Evaluation 2015: Exemplary Evaluations in a Multicultural World

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A Two-Phase, Mixed Methods Approach to Evaluating and Improving an Innovative Program Model: The PAC-Involved Evaluation

Session Number: 2676
Track: STEM Education and Training
Session Type: Ignite
Tags: formative evaluation, Innovation, Program Design, STEM education, student engagement, theory
First Author or Discussion Group Leader: Bernadette M Wright [Director of Research & Evaluation - Meaningful Evidence, LLC]
Second Author or Discussion Group Leader: Ladel Lewis, PhD [Senior Research Strategist - Meaningful Evidence, LLC]
Third Author or Discussion Group Leader: Steven E. Wallis, Ph.D. [Director of Meta Analysis - Meaningful Evidence, LLC]
Fourth Author or Discussion Group Leader: Izolda Fotiyeva [Mathematics Instructor - Howard University]
Time: Nov 13, 2015 (01:45 PM - 03:15 PM)
Room: Roosevelt, Ignite 44

Audience Level: Advanced

Session Abstract: 

For the evaluation of the PAC (Physics, Astronomy, Cosmology)-Involved pilot project, an innovative learning model to engage high school students in STEM, we used a two-phase approach focusing on both clarifying the program model/theory and evaluating the theory empirically. We believe this approach provided a collaborative, transparent, and efficient way to gain information needed to improve the program. In Phase 1, we interviewed project team members twice, about their perspectives on expected outcomes, strategies, challenges, and questions. We used this information to develop a logic model and evaluation questions. In Phase 2, we collected process and impact data from diverse stakeholder perspectives and sources: 1) student surveys, 2) observation, 3) project team interviews, 4) student focus group, and 5) review of student videos/journals. Finally, we synthesized findings and developed recommendations to create an improved, evidence-based theory to guide future program planning and evaluation of PAC-Involved and similar programs.

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