A Methodological Evaluation of an Environmental Education Survey: Is There a Technological Advantage
Keywords:environmental education, survey methods, nature
Environmental education represents a conceivable way to counter the effects of youth’s lack of exposure to the natural environment. However, the effectiveness of these programs is often not evaluated, and when they are, the methods for doing so are not consistent. Without proper and reliable methods of data collection, the results may be inaccurate and lead to false claims. Middle school children were given surveys to measure interest in nature, importance of nature, and environmental stewardship. The students were split into two groups, one that took the survey through a conventional pencil-and-paper method and one that took the survey on a tablet computer (e.g., iPad). The results revealed a difference in how students responded based on how they took the survey. Children may be more willing to provide more truthful responses through digital means and may associate paper surveys with exams or other less desirable activities.
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