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From the Archive: Evaluation and Review of STEM Programs

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A special thanks to our practicum student, Xiuyuan He, for contributing this month’s From the Archive blog post. Xiuyuan is a recent graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison iSchool.

Evaluation is a process that critically assesses a program by gathering and analyzing data on a program’s design, implementation, and results. It assesses the program from different aspects, such as relevance, effectiveness, efficiency, impact, and sustainability. This month, From the Archive highlights materials on evaluation and review processes for STEM education programs; these materials may be useful to evaluators, educators, and administrators alike.

The first resource includes a set of tools offered by the Evaluation Resource Center for Advanced Technological Education (EvaluATE) for different stages of the evaluation process. The second resource from SRI International provides a framework for Workforce Education Implementation Evaluation (WEIE). The last resource, from the Florida Advanced Technological Education Center of Excellence (FLATE) and the Consortium for Alabama Regional Center for Automotive Manufacturing (CARCAM), offers useful insights into program and curriculum review in advanced technology education fields.

Evaluation Worksheets

This is a set of tools offered by EvaluATE for different phases of evaluation, including planning, data collection, and impact evaluation.

  • This worksheet, titled “Identifying Stakeholders and Their Roles in an Evaluation,” provides a systematic process for identifying stakeholders from four aspects of evaluation, including utility, feasibility, propriety, and accuracy. The worksheet also cross validates the process by identifying how the stakeholders affect a program and the types of involvement they have in the evaluation.
  • This worksheet serves as a tool to aid in the development of an evaluation plan for a project. Users are encouraged to consider indicators, data sources, data collection methods, responsible parties, timing, and analysis for each evaluation question. The worksheet also includes definitions of terms used in the Data Collection Planning Matrix. 
  • This collection, including a worksheet titled “Identifying Your NSF Project’s Intellectual Merit and Broader Impacts,” was developed by EvaluATE for the 22nd ATE Principal Investigator's Conference. The worksheet can be used to assist project leaders and evaluators in identifying the range of a project's achievements.

For more archived resources offered by EvaluATE, visit the ATE Central Archive.

A Framework for Evaluating Implementation of Workforce Education Partnerships and Programs

This 10-page research brief from SRI International covers research on community college workforce educational implementation in five industries and geographic regions. This research, done by SRI International's Education Division, resulted in the Workforce Education Implementation Evaluation (WEIE), "a framework for evaluating hard-to-measure aspects of the design, development, and delivery of workforce education partnerships and programs." The brief contains information about the rationale for the WEIE approach, how it works, the labor market context, partnership quality found in the research, identifying the roles of the partners, monitoring of the four key partnership strategies, information about research methods, and the implications of the WEIE framework. 

For more archived resources offered by SRI, visit the ATE Central Archive.

Best Practices Guide to Statewide Curriculum and Degree Program Review Processes

This best practices guide from the FLATE Center of Excellence and CARCAM emphasizes the advantages of and need for statewide curricula in advanced technology education fields. The guide describes the Alabama Process Model used by CARCAM as well as the similar Florida Process Model utilized by FLATE to ensure programs are educating students to meet industry needs and state educational standards. Appendices to the guide offer a gap analysis management checklist as well as a sample of Florida's survey form and a summary of their curriculum framework.

For more archived resources offered by FLATE and CARCAM, visit the ATE Central Archive.

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