21st Century Skills
A broad set of knowledge, skills, work habits, and character traits that are believed to be critically important to success in today’s world. 21st century skills reflect a broad and ever changing list, but include skills such as critical thinking, research skills, creativity, self-direction, communication, collaboration, technological knowledge, social-justice literacy, and more. Learn more at this site. (Great Schools Partnership, 2013)
Referring to ability diversity and a variety of abilities and disabilities. These variations include differences in cognitive, social-emotional, and physical abilities. Differences in abilities may need more individualized approaches to instruction and evaluation (PennState Extension, 2017).
Individual or institutional actions and language that disadvantage or disempower people with disabilities or people experiencing disabilities. Ableism includes mental, physical, and emotional disabilities (The Avarna Group, 2020).
Refers to recreation access to green space in the environmental literature; access can mean seamlessly including people with varying identities and abilities in all the ways that visitors recreate in green space, while feeling safe, secure, and a sense of belonging.
The extent to which people are excluded or not from an activity, program, or experience on the basis of experiencing a disability. In an accessible activity, program, or experience, people with disabilities are able to do what they need to do in a similar amount of time and with similar effort as someone that does not have a disability. The concept of accessible design ensures both direct (i.e. unassisted) access and indirect access, meaning the activity, program, or experience is compatible with a person's assistive technology (for example, computer screen readers). See also universal design. (Henry et al., 2014).
Accessible language is language that accommodates people of all ages and abilities, including those with cognitive disabilities, people with low literacy skills, and speakers of English as another language (Bureau of Internet Accessibility, 2019).
The way in which individuals and groups hold themselves to goals and actions as well as the values to which they hold themselves responsible. Can be internally or externally imposed (ICMA, 2021).
When you adapt it means you first pilot-test instruments to ensure that directions are clear and that measures are appropriate for the audience. After adapting, if time allows, you might "pilot" it with a few members of your study sample to see how it works.
A positive or negative evaluation of something. Environmental educators are interested in many different environmental attitudes that people may have. A few of these include attitudes toward nature, animals, built environments, environmental problems, environmental policies, and environmental behaviors. Attitudes can be some degree of positive, negative, or indifferent (Marcinkowski, 1993; Milfont, 2012).
A graphical representation of frequencies using rectangles drawn with lengths proportional to the frequencies concerned (OECD, 2004).
Both a term used to point to social inequalities that limit advancement, typically due to individual, structural or system discrimination based on an identity character (e.g., race, SES, gender), that operate outside of an individual and a term that can point to barriers internal to an individual (e.g., motivation, values conflicts, etc.).
The average level of a variable before a measure of the effect of the educational experience is taken (Vogt, 2005).
An action towards something. Environmental educators are often interested in human behaviors that have direct or indirect impacts on the environment (Marcinkowski, 1993).
Something that we may think but may or may not be factually true. Beliefs are more specific than values, such that an individual may believe in sea level rise. Beliefs, along with values, influence attitudes (Krasny, 2020).
A positive or negative inclination towards a person, group, or community. It is important to note that everyone has biases and they are not inherently negative, though left unchecked or unexplored they can lead to stereotyping. See also Explicit Bias and Implicit Bias (Thiederman, 2003).
The acronym stands for "Black, Indigenous, and People of Color" and is pronounced as "by-pock," rather than saying each letter individually. This updates the term “People of Color” and its acronym “POC” which has been criticized as erasing Black and Indigenous lives and experiences. The “B” in the acronym stands for “Black” and refers to people who have African or Caribbean ancestry. Its addition highlights the specific forms of racism and oppression that Black Americans face. The “I” in the acronym stands for “Indigenous” and refers to groups native to the Americas who were here before colonization by Europeans. Its addition refers to the discrimination and mistreatment Indigenous people have and continue to endure from official policies and practices as well as erasure of their culture and identity. The “POC” in the acronym stands for “People of Color” and is used as an umbrella term to refer to non-White individuals, including but not limited to those who hold Asian, Middle Eastern, Indian, and Pacific Island heritage, who often face discrimination. (Ansai, 2020; Garcia, 2020)
Climate is the average weather over a long period of time. Climate change is a result of both natural and human impacts and presents growing challenges to maintaining current states of quality of life, the economy, and the natural systems that support us (C2ES, 2019).
