Category Archives: evaluation

Vaccinations Debate Kit – Evaluation Report

Download the full Vaccinations Debate Kit - Evaluation Report

Click here to download the full report.

The Vaccinations Debate Kit discusses whether children should be required to have all their vaccinations before they can go to school.

This debate kit was funded by e-Bug (a project operated by Public Health England) and Science Foundation Ireland. Gallomanor collaborated with E-Bug to research the kit, and asked for advice from teachers to ensure its educational suitability.

3,000 kits were printed in March 2015: 1,000 were distributed by e-Bug and 2,000 by Gallomanor. We have just finished our evaluation on these kits. And this is what we’ve learnt:

  • All the teachers who fill in our feedback survey said that their students are now more aware of the issues surrounding vaccination public health policies.
  • We estimate that at least 721 kits have already been used by teachers.

Click here to see the full report.

Posted on February 22, 2016 modangela in evaluation | Leave a comment

Antibiotic Resistance Debate Kit – Evaluation Report

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Click to download full report

The Antibiotic Resistance Debate Kit discusses whether the NHS should tell GPs to give back-up prescriptions instead of immediate antibiotics wherever possible.

The kit was funded by e-Bug (a project operated by Public Health England) and Science Foundation Ireland. Its main distribution took part between October 2014 and January 2015, and we have evaluated it between September and November 2015. After the evaluation, we’ve learnt:

  • 70% of teachers who use a debate kit once, keep using it year after year.
  • 100% of the teachers said that their students are now aware of the issues surrounding the bad use of antibiotics.
  • We estimate that at least 526 kits have been already used by teachers.

Download the full report here.

Posted on December 1, 2015 modangela in evaluation | Leave a comment

Big Data Debate Kit – Evaluation Report

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CLICK TO DOWNLOAD

The Big Data Debate Kit was funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council and Science Foundation Ireland.

The kit discusses whether we should sequence the genomes of one million people, to find out more about living longer and healthier lives.

After evaluating it we found out that:

  • 43% of the teachers who requested the kit have used it this school year.
  • 96% of teachers confirmed that their students are now aware of how Big Data can be used in Biology and Biomedicine.

Download the full report here.

 

Posted on July 28, 2015 modangela in evaluation | Leave a comment

Electricity Distribution Debate Kit – Evaluation Report

the power and limitations of science and considering ethical issues which may arise

Click here to read the full report

It’s been a year since we launched our Electricity Distribution Debate Kit. We emailed all the 810 teachers who requested it, and followed them up with reminder emails and letters to collect feedback. We then analysed it and this is what we’ve found out:

  • Hard copies of the kit were sent to 810 teachers who requested them,  687 were sent to STEM Contract Holders, and the rest were distributed among different teacher networks. The kit was also downloaded by 242 different users.
  • We estimate that the kit was used by 29% of the teachers who requested it.
  • Every teacher who filled in the feedback survey found the kit to be an “excellent” or “pretty good” educational resource.
  • 97% of teachers feel their students know more about Electricity Distribution after using the kit.
  • We measured how the students reflected on the issues surrounding electricity distribution and actually changed their minds throughout the debate.

You can read the full evaluation report here (PDF).

Debate kits keep proving themselves as a successful tool to engage students in debates around science topics. We are already sending out our new debate kit on the topic of Vaccinations. Sign up and we’ll keep you posted on these resources!

Posted on March 18, 2015 modangela in evaluation | Leave a comment

Drugs in Sport debate kit evaluation

Back in 2008, as part of the I’m a Scientist pilot, we developed our first ever debate kit and sent it out to all teachers taking part. By 2010 we’d produced 3 more kits but then had a bit of a lull, and teachers started asking for new topics to debate in their classroom.

So, what better topic for a new kit than Drugs in Sport, in the year of the London 2012 Olympics. Well that’s what we thought, as did The Physiological Society who funded it.

