Exploration of Innovative Measures of Informal Learning
As part of SK Partners’ work on enhancing evaluation in informal science education (ISE), we collected a variety of measures, assessments, tools, and techniques for capturing ISE outcomes. We were particularly interested in “innovative,” rigorous assessments that collected multiple data points, did not rely solely on self-report, and suggested new directions while addressing well-known constraints (e.g., free choice) in ISE. Moreover, we sought measures developed for particular purposes that could be adapted for use in different contexts. Finally, we tried to find examples that targeted a variety of common IS outcome types including engagement or interest; cognitive (e.g. content knowledge, skills); behavioral; intrapersonal (e.g., identity, self-efficacy); interpersonal (e.g., social interactions); and demographic (e.g., number of people served, visitor characteristics). Because we were interested in measures that are suitable for informal learning environments, we made special effort to find those that were unobtrusive or embedded in the visitor or learner’s experience.