Shared Measures for Evaluating Common Outcomes of Informal STEM Education Experiences
Since the late 2000s, interest in the development and use of shared measures in the informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education (ISE) field has increased. The intent is to build the capacity of evaluators to measure common outcomes of ISE experiences. We begin this chapter with a definition of shared measures, a description of related technical qualities of these measures, and a discussion of benefits and concerns around the use of shared measures. We then review recent conversations and developments around shared measures, including examples of observational and survey tools to measure common ISE outcomes. Three case studies of shared measure efforts provide an in-depth look into the development of shared survey measures and highlight promising lessons for future initiatives. Building from these successes, we outline recommendations for the future of shared measures in ISE. These include adopting a multifaceted approach to enhancing measurement capacity among evaluators, supporting new kinds of collaborative work among evaluators, and increasing access to instruments and tools.