When it came time to evaluate the debate kit this was therefore one of the main questions to answer. Was Drugs in Sport a good topic for a debate kit? Another key question was How many of the Drugs in Sport debate kits sent out were used?

We’ve emailed teachers we sent kits to, and sent letters asking for their feedback. From their responses we’ve evaluated the kit and written up our findings.

Here’s the final evaluation: Drugs in Sport debate kit report

Here’s a summary of what we found:

How many of the Drugs in Sport debate kits sent out have been used?

We estimate that at least 43% of the kits sent out have been used (around 860 kits) and there’s a strong indication that the majority of those who haven’t yet used it plan to use it in the future. The kits were also used by just under a third of teachers in I’m a Scientist – around 90 kits – and a further 100 kits are likely to be used in the future.

Was Drugs in Sport a good topic for a debate kit?

The topic of Drugs in Sport was very successful and popular – teachers requested this kit quicker than previous kits, nearly 300 new teachers signed up to receive it and we had very positive feedback from teachers. We think that the kit was popular partly as we hadn’t created a new one for nearly two years, but also because the topic really appealed to teachers.

We have received lots of positive feedback from teachers, including praise for the topic, content and structure of the debate kit, and also asking for more kits to be made. We were also surprised by how quickly teachers requested all of the 2,000 kits. We were still receiving requests after we’d distributed all the copies we had, and had to refer teachers to the downloadable digital version instead.

Physiology topics are relevant to many aspects of the curriculum, and teachers told us that this topic fitted well into Biology, Chemistry and Sports Science syllabuses including GCSEs, A Levels and BTECs. With the London 2012 Olympics it was a current topic that their students could easily relate to and were interested in.

What does this mean?

So, all in all it was very successful and we’re already thinking of topics for new debate kits. The current idea is looking at GM Food and whether it’s necessary in order to be able to feed the world in 2050.

Posted on September 28, 2012 in evaluation | Leave a comment

Strong demand for Drugs in Sport kit

Reading through the draft copy for this latest debate kit made me smile.  It was very good.  Sure, I’m a bit of an Olympics geek and general armchair sportsman, but I felt it provided great angles to debate a very contentious, yet easy to grasp, scientific issue – Drugs in Sport. It seems as though I’m not the only one who likes the sound of it.

This is a quick update on how we are distributing the 2,000 kits that we have printed.

Previous recipients of debate kits

The first 4 debate kits enabled us to build a decent list of teachers who wanted them. Our evaluation showed that the kits were well used, but the last one to get posted out was in June 2010 so we thought it appropriate to ask those teachers to opt in to get the next one.

We emailed the 1,543 people on that list on 10th February 2012 giving them the option of clicking YES or NO in order to receive the next kit. It was just before half term, but we still had a decent response. 29.6% of recipients clicked on the email and 98.6% of the clicks were YES. The first 430 of our list had opted in.

We then emailed the remaining 1,105 members of the list who didn’t respond on 23rd February 2012 giving a little more detail, but maintaining the simple YES / NO response mechanism.  So far 19.8% have clicked. Satisfyingly 99% of those click were YES. Another 210 opt ins. On top of this a fair few teachers emailed their response in.

We plan a third final chance to opt-in. What makes that interesting is that we won’t have enough to send out to everyone. It will be first come, first served.

New sign ups

We’ve let the usual places know about the new kits. Planet Science featured them at the top of their weekly email, TES Forums and Science in School have all featured them. We emailed our usual lists of teachers and information sharers ask them to pass on the details to any teachers. We’ve had just short of 300 teachers sign up since the first emails went out. In fact another 8 signed up whilst I’ve been writing this post.

Republic of Ireland

This kit has been funded by The Physiological Society and their remit includes Ireland.  We’ve sent 250 kits to the Heads of Science at the largest schools in Ireland.

