A new database of assessment tools allows practitioners, evaluators and policymakers to gauge the quality of science-related out-of-school programs.
The Assessment Tools in Informal Science (ATIS) database was developed by the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency (PEAR), a Harvard University-McLean Hospital team led by Dr. Gil Noam, a psychologist at the hospital, which is affiliated with Harvard Medical School.
The ATIS database features more than 15 assessment tools that can be used to evaluate everything from children’s perceptions of scientists to the real-life applicability of scientific skills and knowledge. Database users can read and write reviews of the tools, which can be rated on a scale of one to five.
Most of the assessments are free and accessible through the database; however, for almost all the tools that are not provided directly, the database lists contact information or links to the main source of the assessment.
Search criteria for the database include: school age, domain (attitude, career, competence, content and engagement) and assessment type (multiple choice, drawing, Likert scale, written response, and interview). Through a custom search, users can also find assessments based on how much time is needed to administer the evaluation and whether a computer or the Internet is required.