The Solar System

Evaluation

Inverness Research Inc. is a national, independent educational research organization that assessed the Seminars on Science program over an eight year period. Their evaluation reveals that educators achieve a deeper understanding on science through these courses, mastering significant new material, gaining a better sense of how science is conducted, and aquired valuable classroom materials. Here are some highlights of the course evaluation for this course.

Course Experience

82% of those surveyed said that the Solar System course was more valuable than other professional development available to them locally.

"Other professional development deals with how to teach and this dealt with what I was teaching, and so it helped to broaden my perspective and information on the topic, as opposed to telling me how to teach the topic."
- high school Earth and Environmental science teacher

Content and Resources

Of the 50 learners from 16 states who completed follow-up surveys about the quality and value of the course, 70% used what they learned to create a unit for their students. 84% felt it added "a bank of resources" to their own content knowledge.

Interaction and Instruction

"Every week there would be an assignment and an essential question for the week that everybody had to answer online. I enjoyed seeing if anybody replied or if the professor replied and how I could rebut quickly, argue my point or agree."
- middle school space science teacher

"I definitely would say that it made me think about how I learn. For example, I'm thinking of this one project where we had to use online maps to create a scale model it was really challenging and it was something that I had never done before. Just thinking about how much I learned when I was so challenged, it was good for me to apply that to my students. Sometimes when they complain and they are saying things like, This is so hard, that might be the moment when they are actually going to learn the most."
- high school earth science and astronomy teacher

Further Reading

You can explore the complete evaluation results from Inverness Research Inc. by downloading these reports (PDF):

Inverness Research Inc. is based in Inverness, CA and provides insight into the design, quality and effectiveness of educational improvement initiatives.