Measuring Outcomes


Tools for Measuring Outcomes and Evaluating Citizen Science

Tools from the Lab of Ornithology


1. DEVISE (Developing, Validating, and Implementing Situated Evaluation Instruments) Project

Beginning in 2010, our team of researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology set out to create a toolkit of resources for helping project leaders measure participant outcomes. The project’s main goal was to improve evaluation quality and capacity across the field of citizen science/public participation in scientific research. Several documents were developed to guide practitioners in conducting research and evaluation in citizen science.

DEVISE Evaluation Instruments

We developed a set of constructs and associated instruments to measure outcomes such as interest, motivation, self-efficacy, and skills. Below is the list of evaluation instruments developed under DEVISE, and referred to in the User’s Guide (available for download on this page). Each instrument comes with instructions for use and scoring.

Interest in Science and Nature (Adults);  Interest in Science and Nature (Youth);  Nature Relatedness;  Self-Efficacy for Learning and Doing Science**;  Self-Efficacy for Learning and Doing Citizen Science; Self-Efficacy for Environmental Action**;  Motivation for Doing and Learning Science**; Motivation for Participation in Citizen Science; Motivation for Environmental Action **; Skills for Science Inquiry**; Participant Engagement Metric (PEM), General Environmental Stewardship (**These instruments are also available in a customizable version that can be modified to address a particular topic or issue.)

To request the use of these scales, please submit this online form, and the scales you request will be immediately available. In the request form, we ask for basic information that will allow us to provide you with the correct instrument and also enable us to track and understand their use.

2. Informed Consent Form

Download the template for an Informed Consent Form

3. User’s Guide for Evaluating Learning Outcomes from Citizen Science

Full User’s Guide Interactive User’s Guide*

*Note: For full use of interactive features, please download the PDF and view on your desktop with Adobe Acrobat or Adobe Reader.
These documents were based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1010744: DEVISE (Developing, Validating, and Implementing Situated Evaluation Instruments). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Other Online Resources

NAAEE Practitioner Guide to Assessing Connection to Nature:  A collection of tools for examining individuals’ connection to nature – a common outcome for citizen sciences.  These include tools for all age groups.

Center for Advancement of Informal Science Education (CAISE) – This site links to many websites that provide tools and instruments that can be used for evaluating the wide range of outcomes addressed by informal STEM education projects, or that can serve as starting points for modification.

Online Evaluation Resource Library: This library was developed for professionals seeking to design, conduct, document, or review project evaluations. Its purpose is to collect and make available evaluation plans, instruments, and reports for NSF projects, and can help you think about your own evaluations.

Assessment Tools in Informal STEM (ATIS)