Developing an Evaluation Tool for Environmental Field Days

Principal Investigator: 
Project Overview
Background & Purpose: 

To develop a reliable and valid observation tool for informal science education field day programs.


This research takes place in a middle education students in an outdoor informal science setting.

Research Design: 

Original data are collected through a review of the literature and  personal observation. A modified Delphi study was conducted to confirm constructs in the research and observations.  A Fleiss Kappa was used to establish coder reliability, and correlation study was conducted to establish validity.


The observation tool was correlated to student survey and 20 of the 26 items correlated, validating the observation tool.

Publications & Presentations: 

Carlson, S. (2008). Environmental field days: Recommendations for best practices. Applied Environmental Education and Communication, 7, 94-105.

Carlson, S. P., Heimlich, J. E. & Storksdieck, M. (accepted 2011) Validating an Environmental Education Field Day Observation Tool. International Electronic Journal of Environmental Education,

Heimlich, J.E., Carlson, S.P. Tanner, D. & Storksdieck, M. (accepted 2010). Building face, construct and content validity through use of a modified Delphi: Adapting grounded theory to build an observation tool, Environmental Education Research.

Carlson, S. P., Heimlich, J. E., Storksdieck, M. & Meyer, N. (2009). Best Practices for Field Days: Assessment Tool and Observation Protocol. U on MN Extension, #08653.

Wang, H. H. & Carlson, S. P., (2011). Factors that Influence Student’s Learning in an Environmental Field Day. International Electronic Journal of Environmental Education. 1 (2), 129-139.

The publication was presented at the Visitor Studies Association 2005, NARST 2006 and NAAEE 2007 and 2008.

Other Products: 

Poster was developed and presented at state and national conferences.