Program Evaluation – Program evaluators apply social scientific research methods to questions of program efficacy in terms of implementation (i.e., how the work gets done), outcomes (i.e., what work gets done), and process (i.e., how the project team works together). Our team has considerable experience serving as both internal and external evaluators on a wide variety of education-related projects, with an overall approach of serving as “critical friends” to project teams. By investigating questions generated with input from program stakeholders and informed by design-based implementation research and improvement science, we help project teams to better understand areas of their work that are thriving, as well as areas that require attention or adjustment.
Some examples of evaluation questions addressing implementation, outcomes, and process of education interventions include:
- To what extent are program participants engaged in program offerings?
- What changes to programming can be made to increase participant engagement?
- Did the program serve the number of participants it set out to serve?
- Did the program team work together effectively over the duration of the project?
Applied Research – Applied research in education typically investigates the impact of a program or intervention with the primary aim of attaining generalizable knowledge (i.e., what works for whom) that can be applied in real-world settings. Our team has experience employing quasi-experimental and observational methods to explore the impact of a variety of educational interventions, with particular emphasis on the impact of professional development programs for teachers. Some examples of applied research questions in education include:
- What aspects of instructional coaching can science teachers best integrate into their classroom practice?
- What is the impact of using student work samples as a tool for collaborative practices among teachers who are new to a curriculum?
- How does participation in professional development programming change teachers’ instructional practice?