Evaluation

Interviews & Focus Groups

Interviews and/or focus groups with middle school lead teachers, middle school students, faculty mentors, Residents, and project directors are conducted in the spring of each year to gain a greater understanding of impacts in each of the areas delineated in the evaluation questions.

Middle School Teacher Interview/Focus Group

Specific topics to be addressed in the teacher interviews and/or focus groups include:

  • Reasons for involvement in and expectations from the project;
  • Program activities in which the teacher participated;
  • Roles and responsibilities in the program;
  • Extent project met goals for improving team building in science and mathematics for graduate Residents;
  • Impacts project made on teachers' understanding of mathematics and/or science;
  • Impacts project made on mathematics and/or science education in the school;
  • Impacts of the project on participating middle school students; and
  • Other perceived impacts.

Middle School Student Focus Group

Focus groups are conducted with students from three to four classrooms involved in the project. Specific topics to be addressed in the student interviews and/or focus groups include:

  • Lessons covered by graduate Residents;
  • Ideas recalled from the lessons; and
  • Favorite lesson and why this particular lesson was memorable.

Faculty Mentor Interview/Focus Group

Focus groups and/or individual interviews are conducted with four to six faculty mentors. Specific topics to be addressed in the faculty mentor interviews and/or focus groups include:

  • Participation in other projects involving partnerships with K-12 teachers;
  • Specific role and activities in the GK-12 Transforming Experiences project;
  • Progress that project made toward reaching its goals in providing training and mentoring for graduate students to help them develop their ability as future higher education professionals and improving team building in science and mathematics for the Residents;
  • Perception of impact on middle school mathematics and/or science teachers;
  • Extent project to which met its goal for fostering ongoing, mutually beneficial partnerships to enhance mathematics and science education; and
  • Perception of impact on middle school students.

Graduate Resident Focus Group

A focus group is conducted twice a semester with graduate Residents during a regularly-scheduled monthly meeting. Specific topics to be addressed in the graduate Resident focus groups include:

  • How Resident became involved in project;
  • Hoped-for benefits from participating in project;
  • Major roles and responsibilities undertaken;
  • Involvement in activities related to project;
  • Progress that project made toward reaching its goals in providing training and mentoring for graduate students to help them develop their ability as future higher education professionals and improving team building in science and mathematics for the Residents;
  • Impact of the project on Residents' understanding of mathematics and/or sciences;
  • Impact of the project on understanding of problem-based learning and Residents ability to use it as an instructional strategy in the future;
  • Impact of the project on research interests;
  • Perceived effects of the project on middle school teachers; and
  • Perceived effects of the project on middle school students.

Project Directors Focus Group

A focus group with project directors is conducted in conjunction with a regularly scheduled monthly meeting. Specific topics to be addressed in the project directors' focus groups include:

  • Participation in other projects involving partnerships with K-12 teachers;
  • Specific role and activities in the GK-12 Transforming Experiences project;
  • Progress that project made toward reaching its goals in providing training and mentoring for graduate students to help them develop their ability as future higher education professionals and improving team building in science and mathematics for the Residents;
  • Perception of impact on middle school mathematics and/or science teachers;
  • Extent to which project met its goal for fostering ongoing, mutually beneficial partnerships to enhance mathematics and science education;
  • Perception of impact on middle school students;
  • Progress made in strengthening and sustaining partnerships between institutions of higher education and local districts;
  • Factors that have facilitated or restricted ability to meet project goals; and
  • Progress to date made towards sustaining and "scaling up" GK-12 activities and strategies.