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Designing
Evaluation
FOR EDUCATION PROJECTS

Office of Education and Sustainable Development
NOAA

Designing
Evaluation
FOR EDUCATION PROJECTS

Office of Education and Sustainable Development
NOAA

Acknowledgments

E

valuation is an integral and essential component of effective project design. This manual is intended to assist project managers as they develop and implement their evaluation plan. Much of the manual is based on the Project Design and Evaluation course developed by NOAA Coastal Services Center and the work of the following individuals: Kate Barba, NOAA Estuarine Reserves Division

Sarah Ross, NOAA Office of Education and Sustainable Development Chris Parsons, Word Craft
Brian Miller, Indiana-Illinois Sea Grant Extension
Mike Spranger, Florida Sea Grant Extension
Ginger Hinchcliff, NOAA Coastal Services Center
Lynne Hinkey, NOAA Coastal Services Center
Corey Riley, NOAA Estuarine Reserves Division
In addition, discussions with other colleagues have shaped this document. Their assistance is appreciated. Bora Simmons
Environmental Education
Department of Teaching and Learning
Northern Illinois University
DeKalb, IL 60115

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Contents

Introduction............................................................................................................. 1 What is Project Evaluation? ...................................................................................... 1 Why is Evaluation Important to Project Design and Implementation? ..................... 2 Planning Evaluation ................................................................................................. 4 Types of Evaluation .................................................................................................. 9 Data Collection Methods ....................................................................................... 15 Mixed Methods ...................................................................................................... 31 Ethics ..................................................................................................................... 32 Appendix A – Writing SMART Objectives ................................................................... 33 Appendix B – Logic Model .......................................................................................... 34 Appendix C – Minimizing Possible Errors in Random Sampling.................................. 35 Appendix D – Determining Sample Size – Rules of Thumb ......................................... 35 Appendix E – Selecting the Right Data Collection Instrument ..................................... 36 Appendix F – Using Rubrics for Scoring in Evaluation ................................................. 38 Glossary ....................................................................................................................... 39 Selected References ....................................................................................................... 40

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1
Introduction

A

considerable amount of time, effort, and other resources go into the development and implementation of education projects. Quite obviously, the goal is to create effective projects that can serve as models of excellence. Whether the project is an hour-long endangered species walk, a family day festival, marine resources monitoring, or a community forum, the aim of providing quality educational experiences remains the same. This guide has been developed to help managers take project development to a new level by truly integrating evaluation into the process. The guide walks through the basics of evaluation, providing discussions on everything from types of evaluations and ways of collecting information to using an outside evaluator and the ethical considerations of gathering data from program participants. This information is intended to answer questions about project evaluation and provide guidance in using evaluation...
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