A Multi-Tiered Approach to Evaluating a Nonformal Youth Development Program

Jill Walahoski, Suzanne Le Menestrel

Abstract


It is essential for nonformal educational organizations to evaluate their programs and validate impact. However, despite recent pressures for accountability, nonformal settings often do not have shared assessment measures or expectations. Further, many nonformal programs are complex and encompass a broad range of educational settings and methods. Evaluation strategies must respond to a more learner-centered approach to education and be responsive to local needs, but they must also be designed with an appropriate level of methodological rigor. This paper describes the efforts of the National 4-H Science Initiative to develop and administer a multi-tiered evaluation that effectively documents impact through methods that reflect the unique needs and landscape of 4-H science programs.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/jyd.2012.143

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