Summit on Assessment of Informal and Afterschool Science Learning
The Board on Science Education, in cooperation with the Harvard Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency, hosted a national summit on assessing science learning in informal and afterschool settings on June 11-12, 2012*. Nationally and internationally recognized experts in assessment, measurement and evaluation; development and delivery of informal and afterschool science learning; and representatives from funding organizations explored emerging research and work in small groups to develop potential solutions to issues and challenges in assessment of informal and afterschool science learning.
The goals of the summit included:
Identify the greatest needs and major gaps in the informal science assessment field;
Create approaches to build consensus in the field and develop strategies to overcome the identified major gaps;
Establish topics and themes for in-depth and long-term work;
Identify and analyze existing examples of informal science assessment tools in relationship to the NSF evaluation framework for informal science education, the six strands of science proficiency outlined in the NRC report Learning Science in Informal Environments: People, Places, and Pursuits, and other similar frameworks or outcome models (such as the activated learner framework), and discuss their potential for improving the assessments used in research and evaluation of information science education.
*The summit was supported by generous contributions from the Noyce Foundation, the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation, and the Samueli Foundation.