Research in Science Education

, Volume 24, Issue 1, pp 261–269 | Cite as

Measuring affective outcomes from a visit to a Science Education Centre

  • Léonie J. Rennie


One of the problems in measuring affective outcomes from visits to science education centres like the CSIROSEC laboratories, is that different students have quite different experiences. They attend to different sets of activities or exhibits for different lengths of time, they have different amounts of previous knowledge and they may interact in different ways. Measurement of affective outcomes must take account of this diversity and, if it is to be useful for teachers, a measuring instrument must be brief, easy to understand and to score. This paper reports the results of a pilot study which devised a way of measuring affective outcomes from visits to a CSIROSEC. Specifically, students responded in terms of how easy they found various aspects of the activities, their enjoyment of what they did, and how helpful they found the visit in terms of their wider views and understanding about science and scientists.


Pilot Study Science Education Previous Knowledge Education Centre Wide View 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bitgood, S. (1989). School field trips: An overview.Visitor Behaviour, 4(2), 3–6.Google Scholar
  2. Blud, L. M. (1990). Social interaction and learning among family groups visiting a museum.International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, 9, 43–51.Google Scholar
  3. Boyd, W. L. (1993). Museums as centres of learning.Teachers College Record, 94, 761–770.Google Scholar
  4. Erätuuli, M. & Sneider, C. (1990). The experiences of visitors in a physics discovery room.Science Education, 14, 481–493.Google Scholar
  5. Falk, J. H., & Dierking, L. D. (1992).The museum experience. Washington, DC: Whalesback Books.Google Scholar
  6. Finson, K. D., & Enochs, L. (1987). Student attitudes toward science-technology-society resulting from a visit to a science-technology museum.Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 24, 593–609.Google Scholar
  7. Flexer, B. K., & Borun, M. (1984). The impact of a class visit to a participatory science museum exhibit and a classroom science lesson.Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 21, 863–873.Google Scholar
  8. Fortner, R. W., & Lahm, A. C. (1990). Research program outreach into the classroom: An estuarine research reserve initiative.Journal of Environmental Education, 21, 7–12.Google Scholar
  9. Gottfried, J. L. (1980). Do children learn on school field trips?Curator, 23, 165–174.Google Scholar
  10. Hidi, S., Soren, B., & Weiss, J. (1994, April).Interest in science and technology. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Education Research Association, New Orleans, MI.Google Scholar
  11. Koran, J. J. Jr., & Ellis, J. (1991). Research in informal settings: Some reflections on designs and methodology.ILVS Review, 2, 67–86.Google Scholar
  12. Koran, J. J. Jr., Koran, M. L. (1983). The roles of attention and curiosity in museum learning.Journal of Museum Education, 8(2), 14–17, 24.Google Scholar
  13. Koran, J. J. Jr., Koran, M. L., & Ellis, J. (1989). Evaluating the effectiveness of field experiences: 1939–1989.Visitor Behaviour, 4(2), 7–10.Google Scholar
  14. Lucas, A. M., McManus, P., & Thomas, G. (1986). Investigating learning from informal sources: Listening to conversations and observing play in science museums.European Journal of Science Education, 8, 341–352.Google Scholar
  15. McManus, P. (1988). Good companions: More on the social determination of learning-related behaviour in a science museum.International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, 7, 37–44.Google Scholar
  16. McManus, P. (1993). Thinking about the visitors thinking. In S. Bicknell & G. Farmelo (Eds.),Museum studies in the 90s (pp. 108–113). London: Science Museum.Google Scholar
  17. Martin, M., Brown, S., & Russell, T. (1991). A study of child-adult interaction at a natural history centre.Studies in Educational Evaluation, 17, 355–369.Google Scholar
  18. Rennie, L. J. (1986). The influence of the social context of the classroom on the relationship between subject-related affect and achievement.Education Research and Perspectives, 13(2), 75–97.Google Scholar
  19. Rennie, L. J. (1993). Measuring cognitive outcomes from interactive science centres. In R. Schibeci (Ed.),Proceedings of the Eighteenth Annual Conference of the Science Education Association of Western Australia (pp. 117–125). Murdoch University, Perth.Google Scholar
  20. Rennie, L. J., & Elliott, M. T. (1991). What students do at CSIROSEC. In M. W. Hackling (Ed.),Proceedings of the Sixteenth Annual Conference of the Science Education Association of Western Australia (pp. 117–125). Edith Cowan University, Perth: Edith Cowan University, Dept. of Science Education.Google Scholar
  21. Rennie, L. J., McClafferty, T. P., & Johnston, D. (1993, November).Interactive science and technology centres: Helping teachers make the best use of them. Paper presented at the annual conference of the Australian Association for Research in Education, Fremantle, Western Australia.Google Scholar
  22. Roberts, L. C. (1991). Affective learning, affective experience: What does it have to do with museum education? In A. Benefield, S. Bitgood & H. Shettel (Eds.),Proceedings of the 1991 Visitor Studies Conference (Vol. 4, pp. 162–113). Ottawa, Canada.Google Scholar
  23. Roberts, L. C. (1993). Analysing (and intuiting) the affective domain. In S. Bicknell & G. Farmelo (Eds.),Museum studies in the 90s (pp. 97–101). London: Science Museum.Google Scholar
  24. Stevenson, A., & Bryden, M. (1991). The National Museums of Scotland's 1990 Discovery Room: An evaluation.International Journal of Museum Management and Curatorship, 7, 24–36.Google Scholar
  25. Stronck, D. R. (1983). The comparative effect of different museum tours on children's attitudes and learning.Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 20(4), 283–290.Google Scholar
  26. Tuckey, C. J. (1992). Schoolchildren's reactions to an interactive science centre.Curator, 35, 28–38.Google Scholar
  27. Wolins, I. S., Jensen, N., & Ulzheimer, R. (1992). Children's memories of museum field trips: A qualitative study.Journal of Museum Education, 17(2), 17–27.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Australasian Science Education Research Association 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Léonie J. Rennie
    • 1
  1. 1.Science and Mathematics Education CentreCurtin University of TechnologyPerth

Personalised recommendations