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Assessment tools and resources

“Individual projects should include clearly stated goals, specific descriptions of activities that the PI intends to do, and a plan in place to document the outputs of those activities. The annual and final project reports should address progress in all activities of the project, including any activities intended to address the Broader Impacts criterion that are not intrinsic to the research.” – NSF Merit Review Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

  • From the NSF: The 2002 User-Friendly Handbook for Project Evaluation – This Handbook was developed to provide a basic guide for the evaluation of NSF’s educational programs. It is aimed at people who need to learn more about both what evaluation can do and how to do an evaluation, rather than those who already have a solid base of experience in the field. The Handbook discusses quantitative and qualitative evaluation methods, and is divided into four major sections:
    1. Evaluation and types of evaluation
    2. The steps in doing an evaluation
    3. An overview of quantitative and qualitative data collection methods
    4. Strategies that address culturally responsive evaluation
  • National Center for Science and Civic Engagement NCSCE commissions, adapts, helps to develop, and disseminates a suite of assessment tools and resources. Includes The Student Assessment of Learning Gains (SALG) assessment tool: an online, customizable instrument that faculty interested in encouraging students to assess and report their own learning may use free of charge. NCSCE is also a source for education plan ideas and a potential dissemination venue that could further extend an education plan or the broader impact of your work.
  • Documenting and Assessing Learning in Informal and Media-Rich Environments (Released 3/2015 by MIT Press with support from the MacArthur Foundation). Offers a new model for assessing and documenting outcomes in informal learning environments. Includes summary and literature review for assessment approaches for settings as after-school programs, community center programs, museum-based programs, and online communities and forums.
  • Crafting and evaluating Broader Impact activities: a theory-based guide for scientists (added June 2015)
    This “Broader Impacts Impact Framework” summarizes best practices in communication and outreach, and can be used by scientists during proposal writing and review. This framework focuses on five main factors: who, why, what, how, and with whom.
  • Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) (added December 2014)  A well-developed  STEM education evaluation resource, designed to help both veterans and newcomers develop evaluation plans for their work. CAISE resources help investigators build a plan based on an informed understanding of key evaluation components, questions, and goals, while identifying strategies for reporting and dissemination.