Research Spotlight - April 2015

Launched in 2005, the Nanoscale Informal Science Education Network (NISE Net) is a national community of researchers and informal science educators dedicated to fostering public awareness, engagement, and understanding of nanoscale science, engineering, and technology. Through this project, partners have created hundreds of programs, exhibits and media to educate the public about nanotechnology.

With the creation of all of these products, we, the evaluation team, found that there was high demand for evaluation help. So much so that the evaluation team was not able to quickly fulfill the needs of all of our educators. Therefore, we developed and disseminated a series of trainings and resources to help informal learning professional better understand and incorporate evaluation into their daily work and development process. Team-Based Inquiry, or TBI, is a practical approach to empowering education professionals to get the data they need, when they need it, to improve their products and practices and, ultimately, more effectively engage public and professional audiences. The TBI process involves an ongoing cycle of inquiry: question, investigate, reflect, and improve. Museum professionals practice elements of Team-Based Inquiry every day - these materials and resources help make these practices more systematic and transparent. 
As is the case with all NISE Network resources, the TBI Guide, worksheets, training videos, and other materials are freely available online. These resources take you step-by-step through the TBI process and help you to complete it on your own. Please review, share, use, and modify all of this for your own teams, in whatever way is most useful for you! Here are a few links to some of the more popular resources:

The TBI process is being incorporated into and modified by various projects and institutions. Please send your questions or comments about any aspect of the TBI cycle to Sarah Cohn or Liz Kollmann. Additionally, connect with us if you are interested in being a part of future work that incorporates TBI into institutions’ projects and practices!  


Sarah Cohn
CARE Chair-Elect
Evaluation and Research Manager, Science Museum of Minnesota

Liz Kunz Kollman
CARE Professional Development Committee Lead and National Program Committee Representative
Senior Project Manager, Research & Evaluation, Museum of Science, Boston