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Title:How do you define ‘success?’ Selecting criteria in evaluations of informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education
Author(s):Teasdale, Rebecca M.
Director of Research:Greene, Jennifer C.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Greene, Jennifer C.
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Lane, H. Chad; Willett, Rebekah J.; Zamani-Gallaher, Eboni M.; Julnes, George
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
evaluative criteria
science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
informal STEM education
public libraries
Abstract:Evaluation assesses program merit and worth to deepen understanding and inform decision-making. The assessment is accomplished through the valuing process: the activities of defining success, specifying evaluative criteria, and applying those criteria to reach conclusions. This dissertation examines the substance, source, and application of evaluative criteria—conceptually and empirically—to strengthen the valuing process. The work is grounded in the domain of informal science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education evaluation yet is broadly applicable. The first paper advances an empirically-supported model that describes and integrates two aspects of evaluative criteria: substance and source. The second article presents a typology that distinguishes among criteria based on source and application and identifies methods for selecting and applying criteria to represent the values of program participants. The third paper reports a values-inquiry case study that empirically investigates criteria for a public library makerspace and reveals the need for individualized, participant-defined criteria. Collectively, these papers lay the groundwork for building an empirical, descriptive theory of valuing; advancing novel methods for criteria selection; and deepening understanding about criteria selection in evaluation of informal STEM education.
Issue Date:2019-03-18
Rights Information:© 2019 Rebecca M. Teasdale
Date Available in IDEALS:2019-08-23
Date Deposited:2019-05

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