerged across the broader three-year evaluation study. The ongoing study was conducted by researchers at the Center for Research on Lifelong STEM Learning at Oregon State University in collaboration with the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA) and the Association of Science-Technology Centers (ASTC).
The CSL journal was the result of an Early-concept Grant for Exploratory Research (EAGER) project funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) (Award #1420262) to develop, disseminate and evaluate a new resource for connecting STEM education practitioners across settings and to the teaching and learning knowledge base. The project was initiated by implementing a needs assessment and front-end evaluation to guide the development of the new resource. After identifying gaps where a new resource could contribute, the project team used key evaluation findings to inform the development of the pilot issues of the CSL journal. As the first pilot issue was launched, a formative evaluation study was implemented to gather feedback for improving future issues of the journal. The summative study reported here aimed to identify key outcomes of the grant-funded initiative on STEM education professionals who engaged with the journal as well as to understand any impacts on the broader field. Specifically, the study reported here focused on the following overarching summative evaluation question: Does the CSL journal add value to the field and target audience? Three additional sub-questions also guided the summative study:
1) Is the CSL journal successful in communicating current research to in-school and out-ofschool
STEM education practitioners?;
2) Does CSL provide an effective mechanism for connecting educators across settings?;
3) To what extent, if at all, has the CSL journal catalyzed new (or expanded existing)
partnerships or connections between in-school and out-of-school STEM education
professionals and contexts?