As program managers and educators design place-based education intiatives, it is helpful to build evaluation into the plan. Every evaluation is uniquely designed to meet the needs of each program. The process and the results can be used to:
- Help program staff identify which program elements are most effective so that they can then effectively decide which aspects of their programs to augment or eliminate
- Determine how a program impacts participants
- Write grant reports or apply for additional funding
- Solicit funds from prospective donors
- Create new partnerships
Starter tools and resources for conducting program evaluations
- Logic Models are useful tools for identifying program activities and intended outcomes. This logic model template is a useful starting point. Check out this sample logic model to see how one place-based program used the logic model process to clearly outline its program activities and goals.
- Sample Evaluation Tools Program Evaluation and Educational Research, Inc. (PEER) has developed dozens of evaluation tools for clients. They have worked extensively with organizations that comprise the Place-based Education and Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC). Learn more about evaluation, and check out sample surveys and associated evaluation instruments, by looking at toolkits designed for PEEC organizations such as A Forest for Every Classroom and the Community Mapping Program .
- Sample Interview Guides and Surveys Check out the sample interview questionsand surveys PEER used in its evaluation of the Sustainable Schools Project.
- My Environmental Education Evaluation Research Assistant (MEERA) is an 'online consultant' that walks you thorugh the evaluation provess, provides samples of instruments, and evaluation reports.
Outdoorsmen Tell Tales of the Woods
Inspired by the Northern Forest Center's Ways of the Woods traveling exhibit, students in the extracurricular Team Quest program from L.P. Quinn School in Tupper Lake, New York, got excited to explore their own community. The students, with their teachers and an educator from the Adirondack Museum, learned how to use a digital video camera, conduct interviews and edit the material. On a beautiful day in June, Jim and Butch, Adirondack outdoorsmen with decades of experience on hunting, fishing and building boats, paddled to a local park to spend the morning with the students, answering questions about their experiences, and how equipment and the landscape have changed over the years. The students and their adult mentors edited the document into a video for public use.
Tupper Lake, New York
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