Science, tech evaluation tools studied

July 6, 2006

Researchers are developing tools to evaluate the effectiveness of science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs in the United States.

Cornell University investigators say nearly every federal science grant requires researchers to inform the public about their findings and support science and technology education in general.

However, each grant also requires an evaluation of the results of the outreach, which most researchers consider an onerous chore.

With a 2-year, $605,000 National Science Foundation grant, Cornell researchers will create a set of tools to evaluate NSF's science, technology, engineering and mathematics education programs.

"Evaluation is merely feedback and organizational learning," said postdoctoral associate Derek Cabrera, a co-investigator. "We want to shift people's thinking from seeing evaluation as just a grant requirement to seeing it as feedback that will assist other researchers."

Evaluation is a social sciences field with its own specialized methods and language, but Cabrera said the goal is to produce a "paint-by-numbers" system that anyone can use. "We also hope to make significant contributions to the field of evaluation," he added. "We hope to develop theoretical foundations that relate the field of evaluation with the ideas of systems thinking.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

Explore further: Ethics of research not so black and white

Related Stories

Ethics of research not so black and white

July 31, 2015

With federally funded research under growing scrutiny from the public, researchers face more pressure than ever to defend their work and make ethical decisions regarding their research process. However, a new study from sociologists ...

The ecology of the future and the future of ecology

July 21, 2015

Biologists in North Carolina are trying to get a glimpse of the future through a project designed to shed light on how rising temperatures will affect the insects and microbial life that play critical roles in the environment. ...

Recommended for you

French teen finds 560,000 year-old tooth (Update)

July 28, 2015

A 16-year-old French volunteer archaeologist has found an adult tooth dating back around 560,000 years in southwestern France, in what researchers hailed as a "major discovery" Tuesday.

The couple who Facebooks together, stays together

July 27, 2015

Becoming "Facebook official" is a milestone in modern romance, and new research suggests that activities on the popular social networking site are connected to whether those relationships last.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.