Intersections in Assessment Conference: Exploring Informal Science learning Assessment Methods to Improve Undergraduate STEM Education

This NSF IUSE-funded project (NSF 2106168) explored the potential of evaluation and learning assessment methods utilized in Free-choice (Informal) science learning (ISL) settings such as zoos, museums, and citizen science programs, to inform new approaches to Higher Education assessments.  Approaches to assessment in Higher Education (HE) Science classrooms are currently being reconsidered as assessment experts and classroom instructors seek more meaningful and inclusive methods of understanding what learning is happening, and how to make learning more apparent to students and instructors alike.  Bringing six recognized experts in HE assessment together with six experts in informal science learning evaluation and research for conversation and exchange resulted in the identification of key cultural differences between the two settings, new understandings of methods used in ISL assessment, and the development of ideas about how the body of knowledge of ISL assessment might inform improved HE assessment, with further study. This final report includes a comprehensive review of the conference proceedings, an annotated bibliography of the preparatory readings, final recommendations for future investigation, and the conference evaluation report. Further dissemination through a shorter article and future conference sessions is planned.

You can view our final report here: Intersection IUSE_interactive_v4

Project Team: Judith Koke, Elysa Corin Ph.D., Davida Smyth