The Museum regularly conducts evaluations of both educational programs and exhibitions—both galleries and temporary exhibits. We use both formative evaluations, to inform program design, development, and implementation, and summative evaluations to assess program or product goals and educational expectations. We are interested not only in the degree to which our programs help extend and deepen learning in science and science practices, but also to examine questions about equity and access across programs and educational experiences.
To help guide this work, the Educational Research and Evaluation group—a group comprised of researchers, program directors, doctoral and postdoctoral scholars—at the museum has collectively prepared a set of guidelines for evaluation using a Delphi process. We use these guidelines to help shape and direct the evaluation process in order to ensure that all of our evaluations are useful and productive for us in our work and learning. Our guidelines can be found here:
To help us evaluate proposals by prospective evaluators, we use a rubric with criteria for strong evaluation proposals. Our rubric can be found here:
Sample evaluations of AMNH programs include the following: