Use of Backwards Design to Assess Public Engagement at the Archaeology Roadshow, Portland, Oregon

Author(s): Dana Sukau; Virginia Butler

Year: 2019


This is an abstract from the "SAA 2019: General Sessions" session, at the 84th annual meeting of the Society for American Archaeology.

Public archaeology has grown in recent decades with increased recognition of the need to garner public support and increase accessibility of archaeology to a range of publics. While public outreach efforts have been increasing, there have been limited reflections on how we measure the effectiveness of our efforts. One approach used in the field of Education is Backwards Design, which focuses on clearly defining goals and methods of assessment for education or public outreach. We applied the Backwards Design framework to the design and implementation of an outreach activity at the Portland State University Archaeology Roadshow in June 2018. The activity’s purpose was to encourage visitors to take an active role in their visit to the event through engaging with several presenters hosting booths and activities. We proposed this could be accomplished and the activity assessed by giving visitors a card with several questions they could pose at booths. Presenters marked the visitors’ cards, demonstrating their engagement, then visitors returned the question cards and were rewarded with a raffle ticket. A total of 221 cards were distributed, while 52 were returned, a 23.5% participation rate. Our poster reviews the promise and challenge of using Backwards Design in public archaeology.

Cite this Record

Use of Backwards Design to Assess Public Engagement at the Archaeology Roadshow, Portland, Oregon. Dana Sukau, Virginia Butler. Presented at The 84th Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Albuquerque, NM. 2019 ( tDAR id: 449355)

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Record Identifiers

Abstract Id(s): 24522