Comprehensive Research Planning: The difference between research studies and research programs
While a single, well-executed research study is important to establishing the effectiveness of an educational product or service, building a strong case for efficacy is best accomplished through the accumulation of multiple forms of evidence over time. This is why we often encourage our clients to take a longer range view of research than is accomplished through a single study.
A long range research plan should look to use a variety of research methods- both quantitative and qualitative-to evaluate the effectiveness of the product. Moreover, these research plans should examine the product and service in a variety of settings (e.g., rural-suburban-urban; small school-large school).
Larger, longer-term studies can be complemented with shorter case studies and a white paper describing the research evidence supporting the product. Case studies and white papers can be created in a much shorter period of time, allowing organizations to "get the word out" while waiting for the results of a longer, more in-depth study.
No single approach fits all companies. However, we typically recommend a mix including an experimental or quasi-experimental study along with case studies, customer testimonials, and white papers.
The most important point is that publishers and technology providers looking to demonstrate the effectiveness of their products or services should develop a research plan that accumulates multiple forms of evidence over time.
Contact SEG Measurement today to find out how we can design and implement a research plan that makes sense for your business.
Welcome to the May issue of SEGway. Both the educational assessment and research arenas continue to evolve and we look forward to sharing information and our perspectives on the issues.
In the Technical Corner of this issue we explore the importance of comprehensive research planning. Also in this issue, we discuss the development of the Common Core assessments by the SBAC and PARCC consortia.
SEG News reports on two papers that SEG Measurement will be presenting at the upcoming AACE EdMedia Conference. And, we are pleased to report that SEG Measurement was accepted into the Society for Research on Education Effectiveness.
SEG will be attending several conferences and events over the next couple of months. We look forward to seeing you there. Please let us know if you will be attending and if you would like to meet with us.
The Development of the Common Core Assessments by the SBAC and PARCC Consortia
One component of the Race to the Top initiative provides for the development of new state assessments. The US Department of Education awarded contracts to two consortia of states,
PARCC and SBAC, to develop the assessments by 2014. The educational community has been anxiously waiting to learn what the new assessments will look like. While much still remains to be decided, the recent actions of the Consortia shed substantial light on the direction for the new assessments. We encourage you to go directly to the SBAC and PARCC websites to get complete and up-to-date information.
PARCC: Partnership of Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers
The SBAC and PARCC Assessment Consortia have been busy over the past year laying the groundwork for the new assessments. Both groups have made significant progress in defining the assessments and creating specifications for the tests. Most recently, both Consortia have awarded contracts for the initial development of assessment materials.
The assessment portfolio will include both formative and summative assessments. Further, it appears likely that the summative component. will include assessment on multiple occasions. SBAC continues to talk of a computer adaptive component, while PARCC seems to be holding at computer-administered.
It is at the item level that we are seeing the most innovation and change. In addition to the garden variety multiple choice item, we are seeing the inclusion of complex multiple choice items with multiple passages and both long and short constructed response type questions. Technology enhanced items requiring students to drag and drop, select a hot spot or highlight material is also on the agenda. And, perhaps most significantly, the assessments will likely include more complex performance assessments that require extended written responses.
While most organizations that offer formative assessment tools (alone or in conjunction with curriculum) have gone out of their way to retrofit their assessments to align with the Common Core State Standards, the retooled tests often do not adequately reflect the design and item types that will likely populate the new tests. SEG Measurement is working with several organizations to bring their products more in line with the new assessments.
Again, we encourage you to visit the SBAC and PARCC websites for the latest information.
SEG can help you align your program with the Common Core Assessments and ensure that they reflect the design of the new assessments. Contact us today and let us help you improve your product with effective assessment.
Measurement Papers Accepted for Presentation at the Upcoming AACE EdMedia World Conference
SEG Measurement was pleased to learn that two of its papers documenting educational research projects in which our staff were involved were accepted for presentation at the upcoming AACE EdMedia Conference in Denver Colorado.
The papers selected for AACE Conferences go through a rigorous peer review process. We were very excited to receive the following comment on the paper from an anonymous AACE reviewer:
"Who in our society has such masterful multivariate skills and clarity of writing as to produce this work?"
SEG Measurement Accepted for Membership in SREE
The Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE) works to advance and disseminate research on causal effects of education practices, interventions, programs, and policies. SEG Measurement strongly supports this mission and shares similar goals.
SEG Measurement was pleased to learn recently that its application for membership in SREE was accepted. We look forward to working with our colleagues to foster this mission.