The Research Group

Evaluation Services

Our experienced evaluation team understands that each science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educational project or program is unique and requires customized service.

At the Research Group, we strive to provide high-quality products that meet our clients’ specific program needs and deliver useful, evidence-based understanding for evaluative purposes, such as accountability requirements, program improvement, or strategic planning.

For almost a decade, our evaluation team has conducted evaluations across the nation and within the Bay Area with a commitment to serve projects at the intersection of educational equity and STEM content. We continue to play an integral role in the development and success/sustainability of innovative programs, proposals to fund and develop programs, and improving or scaling established programs. Our client experiences have allowed our evaluation work to play an instrumental role in educational innovation and change.

To promote the utility of our work, we embrace an educative perspective in performing evaluation. We use collaborative approaches to encourage client and stakeholder participation in the program evaluation and use of findings. Our educative, participatory approach can be a part of a program’s effort to foster its own internal evaluation capacity.

Our evaluation services include the following methods and products:

  • Logic Models — Articulating the underlying program theory, whether it be for action or for change, by visually representing the inherent linkages of program inputs, outputs, and outcomes in the short, medium, or long term.
  • Empirical Study Design — Utilizing multiple research methods, modes, and theories to illuminate and assess the nuanced effects and meaning of a program. Depending on the study scope, designs, including mixed-method, quasi-experimental and case study, employ one or more the following data collection methods:
    • Interview
    • Observation
    • Survey
    • Document analysis
  • Panel Review — Leveraging the knowledge and expertise of internal and/or external stakeholders to verify and inform program trajectory and to validate evaluation findings at strategic points during a program evaluation.
  • Technical Reports and Briefs — Attending to the needs of the program, sponsor, and stakeholders, we produce a variety of report types that ultimately promote the use of evaluation findings. Reporting styles include full technical reports, briefing memoranda, PowerPoint presentations, research literature reviews, and policy briefs.

Our Work

Our evaluation services have been implemented across settings and levels of STEM education. Current and recent evaluation work includes:

  • Full Option Science System (FOSS) Leadership Academy, a partnership with Wested/K–12 Alliance to build science leadership in California elementary teachers
  • Center for Ocean Sciences Education Excellence California (COSEE-CA)
  • FOSS Multimedia
  • Kepler Mission Education and Public Outreach
  • Project Exploration
  • San Francisco Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve
  • Science and Math Informal Learning Educators (SMILE), a digital library STEM activities from various science centers
  • Aquarium of the Pacific, museum education exhibits

Funding

Our evaluation projects are funded by various sources including federal grants, private foundations, private and public organizations, and programs within the Lawrence Hall of Science. The pricing of our evaluation services varies in relation to the scope of work. We consult with our clients to develop a plan that will address the purpose and budget for the evaluation.