This project examines NSF-funded project-level evaluations of the REU and RET programs which either bring undergraduates or teachers together for summer research experiences.
The project will develop a systematic review tool that incorporates the Program Evaluation Accuracy Standards and moves beyond them to attend to effects on student learning. Using the methodology of meta-evaluation, the project will (1) describe and assess the quality of REU and RET evaluations, (2) test the feasibility of synthesizing and generalizing across evaluations to support conclusions about program-level effectiveness, and (3) lay the groundwork for a resource to build evaluation capacity and align the evaluation needs of local projects and the national programs.
The REU and RET projects represent an important set of activities across the NSF. This exploratory study will determine the degree to which the evaluations of these projects can be used to make statements about the effectiveness of these projects overall.