Collaborative development of concepts, solutions, or processes with experts and project partners (Fronteer, n.d.).
How well students can comprehend and analyze environmental issues (Szczytko et al., 2018).
Collective evaluation extends evaluation accomplished in networked improvement communities, adding that the networked organizations share those components beyond the network for learning and improvement in the field at large (Clark et al., in prep).
Some form of invasion, dispossession and subjugation of a people including agricultural, urban, or industrial encroachments; this can also include colonialism as a cultural practice of influencing, standardizing, or attempting to erase the values and practices of other cultures (Racial Equity Tools, 2020).
Communities of Practice
A group of people who come together to fulfill individual and group goals. They may share a common concern, a set of problems or an interest in a topic (Cambridge & Suter, 2005).
Can be geographically based (neighborhoods, towns, cities, etc.) or based on interest, identity, culture, belief, profession, etc. In environmental education community is often thought of as a system of systems including both natural, social, and economic systems (NAAEE, 2017).
Connection to Nature
The way people identify with predominantly natural landscapes and the relationships they form with the elements in those environments (Restall & Conrad, 2015).
Care and protection of natural resources (Chesapeake Bay Program, 2021).
Creating space for self-reflection and considering one's own assumptions and beliefs (Bower et al., 2015).
Cultural Responsiveness/Culturally Responsive Practices closely related to the terms “culturally relevant” and “culturally sustaining” education)
The combination of teaching, pedagogy, curriculum, theories, attitudes, practices, and instructional materials that center students’ culture, identities, and contexts throughout educational systems. Gloria Ladson-Billings’s and Geneva Gay’s scholarship are foundational to culturally responsive education. Some key principles of culturally responsive education (CRE) include (1) validating students’ experiences and values, (2) disrupting power dynamics that privilege dominant groups, and (3) empowering students (NYU Steinhardt, 2019).
Culturally Responsive Evaluation
A holistic framework for thinking about and conducting evaluations centered in culture. It is a process entailing the manner in which the evaluator plans the evaluation, engages project partners, and takes into account the cultural and social milieu surrounding the program and its participants (Frierson et al., 2010).
Data ownership implies power and control as it applies to information; it also includes the possession of and responsibility for that information. Control of information includes the ability access, share, derive benefit from, sell or remove data (Loshin, 2002).
Descriptive statistics are numerical summaries of features of the data, such as correlations and averages.
Dimensions of Differences
Interactions between people who are different from you in ways characterized by mutual understanding and respect in order to enrich learning and broaden perspectives (The University of British Columbia, n.d.).
A physical, mental, or cognitive impairment or the perception of such an impairment that impacts a person's ability to perform day-to-day activities due to the way society is structured. In these cases, special accommodations are necessary to ensure an individual’s engagement. The adoption of the ADA makes it illegal to discriminate against people based on their disabilities (ADA National Network, n.d.).
The unique differences among individuals in a group based on which we may be treated differently in society. Ethnicity is not the only way in which we are diverse as a group. There are countless visible and invisible facets of diversity. This may be race, socioeconomic background, gender (especially in the sciences), physical ability, age and how people come to environmental education at different points of their life, or sexual orientation. It includes any sort of “-ism” that brings people to the conversation, especially at different places of power. Power differentials may invite or limit the conversation. This is sometimes known as a "dimensions of difference" (The Avarna Group, 2020).
Multilogical thinking about physical and ecological systems. In this framework, Earth is both a physical system and living environment (Szcytko et al., 2019).
Refers to any interaction, course, or program that results in learning; This can happen in traditional academic settings or nontraditional settings (outside-of-school locations, outdoor environments) (Great School Partnership, n.d.).
Efficacy can be divided into self efficacy and collective efficacy. In self efficacy the focus is on the indidivuals’ belief in their ability to succeed or accomplish a task, whereas in collective efficacy, the focus is on the groups’ belief that they can succeed and accomplish a task, or that the group has the capacity to succeed (Krasny, 2020).
