Europlanet Evaluation Toolkit

Europlanet Evaluation Toolkit

Europlanet 2020 RI is developing a dedicated evaluation toolkit to empower outreach providers and educators in measuring and appraising the impact of their activities.  This toolkit is intended to provide advice and resources that can be simply and easily integrated into normal outreach and education activities.

We are not saying you have to evaluate *all* your outreach and education work!  But if you do decide to do some evaluation we want to help ensure it goes as smoothly as possible.

The Europlanet Evalaution Toolkit is currently available as a hyperlinked PDF and linked Google Docs. Following some pilot test of the kit, we are developing the content in a variety of formats. We will be launching the Europlanet Evaluation Toolkit to the community in September 2018.

What is evaluation?

Evaluation is a systematic process designed to help you better understand – and improve! –  your participants’ experience of your outreach activities. It involves collecting information (for example feedback, observations or quiz results) and reflecting on what worked well, what could be improved, and what changed for the people involved as a result of their participation. Read more

Why evaluate?

Do you want to improve your activity? Provide evidence of knowledge gained? Identify Generic Learning Outcomes? Or simply celebrate what you have achieved? There are lots of good reasons for evaluating your work. The Europlanet Evaluation Toolkit helps you work out how best to do this. Read more

Introducing the tools

Two types of tools are available: tools to help you collect data and techniques to help you analyse what your data is telling you. Different tools are appropriate for different audiences (e.g. primary, secondary, interested adult, general public), for different types of environment and activity (e.g. drop-in, interactive workshop, ongoing series, lecture/presentation or online) and are grouped according to when they might best be used (during, beginning/end, or after an event).

Click on the individual tools below to find out more about them, or see the overview table to investigate the toolkit overall.

Open palm on chest Physical ranking scale Graffiti Wall Mentimeter
Snapshot interviews Pre/post quizzes Geographic location map Pebbles in a jar
Three words Target evaluation Post-event survey Photograph diary
Peer interviews Tweet sentiment visual-isation Word clouds Thematic coding

Steps to choosing the right tool

What do you want to find out? How will you use that information? What resource (time/budget) do you have available? What is the context for your activity? How will you analyse the data that you collect? Should you consider working in partnership with others? Are there any ethical issues you need to consider?

These are all things to think about when choosing the right evaluation tool for your activity. Read more

About the toolkit

The toolkit has been developed by professional outreach evaluators Karen Bultitude and Jennifer DeWitt (UCL, UK). Initially, a series of focus groups and scoping discussions were held with members of the planetary science community that are active in outreach in order to determine what they wanted from such a toolkit, and what sort of tools would be of most interest. A shortlist of tools was developed based on these discussions, with volunteers testing out the tool instructions once they were drafted. Read more

If you have any comments, feedback or questions about the Europlanet Evaluation Toolkit, please contact: anita.heward@europlanet-eu.org

Evaluation case studies

Members of the Europlanet community have generously provided details of how they applied such tools in their own evaluation of outreach activities.  These case study examples include information about the event context, how data was actually collected and analysed and what conclusions were reached, based on the data gathered.

If you would like to contribute a case study about your own use of the tools to evaluate an activity, we would love to hear from you! Please contact: anita.heward@europlanet-eu.org