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Technical Working Group Meeting Summaries
Teacher doing a lesson with her class

NCSER convenes technical working groups periodically. A technical working group is an ad hoc group of experts on a particular topic who work together on specific goals. These meetings are often meant to encourage stakeholders to discuss the state of research on a topic and/or to identify gaps in research.

IES Career and Technical Education Technical Working Group Summary
September 22, 2017

In September, 2017, the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) and the National Center for Education Research (NCER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) convened a group of researchers and practitioners in CTE to seek input on the key research questions that need to be addressed and strategies for promoting research in CTE. The discussion followed four major topics of inquiry: 1) Who is served by CTE and who is left behind? 2) What do we know—and need to know—about CTE policies, programs, and practices at the secondary and postsecondary levels? 3) What are the critical methodological issues in CTE? 4) What is needed to advance CTE research? This meeting summary covers the major points of discussion and the recommendations that were offered.

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Building Evidence: What Comes After an Efficacy Study?
October 14, 2016

In October, 2016, the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) and the National Center for Education Research (NCER) in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) convened a group of experts to gain insights and advice on how best to support the advancement of evidence beyond an efficacy study. The discussion followed five topics of inquiry: (1) What should effectiveness studies accomplish? What are the challenges of initiating and completing an effectiveness study? (2) What steps are needed to encourage more replication research? (3) How can we advance our understanding of causal mechanisms and the variability of impacts? (4) How can IES training programs support the advancement of evidence beyond efficacy? (5) What is the most important thing IES can do to support the advancement of evidence once we have established efficacy? Technical working group members made substantive suggestions about how to deepen and broaden the high-quality research supported by IES. This report summarizes the IES staff presentations and participant discussions.

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Future Directions for Writing Research at the Secondary Level
September 12, 2016

In September, 2016, the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) and the National Center for Education Research (NCER) of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) convened a group of experts to discuss and provide input on research needs in the area of middle and high school writing for students, including English learners (ELs) and those with or at risk for disabilities. The discussion focused on four topic areas: (1) argumentative writing, (2) support for struggling writers, (3) engaging adolescents in writing, and (4) assessment and feedback. Each session consisted of a brief review of the topic and introductory questions, presenter remarks, and general discussion. The meeting concluded with each expert identifying the most critical research need from his or her viewpoint. This report summarizes the key points and themes that emerged from the presenters' remarks and discussion.

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IES Mixed Methods in Education Research Technical Working Group Meeting Summary
May 29, 2015

In May 2015, the National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER) convened a technical working group (TWG) of experts on the use of mixed methods in educational research to provide recommendations to IES and the field on promoting high-quality mixed methods research. For the purpose of this meeting, mixed methods research was defined as the integration of qualitative and quantitative methods. The TWG comprised 10 education researchers with experience designing and conducting research using mixed methods and IES staff. This meeting summary covers the major points of discussion and the suggestions that were offered.

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Practitioner Perspectives on Emerging Research Needs and Improving Relevance in Education Research
March 3, 2014 – Capital Place, Washington, D.C.

In March 2014, The National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education, convened a Technical Working Group (TWG) of practitioners to provide input on research needs in education and how research could be more relevant and useful to the field. Fifteen expert practitioners in the field of education were invited to attend, including individuals working in state education and legislative offices, districts, and schools as well as non-profit organizations and postsecondary institutions. The TWG discussion focused on five broad sessions: (1) making research available through effective dissemination; (2) research needs for elementary, middle, and high school; (3) research needs for early intervention; (4) research needs for post-secondary/career readiness; and (5) researcher-practitioner collaborations. This meeting summary covers all sessions of the technical working group and includes both presentations and discussions among participants.

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Researcher Perspectives on Strengthening IES's Research Grant and Training Programs
October 16, 2014 – Capital Place, Washington, D.C.

In October 2014, The National Center for Education Research (NCER) and the National Center for Special Education Research (NCSER), in the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the U.S. Department of Education, convened a Technical Working Group (TWG). The purpose of this TWG meeting was to discuss critical education problems and issues on which high-quality research is needed, the development or adaptation of new methodological approaches for addressing these issues, the role of IES research training programs in preparing of the next generation of researchers, and ways to prioritize the use of limited funds to support credible research that impacts policy and practice. The TWG consisted of 17 experts in the field of education research who work in universities and research organizations. The TWG discussion focused on five broad sessions: (1) characteristics of influential research; (2) critical, unaddressed issues in education research; (3) advancing research methods; (4) improving IES's training programs; and (5) targeting resources. This meeting summary covers all sessions of the technical working group and includes both presentations and discussions among participants.

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