Encompasses cognitive, affective, and compassionate empathy. Cognitive empathy allows one to see another's perspective without necessarily feeling the same emotions. Affective empathy is the feelings that arise when observing the emotions/ experience of another. Compassionate empathy is driven by cognitive and affective empathy and is the ability to feel and show the appropriate concern to another's need (Jackson et al., 2017).
“Engagement refers to the degree of attention, curiosity, interest, optimism, and passion that [learners] show when they are learning or being taught, which extends to the level of motivation they have to learn and progress in their education” (Great Schools Partnership, 2016). Engagement can be with students, with the teaching, with learning, in research, with educators, and/or with the community (Groccia & Hunter, 2012).
The surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates, especially as affected by human activity; its ethical, social, cultural, and economic dimensions also play a part (Environment, 2018; Tbilisi Declaration, 1977).
“Intentional and conscious civic behaviors that are focused on systemic causes of environmental problems and the promotion of environmental sustainability through collective efforts” (Alisat & Riemer, 2015, p. 14). This includes low-level participatory civic action such as becoming informed and participating in community events to high level and leadership actions such as organizing an event or running for office. It is important to identify collective actions at the community level since so many environmental problems are anchored in society (Jensen & Schnack, 1997).
Behaviours with an intention to benefit the environment or to minimize negative impacts on the environment. Environmental behaviours often refer to personal and individual actions. For information related to collective action on environmental behaviours see the Environmental Action outcome definition (Stern, 2020; Kollmus & Agyeman, 2002).
Environmental Education (EE)
A process that helps individuals, communities, and organizations learn more about the environment and develop skills and understanding about how to address global challenges. Environmental Education has also been used as an umbrella term that encompasses outdoor education and natural resources education to name a few (NAAEE, n.d.).
"[T]he fair treatment and meaningful involvement of all people regardless of race, color, national origin, or income with respect to the development, implementation and enforcement of environmental laws, regulations and policies. Fair treatment means no group of people should bear a disproportionate share of the negative environmental consequences resulting from industrial, governmental and commercial operations or policies." (EPA, n.d.)
Knowledge and awareness about the environment and environmental problems, and how to solve those environmental problems. Environmental knowledge can take the form of systems knowledge: knowledge about ecosystem processes and environmental problems; action-related knowledge: actions someone can take to address environmental problems and effectiveness knowledge, knowing which behaviors and actions can best address an environmental issue (Krasny, 2020).
An environmentally literate person [is] someone who, both individually and together with others, makes informed decisions concerning the environment; is willing to act on these decisions to improve the well-being of other individuals, societies, and the global environment; and participates in civic life (Hollweg et al., 2011).
Aims to better understand evaluation efforts and their effects, both intended and unintended, by expanding the definition of validity and rigor. Equitable evaluation works to name implicit biases in order to make more informed decisions and to embrace the complexity of many lived experiences of practitioners and participants (Equitable Evaluation Initiative, 2020).
A process that can and should answer critical questions about the effect on different populations and the underlying systemic drives of inequity. It should be multi-cultural and oriented toward participant ownership (Equitable Evaluation Initiative, 2020).
The guarantee of fair treatment, access, opportunity, and advancement while at the same time striving to identify and eliminate barriers that have prevented the full participation of some groups. The principle of equity acknowledges that there are historically underserved and underrepresented populations and that providing equal or identical treatment to all does not improve the fairness of these unbalanced conditions (Oregon State University, 2021).
Ethical principles for evaluation
Systematic inquiry, competence, integrity/honesty, respect for people, responsibilities for general and public welfare (Chen, 2015).
A social construct that divides people into smaller groups based on characteristics such as a shared sense of group membership, values, behavioral, patterns, language, history, and ancestral geography (Racial Equity Tools, 2020).
A systematic process that critically examines a program's merit, worth or significance by collecting and analyzing information about a program’s activities, characteristics, and outcomes. The goal is to improve the program's effectiveness, and/or to inform programming decisions (Patton, 2001).
