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IES Grant

Title: A Child Trends Pilot Study to Develop a Strategic Approach for the Effective Communication of IES Research
Center: NCSER Year: 2021
Principal Investigator: Torres, Alicia Awardee: Child Trends
Program: Unsolicited and Other Awards: Special Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 1 year (01/20/2021-01/19/2022) Award Amount: $488,662.00
Type: Other Goal Award Number: R324U210001

This project is jointly funded by the National Center for Special Education Research and the National Center for Education Research.

Purpose The purpose of this project is to develop and pilot a research-based approach for the strategic communication of IES research to parents and teachers. As part of its mission, IES is charged with making the results of its funded research accessible to stakeholders, including educators and parents. This team will address this mission by developing videos that explain results of IES-funded research for a teacher and/or parent audience. In addition, they will disseminate the videos through local TV news, social media, and trusted intermediaries such as teacher associations and parent-serving organizations. They will also gather feedback from parents and teachers on the usefulness of this video messaging. To inform the strategy needed to successfully communicate IES research to this target audience, the team will also survey parents and teachers about when and how they access research as well as what information would be helpful to them to better support their children and students. The team will provide IES with results that can inform its research dissemination strategies, with the aim of increasing teacher and parent knowledge and value of IES research and, ultimately, increasing the adoption of evidence-based practices.

Project Activities The project team will conduct this work in three phases:

  1. Development of news videos based on IES-funded research. The research team will leverage the Child Trends News Service (CTNS) project, which currently reaches tens of millions of people across the country through local TV news. In partnership with IES, Child Trends and Ivanhoe Broadcast News (IBN) will choose 24 IES research studies for local TV news reports. IBN will produce 60-second reports based on these studies and disseminate them to TV stations across the country. Reports will be produced in English and in Spanish. Of the 24 selected studies, 12 will also be produced in long-form (90 second) reports that will include soundbites from interviews IBN conducts with the principal investigators from the IES studies.
  2. Assessment of video messaging. To design messages that address parents' and teachers' educational needs, the project team will conduct focus groups to examine how parents and teachers interact with the videos, the utility of the content, and what else these audiences might need to help them apply the research-based information to support children's education. This research will provide guidance for future video productions as well as changes on viewer attitudes, knowledge, and behaviors associated with the videos.
  3. Survey of parents and teachers. The research team will conduct surveys of representative samples of general education and special education teachers and parents to help inform the strategy needed to successfully communicate IES research to this target audience. Specifically, they will explore teachers' and parents' primary sources of information related to education as well as identify their key interests and informational needs.

Products Products from this project will include 24 short videos produced in English and Spanish and 12 long videos (English) that include soundbites from IES researchers. The team will also produce a final report that includes a summary of research findings; suggestions for a comprehensive, strategic approach to communicating IES research through videos; and recommendations for IES to consider in their communication planning and future dissemination efforts.