Manager, Evaluation

Organization: Shedd Aquarium (AZA Member)
Location: Chicago, IL, Country
Job or Internship: Job

Position Summary:

The Manager of Evaluation oversees evaluation planning and implementation for the entirety of the Learning Group. Responsibilities include development of evaluation plans, assistance with data collection and interpretation, skills development for staff, and collaboration on grant reporting. This role works closely with the Learning Programs and Guest Engagement departments in a continuous feedback loop, from the formative stage to identify the needs for evaluation through the summative stage to understand the overall impact of a program. The manager also seeks out assessment tools to better equip Learning Programs and Guest Engagement staff to assess learning outcomes within their respective programs. This individual is expected to stay current with evaluation methodologies and trends as well as to assist with the dissemination of the impact of the Learning Group to both internal and external (i.e., AZA, informal science/environmental education) audiences. When audiences or settings overlap, the Manager works in collaboration with the Audience Research & Evaluation department to coordinate planning, methods, and instruments.

Responsibilities and Duties:

- Demonstrate commitment to Shedd's vision, mission and values

- Develop a 1-3 year evaluation strategy for the Learning Group in collaboration with the Assistant Director of Learning Planning & Evaluation

- Consult with Learning Programs and Guest Engagement staff to identify evaluation needs, create evaluation plans for program experiences, and develop logic models as necessary

- Develop or identify methods and instruments to meet the needs of evaluation plans

- Implement data collection or assist with collection as appropriate

- Synthesize products of evaluation, including assistance with analysis and interpretation alongside Learning Group staff

- Generate evaluation reports as needed for grant reporting purposes or for program review by the Learning Group

- Seek out assessment tools/techniques to support Learning Programs and Guest Engagement staff in assessing learning outcomes and provide training for these tools as needed

- Communicate evaluation results to Learning Group and assist with disseminating impact to internal and external audiences

- Filter external requests for evaluation or research endeavors and work with the Assistant Director of Learning Planning & Evaluation to make recommendations on further action

- Review candidates for external evaluation opportunities, working with the Assistant Director to match expertise and experience with evaluation needs

- Research current trends in informal/science/environmental education evaluation

- Contribute to quarterly reports, integrating current research and evaluation

- Recommend improvements in processes and policies as they pertain to conducting evaluation in the Learning Group and interfacing with other departments and partners

- Support Assistant Director in development and execution of department budget, including prioritization of department resources to successfully implement evaluation plans and demonstrate impact

- Supervise Learning Planning & Evaluation staff, coaching them to develop skills and identify professional growth opportunities

- Support Research Associate in recruitment and supervision of interns to assist with evaluation projects

- Train Learning Group staff as required to prepare them for implementation of the evaluation plans, including data collection and analysis

- Create an environment that empowers staff to contribute to a culture of collaboration

- Serve as liaison to the Audience Research & Evaluation department, including assistance on joint projects and regular communication to identify institutional needs and priorities for demonstrating impact via evaluation

- Serve as liaison for external evaluators to the Learning Group, including maintaining checks and balances for the scope of work

- Build and nurture intra and interdepartmental relationships to maximize collaborative opportunities and broaden understanding of organizational assets

- Develop and maintain strategic relationships with collaborative partners and other pertinent professional organizations

- Participate in Aquarium wide and interdepartmental teams, projects or meetings as needed

- Maintain working knowledge of current evaluation methods and tools via activity in professional community and independent review of trends

- Demonstrate a commitment to professional and personal growth by initiating dialogue with colleagues, engaging in self-directed learning and focusing on professional development

- Fulfill other duties as required



- Master's degree in education, evaluation, museum studies, science or a related field


- Experience conducting evaluation with qualitative and quantitative methods

- Experience with data collection, analysis and synthesis, including reporting

- Experience and passion building evaluation capacity with coaching and training

- Experience developing and facilitating education programs in an informal setting

- Experience balancing multiple complex projects with strong attention to detail, organization, and efficient time management

- Experience with supervision of others

- Experience conducting research and reviewing literature

- Experience working with a diverse range of funders

- Experience understanding and applying evaluation theory and methodology

- Experience with data analysis and visualization software

- Interest in and enthusiasm for research and informal science education