CAISE: Web Inquiry Group
Assessing Impacts of ISE Professional Online Communities
Inquiry Groups are central to the work of the Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE). Using NSF-funded projects, programs, and products as the subject of inquiry, participants with diverse sets of expertise meet together to examine and discuss an issue or theme in ISE practice, then prepare knowledge products that document their observations and reflections. The University of Pittsburgh Center for Learning in Out-of-School Environments (UPCLOSE) is leading the first of these Inquiry Groups.
The main focus of this web inquiry group is how to conceptualize and evaluate successful professional online learning communities, especially those serving multidisciplinary informal science education (ISE) communities. A second goal is to exercise the new NSF Framework for evaluating Informal Science projects (see reading section) with example research designs, instruments and metrics to assess the impact of recently funded professional online communities like ExhibitFiles, InformalScience and InSci.org.
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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DRL-
0638981. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.