Staff from the Institute will be sharing results from a number of projects and initiatives at the upcoming Visitor Studies Association conference in Boston, MA. Look for us in the conference program (http://www.visitorstudies.org/conference-page) and come learn more about quasi-experimental designs, video analysis, and a variety of projects, including Head Start on Engineering (http://www.informalscience.org/head-start-engineering-supporting-engineering-interest-development-early-childhood), Designing Our World (http://www.informalscience.org/full-scale-development-designing-our-world-community-envisioning-girls-engineers), and REVEAL (http://www.informalscience.org/research-researching-value-educator-actions-learning-reveal). See you in Boston!
Institute staff member Scott Pattison has collaborated on a new report to help evaluators, senior managers, and project leaders build evaluation capacity in complex systems, such as large organizations or cross-institutional networks. The report draws from three years of research on evaluation and evaluation capacity building with individuals and organizations involved in the NSF-funded Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network. Lessons learned from the research include the importance of fostering a shared value for evaluation, ensuring both diverse and redundant staff skillsets, balancing centralized and decentralized control, and considering the impact of the broader evaluation ecosystem. The full report can be freely downloaded from informalscience.org: http://www.informalscience.org/building-evaluation-capacity-complex-world-practical-lessons-organization-and-project-leaders.