Evaluation questions guide your evaluation. After deciding on your evaluation goals, you are ready to identify questions for the evaluation to answer. Evaluation questions may ask about a single element of your program, or the questions may focus on relationships between two or more elements of a program (e.g., to what extent does a particular output result in a desired outcome). They may also ask: To what extent were the planned activities completed? Why? To what extent are we achieving our outcomes? How well are we managing our program? What additional staff and resources are needed to meet our objectives? There are three types of questions you might ask about your program, process, outcomes, and impact questions.
Instrumental motivation that can be separated from the behavior itself, yet is still aimed at achieving a particular outcome (Ryan & Deci, 2019).
Combine both interviewing and participant observation. A focus group is not a discussion, problem-solving, or decision-making group. However, focus groups do capitalize on group dynamics to generate data and insights that would be unlikely to emerge otherwise (Frechtling, 2010).
People who directly, or indirectly, protect a status quo. Gatekeepers create or define rules for a movement to promote their own well-being, rather than taking in a larger picture (The Establishment, 2016).
This socially constructed term refers to the roles, behaviors, activities, and other characteristics a given society deems appropriate for their gender categories (in the United States, these have traditionally been identified as “boys and men” or “girls and women”). It is important to note that while biological sex is similar across cultures, gender isn’t. A personal conception of one’s own gender; often in relation to a gender opposition between masculinity and femininity. Gender expression is how people externally communicate or perform their gender identity to others. (National Multicultural Institute, 2003; American Psychological Association, 2011)
Believing that heterosexuality is the default, preferred, or normal mode of sexual orientation. Thus dismissing other sexual orientations (ICMA, 2021).
Believing that you can achieve a goal and taking action to meet those goals (Szczytko et al., 2019).
Humility (See also cultural humility)
A process of self-reflection in order to better understand personal and systemic biases and to develop and maintain respectful processes and relationships. Humility counters the concept of "competency", which suggests the mastery of knowledge or skills. Humility implies continuous growth (The University of British Columbia, n.d.).
Identity includes all the labels one uses to represent themselves, particulalry referring to social groups, including but not limited to sex, gender, ethnicity, race, nationality, ability, religion, spirituality, age, socio-economic status, political affiliation (SAIC, 2020).
This is the way a person is present in their country from a legal perspective. For example, in the U.S., one can be U.S. Citizen, Legal Permanent Resident (AKA green card holder), Conditional Permanent Resident, Asylee or Refugee, Non-immigrant, Person with Temporary Protected Status, or an Undocumented Person (Esperanza United, n.d.).
Associations or assumptions (negative or positive) that people unknowingly hold. The theory of implicit bias rests on the idea that much of our social behavior is driven by learned stereotypes that operate automatically—and therefore unconsciously—when we interact with other people. Implicit bias means that racial prejudices (and other areas of diversity) affect individuals’ decisions as well as their behavior toward people of other races, whether or not they are aware of it. Also known as unconscious or hidden bias (Saats, 2013, cited in Racial Equity Tools, 2020).
Authentically bringing traditionally excluded individuals/ groups into processes, activities and/ or decisions in a way that share power (Racial Equity Tools, 2020).
Indicators are measures that demonstrate whether a goal has been achieved. We rely on indicators in everyday life. For example, if you have a goal to lose weight and improve your overall health, you may measure success using indicators such as the number of pounds lost, a change in your body mass index, lowered cholesterol, or even an increase in your perceived energy level. In an evaluation context, indicators provide the information needed to answer the evaluation questions.
"[The] understandings, skills and philosophies developed by societies with long histories of interaction with their natural surroundings. For rural and indigenous peoples, local knowledge informs decision-making about fundamental aspects of day-to-day life." (UNESCO, n.d.)
Inferential statistics allows you to make predictions from the data.
A legal condition entered into by a person who agrees or “gives consent” to participate in a study based on learning about and understanding the facts and implications of participation. Before being asked to agree to participate, participants should be provided with information concerning the purpose of the program evaluation, what they will be asked to do as participants, and how the information they provide will be used. Individuals should also be informed that they can withdraw their consent and stop participating in the evaluation at any time. In some cases involving adults, verbal consent may be adequate, but in general, it is preferable to provide written information about the evaluation that individuals can take with them and to have people who agree to participate sign and return a written consent form that is kept by the evaluator. When minors are participating in an evaluation, consent from a parent or guardian is required and additional safeguards (e.g., written consent from school district) are usually required. For more information on this topic, refer to Evaluation Consent and the Institutional Review Board Process (Zint, n.d.).
