Evaluation of Jonathan Bird's Blue World: Ocean Science Resources
In 2011, ORG received a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant to develop resources for science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) learning by redesigning and expanding the "Jonathan Bird's Blue World" website; adding components to enable teachers and students to search episodes for specific themes, locations, or scientific concepts; and enhancing the lesson plans to explicitly match the content standards for teaching science. One of the major grant objectives was to make the "Jonathan Bird's Blue World" website content widely accessible as an open source via an Internet connection with a dynamic search capability and add this content to the National Science Digital Library. The grant enabled ORG to add a significant amount of educational material to its list of resources and used ocean topics to illustrate nationally-accepted standards for science learning. The website was designed to be applicable to both formal and informal environments, and contained a multi-faceted approach to achieve its goal, including the following objectives: (a) build a website search capability that includes National Science Educational Standards (NSES) and Ocean Literacy Principles with a link to segments illustrating specific NSES; (b) create webisodes that feature specific NSES and develop an interactive map on the website; (c) create a user survey tool and outreach for these improvements. In 2012, ORG hired Concord Evaluation Group (CEG) to conduct an evaluation of the newly-designed website and STEM resources and their effectiveness for educators and students. The evaluation employed a mixed-method design and three distinct evaluation components: (1) classroom observation, (2) national teacher interviews, and (3) website visitor survey. The evaluation provided suggestions for enhancing the resources for future users. The appendix of this report includes the surveys and interview protocols used in the study.