EducationInformal EducationPop Quiz

Pop Quiz: Measuring our Impact

It’s more of a “pop quiz” when you don’t see it coming, right? Surprise! I’m a bit late having come in from a conference all about astronomy education, so I’m sure you don’t mind.

There were many good discussions at the meeting of the Astronomical Society of the Pacific in San Jose. There were plenty of hands-on activities and some interesting ways of presenting astronomy content in the classroom. We also talked a lot about how to measure learning and impact.

For informal educators, assessment can be a tricky business. Though classroom teachers can use tests, projects, and portfolios to measure their impact, museum visitors or star party guests don’t expect or necessarily want to be surprised with a test during their visit. However, we want to know how well we’re doing, how to tailor or projects to our audiences, and be able to prove to funding agencies that our projects are worth funding. Some events use short questionnaires, but the response rates can be low. Long term programs have a better shot, but one-off activities, especially big ones, can be heard to measure.

Are you involved in informal education? What do you need to report back about the event? How do you measure learning outside the classroom? What creative ways can we measure our impact in informal settings?

The Pop Quiz is a question for you, the Scholars of Doubt. Look for it on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays at 3pm ET.

Featured image CC Walter Lim on Flickr.

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Nicole

Nicole

Nicole is an assistant professor of physics and astronomy at a small liberal arts college. Her home on the internet can be found at One Astronomer's Noise.

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