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Past Projects

Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) NSF National Science Digital Library Evaluation (2011)

In late 2010, the National Science Foundation awarded Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) (www.sreb.org) a grant to develop a prototype of a student-directed pathway to National Science Digital Library (NSDL) content. With the help of many partners and an Advisory Board, SREB spearheaded a pilot science website for high school learners to use independently, called “The Backpack.” Hezel Associates was contracted from January to November 2011 to evaluate the implementation and impact of the Backpack.

Hezel Associates documented and considered three crucial aspects of program progress and completion in order to provide a summative evaluation: 1) performance resulting from NSDL Backpack tools, 2) services and resources, learning and application of knowledge to Backpack development, and 3) the appropriateness of its delivery and marketing models. Hezel Associates provided review of evaluation instruments, informal observation of the Backpack development, secondary data analysis, and a final report to be submitted to NSF. Participants included 2 teachers and 39 students at the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, California. Focus group interview protocols and informal observations were implemented by the Backpack Project team.

SREB, as well as its project partners benefitted from having an evaluation expert to review data collection instruments and findings; to monitor program implementation and impact; and to identify effective strategies, tactics and improvements that support an expanded implementation that is scalable and sustainable. The evaluator’s report was provided to the National Science Foundation. It is also being used in public presentations and proposal submissions for additional project funding.