Evaluation in DR K-12 Projects: Options

The Discovery Research K-12 (DR K-12) Program of the National Science Foundation (NSF) supports research and development (R&D) on innovative resources, models, and tools for use by students, teachers, administrators, and policy makers. Each project has formative and summative evaluation, which are different from the project’s own R&D activities and instead should support and measure the effectiveness of those activities.

Evaluation options for investigators and evaluators to consider could include the following:

■ Use evaluation skills and approaches that can add value to the project, such as logic modeling, identification and use of existing instruments and analytic techniques, and developmental evaluation

■ Let the evaluator think “outside the project,” gathering or interpreting some data independently, and attending to the context in which the project is operating

■ Take a longer-term perspective, documenting project processes and, if feasible, conducting a retrospective analysis or looking across projects

Read the full paper for a description of these options.