Workshop: An Overview of Tools, Techniques and Processes for Evaluating Digital Learning Initiatives

An Overview of Tools, Techniques and Processes for Evaluating Digital Learning Initiatives

Thursday, March 9, 2017 from 10:00 – 12:00 PM Room 15, NH Department of Education Doors open at 9:30 AM.

This workshop is free and open to all NH educators.

Register for this Workshop

This two-hour session will help digital learning and other district-level program staff develop evaluation techniques and processes for reviewing a variety of curriculum-based initiatives. The session will provide participants with an overview of a comprehensive and rigorous process for program evaluation.

Clear assessments are essential when implementing any new initiative. Measuring progress toward instructional goals requires well-defined, measurable outcomes and a set of data collection instrument specifically calibrated to the intervention. This overview session will address the following questions:

  • How can district leaders identify, develop, and implement true data-based decision-making around digital and blended learning initiatives?
  • What data collection tools and techniques are effective in gathering meaningful data on digital and blended learning initiatives?
  • How can program evaluation drive strategic planning work and decisions?
  • To what extent can the overviewed evaluation techniques be used in programs other than digital learning?

This workshop will assist NH districts in tackling these questions and will provide an overview of both the tools and a process framework to conduct personalized assessments of district digital learning initiatives. The evaluation framework and tools presented in this workshop have been successfully deployed by the presenter in a number of states (e.g., MassCUE Evaluators in Massachusetts, LEAD-IT in Vermont, and the Pioneer Project in Alabama) and many individual districts. All of these tools – surveys, interview questions, observation protocol, focus group questions — are licensed as open source materials and may be used according to the presenter’s Creative Commons license. Participants will learn how to how to modify and adjust the tools via a rigorous program evaluation framework that emphasizes clear and comprehensive indicators of success.

If sufficient interest exists, this session will be followed (later in the Spring) by sessions that drill deeper into the implementation of various aspects of the evaluation process such as:

  • Background research and indicator development
  • Survey and data collection tool design
  • Data collection procedures
  • Creating findings and recommendations

In short, this overview workshop will focus on developing in-district capacity to conduct rigorous, formative, examinations of the degree to which digital learning initiatives are meeting instructional goals. By learning how to “think like an evaluator”, participants can assess current programs against benchmarks and design new projects that focus on clear and measurable outcomes.

Presented by:

Jeff Sun, Director of Sun Associates, has over 20 years of experience working in the area of formative/summative, mixed-methods, educational program evaluation.  Jeff has worked with a number of NH S.A.U’s, the University of NH, and the NH State Department of Education. Jeff’s firm – Sun Associates – provides program evaluation services for a number of federal and state-funded educational projects such as National Science Foundation ITEST projects, STEM grants, US DoED NPD and Teaching American History projects, and many others. In addition to these large state and national projects, Sun Associates also works closely with individual school districts to develop strategic plans and evaluation/assessment frameworks that examine the impact of instructional technology and other innovative pedagogies on learning and the instructional environment.  Jeff has extensive experience working as a service provider to schools and districts through Learning Innovations at WestEd, the US DoED’s IES-supported Regional Laboratory Program and ED’s former Regional Technology in Education Centers (RTEC) program.  Prior to founding Sun Associates, Mr. Sun was the Director of Educational Technology for the Northeast and Islands Regional Educational Laboratory.

Sponsored by:

The Office of Educational Technology at the NH Department of Education in partnership with Sun Associates.

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