Overview of NASA Product Review Process
The NASA education products review process is a
mandatory component to publishing NASA-funded materials and has been
created to establish the highest quality standards for curricular
materials that will be distributed by NASA and bear the NASA stamp
of approval. The review includes panels of teachers, curriculum and
design specialists, teacher trainers, and science content
specialists. The NASA Office of Education has created two formal
review cycles per year, spring/summer and fall/winter, when products
may be submitted for review. Each mission directorate and the Office
of Education (which also creates educational material) can submit
two panels of materials per cycle. In addition to the formal review
cycle, an interim approval process has been created to avoid
hindering product developers and delaying production of
time-dependent materials. During the interim approval process
developers can receive temporary approval to produce limited
quantities of materials until the next formal product review process
occurs. After a product is received, review panels are identified
and selected according to the education audience, grade level, and
content area of the submitted product. A panel has from 5-7
reviewers, including grade-appropriate classroom teachers, education
specialists who are familiar with current trends and needs in
science education, informal educators, and scientists with relevant
background in the materials being reviewed.
The Office of Education has developed evaluation
instruments for education and science content reviewers. The
instruments were designed to evaluate key areas of importance for
NASA educational material, such as content accuracy, effective
integration into classrooms, and alignment of national education
standards. Using two evaluation forms developed by the Office of
Education, reviewers assess each of the evaluation criteria using a
5 – outstanding
4 – very good
3 – good
2 – fair
1 – poor
The reviewer then selects a recommendation for
each product using the following categories:
Broad distribution. The product does not need
special training or instruction to use. It is an excellent
candidate for national distribution.
Recommended as is, with revisions. The
product is an excellent candidate for national distribution;
however, it will need revisions before reprinting.
Distribution through professional
development/teacher workshops. These products are recommended
for distribution through NASA educator workshops. Most educators
would require some introduction or training for effective use.
Needs revisions. These products have
potential but need work before NASA can release them. Depending
on the extent to which revisions must be made, the product might
need to be resubmitted through the full product review cycle.
Not recommended. These products are
disapproved for release because their quality is poor, the
material is dated, or they aren’t relevant to NASA’s mission
and/or education program.
NASA Review Criteria Checklist
The following checklist summarizes the evaluation
criteria used to score submitted products. Use this checklist as a
guide when developing new products and when conducting internal
evaluations before submitting for formal review.
Quality and Appropriateness
Materials emphasize effective
Materials are appropriate, complete, and
effectively presented for targeted audiences.
Materials support science, geography,
mathematics, or technology education standards.
The materials take advantage of
appropriate partnerships within or outside of NASA.
The projected shelf life is defined, and
the product is sustainable beyond initial NASA funding.
Materials present opportunities to
develop fundamental understandings of key scientific
concepts, principles, theories, and laws.
Materials promote student assessment.
Information presented is accurate.
The product is based on scientific and
technical activities and education goals and objectives that
demonstrate scientific research.
The product provides information on
science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM)
Material conforms to federal regulations.
The product is customer focused and
reaches diverse audiences.
The resource is easy to use and free from
Materials effectively integrate learning