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Informal Science LearningStephanie Sinclair
Today’s Talk• Reminder what the Review set out to achieve• Highlight key findings from the Informal Learning Review• Exami...
Aims of the ReviewPractical outcomes of the study:• A better understanding of the scope of informal learning, itstheoretic...
2 Reports Commissioned• From UK-based GHK Consulting – report examines who is doing what,who are they reaching and how are...
FieldworkAutumn 2011 – Spring 2012Interviews: 60 stakeholders of informal learningSurveys: online surveys of informal lear...
Findings – the Informal Learning Landscape• Diversity: ‘…. As far as we can tell, such diversity is not matchedelsewhere’•...
Quantity of interactions among UK science education sectors – greatestinteractivity in the middleStanford-Oregon: Analysin...
Findings – EvaluationEvaluation activity is widespread but unsophisticated:- user surveys are most common methodology used...
What best describes your evaluation activity?Statement   Responses PercentageFormative evaluation   160 91%Summative evalu...
Barriers to evaluation
Findings – Research, practice and profession
How well known is the literature?• Modal value for how many individuals had read most cited publications =0• Modal value f...
So what do these findings mean for the sector?- How we evaluate- How we increase research base and research capacity- Bett...
Moving towards a more sophisticated evaluation model• greater sharing of results• identification of a common set of relate...
Linking research and practiceWhat Wellcome Trust are doing•Exploring potential programme of research grants with National ...
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SCC2013 - The challenges of measuring informal science learning - Steph Sinclair

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Presentation from "The challenges of measuring informal science learning" at the 2013 Science Communication Conference organised by the British Science Association - slides by Steph Sinclair

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  • We want to better understand our investment in this area - £150 million in 15 years (including Wellcome Collection) Young people only spend 18% of time in school even when in full time education
  • Defined spaces, different places and new media People are very passionate about what they do – aims are “making science enjoyable and interesting, inspiring interest/engagement, changing attitudes to science and ‘science by stealth”
  • Source: GHK Provider Survey Base 175 , multiple responses allowed
  • Major barriers are lack of time and lack of funding
  • 3 main journals – Science Education, the International Journal of Science Education and the Journal of Research in Science Teaching There are gaps in the knowledge base There are problems around research capacity
  • When we’ve discussed this at workshops a lack of time and lack of easy access are given as reasons
  • Perhaps working through a ‘funder’s forum’ Our grant-holders for instance may greatly benefit if we could tackle the proximal/distal issue
  • Transcript of "SCC2013 - The challenges of measuring informal science learning - Steph Sinclair"

    1. 1. Informal Science LearningStephanie Sinclair
    2. 2. Today’s Talk• Reminder what the Review set out to achieve• Highlight key findings from the Informal Learning Review• Examine what this means for the sector
    3. 3. Aims of the ReviewPractical outcomes of the study:• A better understanding of the scope of informal learning, itstheoretical base and the types of change it can bring about inpeople’s understanding, behaviour and attitudes to science• Better understanding of how to evaluate the impact of informalscience learning• Best practice in reaching deprived learners schools and families• Best practice in linking informal and formal learning.
    4. 4. 2 Reports Commissioned• From UK-based GHK Consulting – report examines who is doing what,who are they reaching and how are they evaluating.• From Stanford - Oregon State University- examining the scienceeducation ‘ecosystem’ and the role of informal learning within it.• Plus a commentary piece from John Holman and Clare Matterson
    5. 5. FieldworkAutumn 2011 – Spring 2012Interviews: 60 stakeholders of informal learningSurveys: online surveys of informal learning providersCase studies: 10 exemplar organisationsFamily studies: family choices for their leisure timeLiterature review: academic and ‘grey’ literatureEcological mapping: to describe the science learning eco-system
    6. 6. Findings – the Informal Learning Landscape• Diversity: ‘…. As far as we can tell, such diversity is not matchedelsewhere’• Strong sense of mission• Complex interactions…
    7. 7. Quantity of interactions among UK science education sectors – greatestinteractivity in the middleStanford-Oregon: Analysing the UK Science Education Community: The contribution of
    8. 8. Findings – EvaluationEvaluation activity is widespread but unsophisticated:- user surveys are most common methodology used- mostly done by providers themselves, not by external evaluators‘Overall, this is a community eager to find out what its users think of itsactivities, but less inclined to measure long-term impact’
    9. 9. What best describes your evaluation activity?Statement   Responses PercentageFormative evaluation   160 91%Summative evaluation 29 15%Evaluate when required by funders 69 39%Planned rolling evaluation programme in place 3721%Evaluate if concerns identified 32 18%Evaluation undertaken on an ad hoc basis 24 14%
    10. 10. Barriers to evaluation
    11. 11. Findings – Research, practice and profession
    12. 12. How well known is the literature?• Modal value for how many individuals had read most cited publications =0• Modal value for how many recognised but had not read each publication= 2• Most read article read by < 50%So what do they read?- Policy documents, evaluations and online resources (eg > 50% read theASDC newsletter)
    13. 13. So what do these findings mean for the sector?- How we evaluate- How we increase research base and research capacity- Better linking research and practice
    14. 14. Moving towards a more sophisticated evaluation model• greater sharing of results• identification of a common set of related proximal and distal indicators ofimpact• working with other sectors to test alternative methods
    15. 15. Linking research and practiceWhat Wellcome Trust are doing•Exploring potential programme of research grants with National ScienceFoundationWhat we can all do-Ensure we are using research to underpin our own practice
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