Intersectional environmentalism is a term coined by Leah Thomas and expanded upon by other scholars that emphasizes “[a]n inclusive form of environmentalism advocating for the protection of all people + the planet” and “identifies the ways in which injustices targeting frontline communities + the earth are intertwined” (Intersectional Environmentalism, n.d.).
A method of data collection that values interpersonal contact and assumes participant perspectives are meaningful, knowable, and can be made explicit (Frechtling, 2010).
Reflects internalized importance of autonomy, curiosity, and interest towards action and behavior (Ryan & Deci, 2019).
A type of question or statement used as part of a survey or interview to understand a respondents' reactions or feelings. Each item measures a particular idea (Salazar et al., 2020).
A means of communication used by a community including words and methods of combining them (OECD, 2004).
A space for people to align a shared goal or purpose. Effective communities are both aspirational and practical, allowing participants to learn from each other (Center on the Developing Child, n.d.).
This acronym stands for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning, Intersex, Asexual or Ally, and other non-heterosexual people (Moor, 2019).
This refers to an on-going process of reflection, growth, and change in ideas, approach, and even language.
A logic model shows the rationale behind your program. It is a graphic representation of the linkages between program goals, resources (inputs), activities, and expected outcomes. Logic models illustrate the ways in which program inputs and activities are thought to lead to outputs and outcomes in both the short and long term. Logic models often include diagrams or pictures that illustrate these relationships. In program evaluation, logic models provide a basis for developing evaluation strategies. Depending on the scale of your project, you might need more than one logic model. Click here for what a logic model can look like. (Zint, n.d.).
Long-Term Community Changes
Changes that would become apparent at scales greater than a five year time period. Community changes can refer to systems type of changes (such as community engagement, civic action, capacity building) and/or environmental types of changes (such as biodiversity or ecosystem health).
The civil status of each individual in relation to marriage laws or customs of the country (OECD, 2004).
Observations which were planned and are missing, such in a survey and a respondent failed or refused to respond (OECD, 2004).
Uses a combination of both quantitative and qualitative data in an evaluation. It allows quantitative data to be collected from a large number of participants (increasing the likelihood that results can be applied to all program participants). It also allows in-depth qualitative investigation of evaluation questions with a smaller number of participants. It requires an evaluator who is able to collect data using a variety of methods and analyses (Zint, n.d.).
Feeling of being connected and belonging to the natural community. Rooted in biophilia and humans' innate love for nature (Krasny, 2020).
Networked Improvement Community (NIC)
Networked improvement communities "...are intended to situate practice improvement efforts in a supportive social architecture to accelerate a field’s capacity to learn to improve." NICs are a collaboration of individuals who may function from one or multiple organizations (Russell et al., 2017).
An approach that encourages active engagement in and support of your evaluation. By fostering participation, you will build ownership of the evaluation, and ownership of the program itself.
Political-social system where males are inherently superior, especially to females (Youth Celebrate Diversity, 2021).
Qualities, actions, or things that are associated with one's body, this can include characteristics a person is born with (such as hair color, skin color, facial features, birthmarks, etc.), features of the way someone moves, or the types of clothing and accessory one wears.
An initial trial of a program, instrument, or other activity intended to test out procedures and discover and correct potential problems before proceeding to full scale implementation. Pilot tests can be conducted either for a program (i.e., testing out the program with a small group of participants) or for an evaluation (i.e., testing out instruments and data collection procedures with a small group of people similar to program participants). When possible, a pilot test, or trial run, is conducted with a sample group that is representative of the target population. Based on the results of the pilot test, revisions and improvements can be made before wider implementation of the program, instrument, or activity (Zint, n.d.).
A group of persons (or other subjects of study) that one wants to describe in the evaluation process (Vogt, 2005).
Positive Youth Development
Considering both youth assets (such as self-efficacy, pro-social norms, meaningful relationships, and social and moral competence, and the characteristics of settings that enable youth to develop those assets. Researchers have identified 5 C’s of positive youth development: competence, confidence, connection, character, and caring; and with these skills youth also are more likely to contribute to community and civil society, thus developing the sixth C which is contribution (Eccles & Gootman, 2002; Lerner et al., 2015).
