Formative Assessment Systems for ATE (FAS4ATE)
Principal investigators and evaluators of grants funded by the NSF Advanced Technological Education (ATE) program have identified a need for access to valid, reliable, useful, and accessible, real-time evaluative data for decision making in their projects and centers. However, limits on time, expertise, and resources have meant that this need often remains unmet. This project conducts webinars and other activities in preparation for holding a one day workshop to solicit input to create an evaluation logic model, identify data priorities, and identify criteria for development of tools to support formative assessment/evaluation of ATE projects and centers. Participants in the workshop process explore and document evaluation ideas, designs, and systems that can enable all ATE projects and centers to make the most effective use of evaluation. The project is guided by international experts in formative evaluation.
Together with representative PIs, the project leadership plans webinars on logic models and formative evaluation. The outcomes are possible logic models to be refined by input from a larger group of PIs at the workshop. Having PI input into developing the logic models ensures their use. The outputs are posted on the Evalu-ate website and advertised in other publications. The Advisory Panel members actively review project plans, web and workshop plans, and outcomes. Feedback from the Advisory Panel and participants groups is used to inform and guide the determination of product emphases and judgments regarding the value of the project itself.
The project provides models to change project and center evaluations from annual summative evaluation to ongoing formative evaluations that provide practical and timely information to guide the development of the project. The products should be useful in other NSF program as well.