The main goal of the NSF sponsored evaluation is to evaluate a biology curriculum designed to improve high school biology students' understanding of fundamental biological concepts, to improve their self-confidence and skill in scientific reasoning and inquiry; and enhance their ability to apply biological knowledge and the methods of science to important social issues, consistent with the National Science Education Standards.
The major formative evaluation questions are:
(a) Do the materials address the important goals of biological science teaching and learning?
(b) Are inquiry and activity the basis of the learning experiences?
(c) Are the topics of the unit and the modes of instruction developmentally appropriate?
(d) How are teachers implementing the materials?
The summative evaluation is designed to measure the project's success in meeting its objectives, first, to improve students' knowledge of biology and, second, to be accessible to a wide-variety of high school biology classrooms/programs.
The major questions related to student knowledge include:
(a) How does Exploring Life affect students' understanding of the conceptual foundations of biology?
(b) How does Exploring Life affect students' views of the relevance of biology to important personal/social concerns?
(c) How does Exploring Life affect students' skills in scientific thinking and decision making?
(d) How does Exploring Life affect students' self-confidence in scientific thinking and decision making?
Exploring Life Evaluation Homepage