A Qualitative Evaluation Tool for Elementary Student Attitudes during an Overnight Environmental Education Experience




Perez, Natalie

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The purpose of this research was to examine a qualitative evaluation tool known as an “Analog Blog” for attitudes of fifth grade students participating in an overnight environmental education experience. Currently, this “Analog Blog” provides students with an opportunity to freely write about their experience throughout their visit. These comments are tracked throughout their overnight field trip (by different color markers) for four defined time periods. Twenty four Analog Blogs were analyzed. Positive statements and feelings dominated all time periods. Many of these positive statements were generated through sensory experiences with animals, wildlife and natural elements. Fear was a category which occurred throughout all time series, but diminished in frequency (from 8.13% of all responses in the earliest time period to 0.30% of all responses in the last time period). Pre and post-questionnaires were also administered to participants to measure knowledge and attitude changes quantitatively. For eight of the ten matched pairs of school groups, significant increases in knowledge were found. The questionnaires and the Analog Blogs indicated that students were able to not only have a positive interactive experience in the outdoors, but also retained knowledge about ecological concepts.



Environmental education, Qualitative, Attitudes, Outdoor, Evaluation