As program managers and educators design place-based education intiatives, it is helpful to build evaluation into the plan. Every evaluation is uniquely designed to meet the needs of each program. The process and the results can be used to:
- Help program staff identify which program elements are most effective so that they can then effectively decide which aspects of their programs to augment or eliminate
- Determine how a program impacts participants
- Write grant reports or apply for additional funding
- Solicit funds from prospective donors
- Create new partnerships
Starter tools and resources for conducting program evaluations
- Logic Models are useful tools for identifying program activities and intended outcomes. This logic model template is a useful starting point. Check out this sample logic model to see how one place-based program used the logic model process to clearly outline its program activities and goals.
- Sample Evaluation Tools Program Evaluation and Educational Research, Inc. (PEER) has developed dozens of evaluation tools for clients. They have worked extensively with organizations that comprise the Place-based Education and Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC). Learn more about evaluation, and check out sample surveys and associated evaluation instruments, by looking at toolkits designed for PEEC organizations such as A Forest for Every Classroom and the Community Mapping Program .
- Sample Interview Guides and Surveys Check out the sample interview questionsand surveys PEER used in its evaluation of the Sustainable Schools Project.
- My Environmental Education Evaluation Research Assistant (MEERA) is an 'online consultant' that walks you thorugh the evaluation provess, provides samples of instruments, and evaluation reports.
Here at Home: A Wisconsin Cultural Tour for K-12 Teachers
Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture, in cooperation with the UW-Madison's Center for the Study of Upper Midwestern Cultures and the Wisconsin Arts Board, hosts educational tours for educators. The interdisciplinary,immersive eight-day tours take teachers around the state in an exploration of the diversity of Wisconsin's local cultures, their expressions, and the environmental and human forces that shape them. Sample highlights of the tours include visits with blacksmiths at the nation's only Hmong blacksmith shop in LaCrosse, an exploration of Wisconsin's Belgian and Czech settlement area, learning about Wisconsin's timber industry through interviewing and observing a contract logger and National Forest Service personnel at work in the Chequamegon National Forest, and hearing the Queens of Harmony performing a cappella gospel at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society and Museum in Milwaukee. For more information about the Wisconsin Teachers of Local Culture, and to explore curriculum developed by participating educators, go to http://csumc.wisc.edu/WTLC/index.htm.
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