Physical Education

The subject matter was designed to appeal to PE teachers. We’ve identified 250 specialist PE schools and colleges and sent kits to the Head of PE at those schools.

So how many do we have left?

2,000 less

  • 640 opting in from existing lists
  • 280 new subscriptions
  • 250 to Ireland
  • 250 to Heads of PE in UK
  • 200 to The Physiological Society for distribution at conferences and by members

leaving 380.

Sign up fast.

 

Posted on March 1, 2012 ModShane in evaluation | Leave a comment

Debate Kits – final evaluation

The I’m a Scientist Debate Kits project is now over (for the moment). Here’s a summary of the evaluation findings, or you can download the full report at the bottom.

Summary

I’m a Scientist Debate Kits is a project to help get more debate and discussion in the UK’s science classrooms. It was a Gallomanor project funded by the Wellcome Trust

  • Over the last 18 months we have produced and distributed four kits, on different biomedical topics.
  • Altogether roughly 4,500 printed copies, on three biomedical topics, have been printed and distributed, plus a further 4,000 copies downloaded.
  • They have proved extremely popular with teachers, apparently meeting a teaching need for high-quality, simple-to-use resources to stimulate debate and discussion in the science classroom.
  • Teachers judged them to be very effective.
  • The kits got students seeing different sides to an argument, expressing their opinions and backing them up with facts, and developing their confidence and discussing science issues.
  • They also increased teachers’ confidence and skills at running debates and saved teachers time in lesson preparation.
  • Teachers told us they also supplied far more in-depth coverage of each topic than they would have had time to provide.

Key findings

Total kits distributed (print and electronic): 8,521.
98% of teachers would recommend the kits to a colleague.

The kits

  • Were effective at prompting in-depth discussion.
  • Engaged young people.
  • Were easy to use and saved teachers’ time.

 
Download the full evaluation report (pdf)

Download the report’s appendices (pdf)

Download kits.

For more info please email
debatekits@imascientist.org.uk

Posted on June 5, 2011 modemily in evaluation | Leave a comment

Best. Review. Ever. (IAS Debate Kits in School Science Review)

You can now sign up for our next Debate Kit, on Stem Cells! What are you waiting for?

I'm a Scientist debate kit on stem cells, sponsored by the Wellcome Trust, image of the front of the kit.

Place your order now!

Maybe you read all the things that we’ve written about the debate kits and think, ‘Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?’ I know I would.

Handily, an independent opinion is to hand! School Science Review, the journal of the Association for Science Education (ASE), has reviewed our debate kits. And boy did they like them!

As we all know, the ASE are the bee’s knees when it comes to science education, so you should definitely listen to them.

Sign up for these kits now if you have not done so already; they are too good to miss. The IVF ‘kit’ (cards in a wallet) is the first of four to be produced by the ‘I’m a Scientist’ team. The second, Are we too clean?, is now also available. Paper stocks of both kits, sent out to teachers, have run out, but they can be downloaded from the site and are freely photocopiable; the convenient size of the cards means that you can get four to a page. It might be sensible to laminate the cards before using with pupils. The remaining two kits will be produced over the next two academic terms in 2010.

Developed in consultation with teachers, these kits work. They are simple but very effective and well thought out. Intended for use at key stage 4 (ages 14-16), they hit the ‘How science works’ nail on the head with their 50-minute lesson plan, which includes a starter and a plenary, by promoting knowledgeable debate. Background notes are provided for the teacher and suitable homework suggested. There is no reason why the kit could not be used with older or younger pupils if thought appropriate by the teacher. Not all characters need to be used and some with potentially sensitive issues, such as cancer patients and lesbian couples, teachers might want to select which cards to use in advance. This would not affect the overall activity.

I am looking forward to kits number three and four.

Sue Howarth

School Science Review, March 2010, Vol 91 Number 336

Next kit: Stem Cells

Orders now open

FREE!

Posted on May 19, 2010 modemily in evaluation, News | Leave a comment