This project lasted from 1995 to 2005.  It was originally aimed at improving the nation’s evaluation capacity in science and mathematics through identification of strengths and weaknesses of current evaluation practices through project metaevaluations; training and direct instruction in evaluation methodology through institutes, conferences, and internships; and service to individuals and organizations that conduct evaluations through provision of information and materials.  The project has evolved to focus on evaluation techniques for developing useful chains of information and evidence.  The persons involved in developing these techniques also serve in the project’s training program through their involvement int he annual summer institute and workshop training sessions at regional conferences and the National Evaluation Institute.

The Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) mandates that projects funded by the National Science Foundation must establish what results/impact the funding process has yielded.  For example, teacher enhancement projects must show that their efforts to improve the quality of teaching did in fact change/improve the ways in which teachers conduct their work.  The general strategy being employed to assist evaluators in conducting evaluations that encourage and enable the necessary chains of evidence is called “work sample methodology.”  This technique is a means to collect information and materials (evidence) of teaching and learning practices in ways that are concrete, manageable, and directly focus on changes in teaching practices or other matters of direct interest to the project.

Annual 3-week institutes were held at The Evaluation Center to provide direct instruction to novice evaluators; assist evaluators with some previous training and experience in evaluation to improve their expertise; and engage collaborating evaluation scholars (those working with the Center in the design of new evaluation techniques) to present, refine, and pilot test those methods.

Several institute participants were selected each year to serve as interns with the Advanced Technological Education (ATE) projects.  Working plans were formalized to indicate the expectations for the interns and the collaborating ATE project and the intended outcomes for the intern effort.

Workshops helped develop strong evaluation skills among educators engaged in science and math programs would be held in collaboration with three regional laboratories:  SERVE, NCREL, and PREL.  Program sessions for science and math presentations and workshops were also presented at the annual National Evaluation Institute cosponsered by the Consortium for Research on Educational Accountability and Teacher Evaluation (CREATE) and Project MTS.


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