In program evaluation, a posttest is a test or measurement administered after services or activities have ended. Posttest results are often compared with pretest results to examine the effects of the program being evaluated (Zint, n.d.).
The ability to influence others and impose one's beliefs. All power is relational and unequally distributed globally and in society. Some individuals/ groups hold greater power than others, gaining them greater access to resources (Racial Equity Tools, 2020).
Relative levels of power between two or more people or groups can impact the interaction between each other. Power dynamics is an invisible force that can affect our daily lives on an intuitive basis, without knowing we are being affected by it (Hanna-Wayne, 2019).
A test or measurement administered before the program or activities begin. The results of a pretest can later be compared with the results of a posttest to show evidence of the effects of the program being evaluated (Zint, n.d.).
Belief that priority should be given to preserving nature and the diversity of natural species in their original state; protecting it from humans and any alteration (Milfont & Duckitt, 2010).
The flip side of oppression, privilege constitutes advantages we receive, consciously or unconsciously, by virtue of one or more of our identities, called “dominant identities”. These advantages are upheld by systems of power that advantage certain groups over others, and include ideologies such as racism, sexism, cissexism (transphobia), heterosexism (homophobia), elitism, classism, ableism, nativism, colonialism, ageism, and sizeism (collectively “the isms”). Privilege includes the freedom from stress, anxiety, and fear of harm related to your identity. (The Avarna Group, 2020)
Often understood as personal or individual actions that consciously seek to minimize one's negative impacts on the natural or built world (Kollmus & Agyeman, 2002).
"Anyone who cares about and/ or is affected by a decision or outcome of a program, project, or initiative."
Uses narrative forms, such as thoughts or feelings to describe what is being evaluated. Can provide rich context for examining participants’ experiences and how a program operates. Allows for questions to be investigated in-depth.
Uses numerical data to make sense of information. Analysis is perceived to be less open to interpretation and thus typically considered more objective. Allows collection and analysis of large amounts of data relatively quickly.
Race (versus Ethnicity)
A grouping of people based on skin color and/or ancestry that is based on societal, not biological, differences. Race is a false social construct that conflates skin color and ancestry with behavior, intelligence, and culture, with very real consequences for all people. (The Avarna Group, 2020)
The systems and structures and procedures and processes that disadvantage communities of color and that have created disparities in many "success indicators" including, but not limited to, wealth, the criminal justice system, employment, housing, health care, politics, and education. This overarching form of racism is harder to discern than individual racism because it is subtle, embedded, and baked into the very fabric of society. It is the process of White Supremacy. Also known as structural or institutional racism (Yancey-Bragg, 2020; Powell, 2008).
Unique number assigned to survey participants to allow for confidentiality and ease of data analysis. Similar to Medical Record Number used by doctors (Law Insider Inc., 2021).
Refers to time, money, and other in-kind resources.
A sample that consists only of individuals who volunteer to participate in the evaluation (referred to as a "convenience" sample) can be problematic. The self-selected group may be different from the rest of the program participants, making it difficult to know whether results are truly representative of the larger group. This problem can even arise when random sampling strategies are used, if a large percent of those selected refuse to participate in the evaluation. You can overcome this problem through a non-respondent survey. Remember the quality of your sample can have a great deal of influence over whether evaluation results truly represent the experiences of all your participants.
A set of numbers or symbols used to represent characteristics of a variable in measurement (Vogt, 2005).
Necessity of competence, relatedness, and autonomy for intrinsic motivation. Self-determination theory also takes into account those factors that hinder self-motivation (Ryan & Deci, 2000).
Sense of Place
The personal, meaningful relationships that people have with places (Stedman, 2002). This relationship can be impacted by the psychological, sociocultural, biophysical, and political-economic dimensions of a place (Ardoin, 2014, p. 427).
The type of attraction one feels for others, often described based on the gender relationship between the person and the people they are sexually attracted to (The Avarna Group, 2020).
