(Un)Common Measures

Conference Overview

To explore the current state of evaluation and measurement tools for use in afterschool STEM programs, the STEM Hub, with leadership from the University of Washington, the Afterschool Alliance, and the National Girls Collaborative, designed and hosted a convening for afterschool STEM practitioners, researchers, evaluators and stakeholders. The goals of the conference were to (a) articulate and map the range of intended outcomes of afterschool STEM programs; (b) identify how existing measurement and evaluation tools map onto intended outcomes; and (c) identify overlaps, complementarities, and gaps in the available tools in order to provide guidance to practitioners on how and why to select current evaluation tools and researchers on directions for future tool development.

This convening offered leaders in the afterschool STEM field the opportunity to explore the interconnectedness of the wide variety of STEM programs, intended outcomes, and measurement tools that are utilized across communities. The conversations emphasized the importance of recognizing the diversity of interests and capacities of young people, the values of communities, and how to assess both youth outcomes and how well programs uphold community values through their STEM offerings.

Prior to the convening, an extensive literature review was conducted and can be downloaded here: Measures In Common Literature Review

Conference Agenda and Presentations

Products from the Convening

The Intersection of Community Values and Program Evaluations

This webinar was held as a follow up to engage the afterschool STEM field around the takeaways from the December convening . The event featured out-of-school time STEM practitioners and researchers discussing the possibilities and limitations of community-centered program evaluations that are equity-oriented and informative to multiple stakeholders. Presenters also shared findings from a review of the OST measurement field and conversations from the 2019 (un)Common Measures Convening in Washington, D.C.

Slides from this presentation can be downloaded here

"The Map"

This Map was developed throughout the course of the conference in conversation with the literature review from the University of Washington that was created prior to the convening. Built off of the common constructs associated with afterschool STEM programs, the map is a reflection on researcher and practitioner interest in and associations with each of the pre-outlined constructs. The progression of the map over the course of the conference can be seen by advancing the slides below.

The map was then translated into an online map making software called "coggle" so that the information could be further organized and interpreted. This final online version of the map shows the original constructs and overarching themes in yellow, interested individuals and organizations in grey, and tools for evaluating the outline constructs in blue.

To zoom in and out of the map, press Control or CTRL and use your scroll wheel.


Below you can find two accounts of the convening and its outcomes from researchers and disseminators that attended the three day event in December 2019.

This project was funded by the National Science Foundation's Advancing Informal STEM Learning (AISL) program (award #1811487), which seeks to advance new approaches to, and evidence-based understanding of, the design and development of STEM learning in informal environments. This includes providing multiple pathways for broadening access to and engagement in STEM learning experiences, advancing innovative research on and assessment of STEM learning in informal environments, and developing understandings of deeper learning by participants.