Conservation and Environmental Education and Evaluation - July 2016

10-week Online Course
with Dr Patricia (Trish) Patrick & Dr. Eric Jensen


About This Course

How can environmental and conservation education make a difference in people's lives? To help answer this question, we bring together international experts in conservation education, environmental education and evaluation in this special 10-week online course. The objective of this course is to provide delegates participating in this journey with firm grounding in up-to-date theory, research, and practice from conservation and environmental education and an introduction to gathering evidence of learning and impact. We welcome informal learning practitioners with active involvement in any institution and/or sector working to convey a conservation or environmental message.


Course modules aim to address the following key topic areas:

  • What is conservation and environmental education?
  • How does one develop effective conservation and environmental education programs?
  • How do people learn in informal learning environments?
  • How can environmental education make a difference in people's lives?
  • What is the basic toolkit needed for effective evaluation?

This online course offers high quality teaching content on issues concerning Conservation, Environmental Education and Evaluation:

  • Weekly live sessions with instructors for each module will be supplemented by support from guest speakers who are leading experts in the field of conservation education and evaluation.
  • During the weekly live web chats delegates, instructors and special guest speakers will be able to discuss the week’s content and provide feedback to practical plans or concerns.
  • The ten-week course structure will encourage discussions between other delegates taking the course to build social and support networks and allow perspectives from a broad range of backgrounds throughout the course.
  • The course offers instructional videos and podcasts by top experts in conservation and environmental education, which can be accessed any time within the ten-week period of the course. A set of essential readings are provided for delegates to use in the future.

Who is running the course?

The experts leading this course are Dr. Trish Patrick (CEO, Informal Teaching and Learning) and Dr. Eric Jensen (Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of Warwick). Other international experts within the fields of conservation and environmental education and evaluation will also give guest presentations, including Billy Spitzer (Vice President, Programs, Exhibits, and Planning, New England Aquarium), Andrew Moss (Conservation Social Scientist, Chester Zoo), Marti Copeland (Director of Education, at the Dallas Zoo and Children’s Aquarium) and Dr Martin Braund (Cape Peninsula University of Technology, Cape Town, South Africa).

Dr Patricia (Trish) Patrick

Dr. Patrick earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in environmental science education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May 2006. Her speciality is in preparing Informal Science Educators and the influence of families on learning.

She was a professor at Texas Tech University for 5 years. During her time at Texas Tech, in cooperation with the Houston Zoo, she developed a Masters of Education in Curriculum and Instruction for Informal Science Education. She has published 10 articles related to informal science learning, with a focus on sociocultural theory. Her work focuses on the importance of social and cultural interactions and the importance of those interactions within families. She published the book Zoo Talk and has a new book, Preparing Informal Science Educators, coming out in 2016. She has been a guest speaker at the Chester Zoo (England), University College London Institute of Education (England), Sao Paulo Zoo (Brazil), and San Diego Zoo Global where she spoke on topics, such as, questioning skills, preparing informal educators, reflective practice, and the future of conservation education.

Dr. Eric Jensen Associate Professor

Dr. Eric Jensen (Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of Warwick) is a leading social scientist specializing in innovative methods of conducting impact evaluation research in informal learning and public engagement contexts.

Jensen is author of Doing Real Research: A Practical Guide to Social Research (SAGE). He has extensive experience designing and conducting quantitative and mixed methods evaluations at institutions including the National Gallery, London Zoo, Natural History Museum, Cheltenham Literature Festival, the British Museum, San Diego Zoo and Bronx Zoo. Dr. Jensen holds a PhD in Sociology from the University of Cambridge (UK). He teaches social research methods at the University of Warwick.
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Research Methods
Impact Evaluation
Survey Design
Qualitative Methods
Quantitative Methods

Participation notes

Weekly participation is requisite for this 10-week course. The following comprise this expected participation:

  1. Each week on Thursday/Friday. A live web chat/seminar will be held with one of the instructors to discuss that week’s content. The instructor for the week will hold ‘online office hours’.
  2. Every other week. A guest speaker, relevant to the week’s content, will be invited to join the weekly live web chat.
  3. End of course. Delegates will complete a two part assignment.
    Part 1: One-page essay on current thinking about conservation and environmental education and evaluation.
    Part 2: Proposal for a future conservation and environmental education intervention or evaluation activity relating to their work or a case of conservation and environmental education practice with which they are familiar. All delegates will receive feedback on proposals within three weeks.

Registration is closed

Dr Patricia (Trish) Patrick
Dr Patricia (Trish) Patrick

Dr. Patrick earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a concentration in environmental science education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro in May 2006. Her speciality is in preparing Informal Science Educators and the influence of families on learning.

Dr. Eric Jensen
Dr. Eric Jensen

Dr. Eric Jensen (Associate Professor, Dept. of Sociology, University of Warwick) is a leading social scientist specializing in innovative methods of conducting impact evaluation research in informal learning and public engagement contexts.