Program & Project Evaluation
Most of the work we do at MUSE Eucational Consulting is in the area of external evaluation. There are many benefits of engaging an outside firm to perform the evaluation of your program or project.
- In the grant writing process, the identification of an outside consulting firm to perform your evaluation work signals a commitment to excellence and integrity. Because MuSE does not have a stake in project/program outcomes, we can be unbiased.
- If your institution lacks sufficient educational expertise for identifying and articulating outcome goals in the discourse language of experts in the fields of education/psychology, we can help. We can help perform literature reviews and make recommendations to strengthen your proposal.
- We can identify when quantitative data should be taken and other instances when qualitative data may make more sense. And we can coordinate the analysis of mixed measures to produce rich reports that combine the best of both approaches.
Programs and projects may be designed to build learners' skills, help them construct or revisit knowledge, propose alternative perspectives, or explore visitors' sense of "self." Projects may be extended in time duration--semesters or even years in a degree program--or they may be almost fleeting encounters with ideas, objects, or events. We can look at what is happening within the duration of the encounter and/or beyond. One or all of these sorts of evaluation can be collaboratively designed and applied.
- Front End Evaluation: Who is the intended audience and what is the range of baseline knowledge, interest, and curiosity that they bring to the project? What main ideas, modes of interaction, and marketing messages will resonate with visitors? How might learners who are "at risk" of becoming marginalized be positively impacted? In museums and other "free choice" learning environments (FCLEs), what is it about traditional non-visitors that excludes them from being served by the FCLE, and how can we turn them into visitors?
- Formative Evaluation: As the project is being developed, how are the materials working? What messages are learners receiving, what questions do they still have, what doesn't work or causes confusion, and what needs are not yet being met?
- Summative Evaluation: How does the finished product meet its goals for learners? Are they impacted the way planners envisioned, and what, if any, recommendations are there for further refinement?
- Remedial Evaluation: How can we work together to fix what isn't working about an program, given the resources available and the needs of learners?
We favor mixed method approaches, which take advantage of the precision of good quantitative data and the depth, richness, and potential explanatory power of qualitative data.