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A Collaborative Evidence-Based Learning Network for Improving Environmental Education Distance Learning

Fall photo of tree

Fall photo of tree
Fall photo of tree

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, many EE organizations have adapted their programming and now provide a range of online resources, which may take the form of synchronous or asynchronous learning experiences. To date, we know very little about the best approaches to enhance student learning outcomes in online EE programs. With the help from our supporters, we are currently recruiting organizations to participate in an evidence-based learning network that will facilitate learning, collaboration, and hopefully the enhancement of the EE programs and experiences for middle and high school students across the United States. In the learning network, we will help organizations collect outcomes data from their online program participants using a shortened version of the EE21 survey, a collaboratively developed and statistically validated survey that measures 12 unique outcomes that the field has defined as important (learn more about EE21). We analyze the data and provide confidential reports of the results directly to each participating organization at the end of the first data collection period. We will then convene all of the participating organizations in the network  to a virtual learning exchange to discuss ideas, teaching approaches, theory, and prior research to learn about ways to potentially improve online EE programming. Each organization in the network will leave the learning exchange with a plan for how to revise their online EE program(s) with the goal of enhancing student outcomes. Participating in the learning network for a second season will enable organizations to see if (and to what extent) these programmatic revisions have improved desired participant outcomes. Subsequent participation will provide a continued open and collaborative space for meaningful partnerships, thoughtful exchanges of ideas, and continual program improvement. 

Funding Supporters:
     Pisces Foundation
     National Science Foundation (NSF)

     Eileen Merritt, Research Scientist
     Virginia Tech,   
     Marc J. Stern, Professor,
     Virginia Tech,
     Bob Powell, Professor,
     Clemson University,
     Troy Frensley, Assistant Professor,
     Univ. of North Carolina Wilmington,