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Assessing the Implementation of the Iowa Learning and Technology Networked Improvement Community: An Applied Research Methods report




Description: The purpose of the proposed project is to evaluate the Iowa Learning and Technology Networked Improvement Community (Iowa NIC) and share, through an applied research methods report, a methodology for evaluating the implementation of networked improvement communities (NICs). The first part of this two-part project is a formative evaluation that will assess the functioning of the NIC. The second part of the proposed project is an applied research methods report that describes a methodology for conducting a formative evaluation of the implementation of NICs. Because the evaluation addresses research questions that are applicable to a general model of NICs, they will frame the approach to evaluating the implementation of NICs that will be the focus of the applied research methods report. An appendix to the report will include the findings from the evaluation of the Iowa NIC, which would serve as an example of how the research methods will be applied in practice.

Research Questions: In what respects and to what extent:

  1. Are NIC members engaged with NIC activities?
  2. Are NIC members perceiving NIC activities to be relevant and useful?
  3. Are NIC members completing Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles as planned and intended? What challenges are associated with completing PDSA cycles?
  4. Are NIC members coordinating their improvement efforts? What challenges are associated with coordinating improvement efforts?
  5. Are NIC members adopting the instructional technology practices targeted by the interventions tested in the PDSA cycles?

Study Design: This report will describe the methodology that will be developed through an evaluation of the Iowa NIC. The evaluation will use five data sources collected during the 2018/19 school year: NIC participation data, postmeeting surveys of participants in NIC meetings, classroom logs of instructional technology practices, post-PDSA cycle surveys, and artifacts of NIC outputs. Participation data and postmeeting surveys will be collected and analyzed four times throughout the school year in conjunction with each whole-group NIC meeting. Classroom logs of instructional technology practices will be collected in two three-week periods, one in the winter and one in the spring. Artifacts of NIC outputs and post-PDSA cycle surveys will be collected at two points during the year, corresponding to the completion of the two planned PDSA cycles. These data sources address a set of indicators that describe observable characteristics of NIC outputs and NIC implementation, such as participation, engagement, collaboration, completion of PDSA cycle milestones, and adopting practices tested in PDSA cycles.

Projected Release Date: Summer 2020

Partnership or Research Alliance: Iowa Learning and Technology Networked Improvement Community

Related Products: Applied Research Methods report

Principal Investigators & Affiliation:

Jonathan Margolin, PhD, American Institutes for Research
Amy Feygin, PhD, American Institutes for Research