Socioeconomic status (SES)
A measure of an individual’s or a group’s combined economic and social status as perceived through education, income, and occupation. SES identifies the social standing of that individual or group and can reveal where there are inequities in access to resources and power (Baker, 2014).
These considerations involve the intersection of social and political factors, such as social attitudes, government policies, or political preferences.
Stakeholder (see also Project Partners)
In the context of program evaluation, a stakeholder is an individual who has an interest in, affects, or may be affected by a program, evaluation, or evaluation outcome. Not all stakeholders share the same investment, as one person's benefit may come at another person's expense. The term "stakeholder" has deep roots in colonial practices, with the original meaning being a person who held money while a game was played. While stakeholder is still common, "project partner" feels more inclusive for our uses (Zint, n.d.).
A result is called "statistically significant" if it is unlikely to have occurred by chance. This term is often used to describe differences, for example whether or not the difference in scores for two groups is statistically significant. Note though, that even if a difference between groups is statistically significant, that only means there is a difference, and does not necessarily mean that the difference is large or important. Statistical significance is represented with the Greek symbol α (alpha). Evaluators often use a rule of finding a significance level of 5% for reporting statistical significance. If a test of significance gives a p-value lower than .05, then the null hypothesis (i.e., that there is no difference between groups) is rejected, and the finding is said to be statistically significant (Zint, n.d.).
Consider what recommendations can be implemented first, which require external resources or stakeholders, and how you can create a timeline around them. Creating an action plan will ensure your future steps resolve any issues from your program (Ernst et al, 2012).
Improve outreach to your audience. You may have learned from the evaluation that your program is not reaching as many individuals as intended or a particular group. Use what you learned from the evaluation to identify ways to increase awareness of your program’s offerings.
The relationship between institutions that perpetuates and/or exacerbates unequal outcomes for individuals (National Equity Project, 2017).
A group of subjects or cases selected from a larger group in the hope that this smaller group (the sample) will reveal important things about the larger group (the population) (Vogt, 2005).
A standardized method of collecting data that consists of questions and responses. Questions can be "open-ended", but often take the form of being "close-ended" where respondents choose from predetermined answers (Frechtling, 2010).
"Integration of environmental health, social equity, and economic vitality in order to create thriving, diverse, and resilient communities for this generation and generations to come. The practice of sustainability recognizes how these issues are interconnected and requires a systems approach and an acknowledgment of complexity" (UCLA, 2021).
Systemic bias is prejudice or unfairness that is institutionalized or found across a particular system, such as health, educational, government, judicial, legal, religious, political, financial, media, or cultural.
There are several kinds of t-tests, but the most common is the two sample t-test also known as the independent samples t-test. The two sample t-test tests whether or not two independent populations have the same mean values for a measure (Zint, n.d.).
"The technical qualities of assessments, such as validity, reliability, and fairness, are considered before drawing conclusions about assessment results. [For example, v]alidity is the degree to which an assessment measures what it is supposed to measure" (CSRC Report, 2017).
Theory of Change
A Theory of Change is the place to link what you do and how you do it. A theory of change explicitly exposes the assumptions you have for why what you do will lead to the outcomes you want. Often, practitioners and programs have a Theory of Change and don’t acknowledge or describe it. That can lead to putting in a lot of effort on activities without achieving your desired outcomes. To give an example for, this eeVAL website, an underlying Theory of Change is that infusing a culturally responsive and equitable focus to online evaluation resources will lead to three outcomes: (a) environmental educators who use the site will improve their evaluation practice, (b) organizations will increase their capacity for quality evaluation, and (c) environmental education as a field will benefit from these improved evaluation efforts.
Traditions of Qualitative Inquiry
Qualitative traditions might include phenomenological approaches, case studies, or ethnographies.
Belief that it is appropriate and necessary to use and alter nature to meet human objectives (Milfont & Duckitt, 2010).
The unquestioned and unearned set of advantages, entitlements, benefits and choices bestowed on people solely because they are White. White people who experience such privilege may or may not be conscious of it (McIntosh, 1988).
Asset based approach that assumes all youth have the capacity to become successful adults, given appropriate support. Assets include self-efficacy, pro-social norms, meaningful relationships, and moral competence (Krasny, 2020).