Technical Methods

The National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE) conducts unbiased large-scale evaluations of education programs and practices supported by federal funds; provides research-based technical assistance to educators and policymakers; and supports the synthesis and the widespread dissemination of the results of research and evaluation throughout the United States.

In support of this mission, NCEE promotes methodological advancement in the field of education evaluation through investigations involving analyses using existing data sets and explorations of applications of new technical methods, including cost-effectiveness of alternative evaluation strategies. The results of these methodological investigations are published as commissioned, peer reviewed papers, under the series title, Technical Methods Reports. These reports are specifically designed for use by researchers, methodologists, and evaluation specialists. The reports address current methodological questions and offer guidance to resolving or advancing the application of high-quality evaluation methods in varying educational contexts.

In addition to the current Technical Methods Reports, the series has been expanded to produce a new type of report to provide researchers and evaluators with examples of practical applications of the methods work. The NCEE Reference Report series is designed to advance the practice of rigorous education research by making available to education researchers and users of education research focused resources to facilitate the design of future studies and to help users of completed studies better understand their strengths and limitations.

Subjects selected for NCEE Reference Reports are those that examine and review rigorous evaluation studies conducted under NCEE to extract examples of good or promising evaluation practices. The reports present study information to demonstrate the possible range of "solutions" so far developed. In this way, NCEE Reference Reports are aimed to promote cost-effective study designs by identifying examples of the use of similar and/or reliable methods, measures, or analyses across evaluations. It is important to note that NCEE Reference Reports are not meant to resolve common methodological issues in conducting education evaluation. Rather, they present information about how current evaluations under NCEE have focused on an issue or selected measurement and analysis strategies. Compilations are cross-walks that make information buried in study reports more accessible for immediate use by the researcher or the evaluator.

Completed methods studies, Technical Methods Reports: