This casebook marks the culmination of nearly 10 years of project MTS, a National Science Foundation project dedicated to increasing evaluation capacity among science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) educators. Work of the project focused on materials development (M), training (T), and support services (S) for STEM evaluators. This book focuses on the training element of the project and, more specifically, draws from intern evaluation experiences. As such, the following chapters of case examples describe some of the important aspects of this project. But rather than a summing up of project work, it is an examination of practical evaluation experiences conducted under the auspices of MTS and lessons learned about evaluation that resulted from these experiences.
This book is intended to serve those who seek examples of how to conduct and improve evaluations. We believe people who are developing evaluations or conducting specific kinds of evaluation tasks will find the examples helpful. The chapters address both formative and summative evaluations, evaluations located in high schools and colleges, materials development evaluations, surveys, observations, materials analysis, interviews, and more.
In this opening chapter, we present three major topics. First, we provide a brief description of the project basis for the work described here. Second, we describe the process used to identify and guide case-example contributors. Third, we provide an overview of the case examples to orient readers to the information provided by the chapters and to direct readers to specific types of evaluation and guidance provided.