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 Pub Number  Title  Date
REL 2017214 Workshop on Survey Methods in Education Research: Facilitator's guide and resources
Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest has developed a tool for state and local education agencies to use to organize and conduct training for their staff members who design and conduct surveys. Surveys are often used by education agencies to collect data to assess needs, inform policy decisions, evaluate programs, or respond to legislative mandates. The workshop presentation materials draw from evidence-based research from the field of survey research methodology and offer guidance on designing and administering high-quality surveys. The materials provide practical advice and examples drawn from experiences in developing surveys for local, state, and national education applications. The workshop includes eight modules that describe the steps of survey design and administration—from planning to data collection—and covers the following topics: planning for a survey, exploring existing item sources, writing items, pretesting survey items, sampling, data collection methods, response rates, and focus groups. The facilitator's guidebook includes the goals for each module, considerations for adapting the materials for various purposes, an annotated agenda, and participant handouts (slide decks and accompanying notes, activities, and handouts). Individuals and groups who are developing surveys can use these materials to facilitate workshops, guide a survey project, or ensure that they are adhering to best practices for designing and conducting surveys. Although this guide is intended to help survey researchers in state and local education agencies organize and conduct a training for their staff, the materials also can be used as a stand-alone resource for anyone wishing to learn the basics about survey design and administration in education settings.
4/11/2017
REL 2017198 Home Language Survey Data Quality Self-Assessment
Most state departments of education across the U.S. require or recommend that districts use a home language survey as the first step in a multi-step process for identifying students who qualify for English learner student services. However, existing home language surveys may not reveal accurate information about students' language or students' exposure to English language and literacy and, therefore, can actually contribute to the misidentification of English learner students. In response to this challenge, Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands worked with state and district practitioners to develop the Home Language Survey Data Quality Self-Assessment Tool. This 15-minute self-assessment is designed for use by state leaders who coordinate programs to support students' English language acquisition and achievement in districts, as well as for district leaders who oversee the English learner student identification process in schools. The tool supports the collection of high-quality home language survey data by gathering information from district English learner student coordinators and prompts self-assessment of key practices that impact the quality of home language survey data. The report includes a guiding Data Quality Framework and presents the complete self-assessment tool along with description of how it was developed, how to adapt and administer the self-assessment, and how to engage stakeholders in analyzing and interpreting self-assessment results to identify opportunities for improvement. This engagement at both state and district levels will inform decisions that can contribute to the collection of more accurate data regarding English learner students.
2/28/2017
REL 2017221 The "I" in QRIS Survey: Collecting data on quality improvement activities for early childhood education programs
Working closely with the Early Childhood Education Research Alliance and Iowa’s Quality Rating System Oversight Committee, Regional Educational Laboratory Midwest developed a new tool—the "I" in QRIS Survey—to help states collect data on the improvement activities and strategies used by early childhood education (ECE) providers participating in a Quality Rating and Improvement System (QRIS). As national attention increasingly has focused on the potential for high-quality early childhood education and care to reduce school-readiness gaps, states developed QRIS to document the quality of ECE programs, support systematic quality improvement efforts, and provide clear information to families about their child care choices. An essential element of a QRIS is the support offered to ECE providers to assist them in improving their quality. Although all the Midwestern states offer support to ECE providers to improve quality as part of their QRIS, states do not collect information systematically about how programs use these quality improvement resources. This survey measures program-level participation in workshops and trainings, coaching, mentoring, activities aimed at increasing the educational attainment of ECE staff, and financial incentive to encourage providers to improve quality. States can use this tool to document the current landscape of improvement activities, to identify gaps or strengths in quality improvement services offered across the state, and to identify promising improvement strategies. The survey is intended for use by state education agencies and researchers interested in the "I" in QRIS and can be adapted for their specific state context.
2/28/2017
REL 2017219 Rubric for evaluating reading/language arts instructional materials for kindergarten to grade 5
This rubric was developed in response to a request by Improving Literacy Research Alliance members at the Florida Department of Education to be used in their instructional materials review process. It is a tool for evaluating reading/language arts instructional and intervention materials in grades K–5 based on rigorous research and standards. It can be used by practitioners at the state, district, or school level or by university faculty involved in reviewing instructional materials. The rubric is organized by content area for grades K–2 and for grades 3–5. Each item is aligned to recommendations from six What Works Clearinghouse practice guides. Each content area (for example, writing) includes a list of criteria that describe what should be consistently found within the instructional materials. Reviewers use a 1–5 scale to rate the degree to which the criteria were met. The rubric includes a guide for when and how to use it, including facilitator responsibilities, professional learning for reviewers, and ways to use the scores. Alliance members and reading coaches involved in a statewide literacy initiative in Mississippi provided feedback on the rubric.
1/11/2017
REL 2017166 Guide to using the Teacher Data Use Survey
The purpose of the Teacher Data Use Survey is to provide district and school leaders with a survey instrument that will enable to learn more about teachers' use of data, teachers' attitudes toward data, and teachers' perception of supports for using data. The survey was developed by a panel of five experts in data use and was pilot tested in a large urban district. There are three versions of the survey: one for teachers, one for administrators (e.g., principals), and one for instructional support staff (e.g., instructional coaches). Each version asks about teacher data use, thus offering a triangulated picture of teacher data use in a school or district. Survey scale reliabilities (Cronbach's alpha) were all greater than 0.80 and most were greater than 0.90. The Teacher Data Use Survey can thus offer school and district leaders a research-supported evidence base from which to plan ongoing support for teacher data use such as professional development, computer systems, and collaboration.
10/5/2016
REL 2016153 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 4: Engaging all in data conversations
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 4 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to help school staff understand what data is important to share with families and community members and how to share such data. Part 4 is divided into two sections: determining what student data are important to share with families and community members and presenting student data in meaningful ways. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with school staff. The activities in Part 4 help staff simplify data language, investigate data available to them, identify data to share with families, and learn strategies for sharing data with parents and community members.
9/20/2016
REL 2016152 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 3: Building trusting relationships with families and the community through effective communication
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 3 of the toolkit focuses on cross-cultural and two-way communication as a strategy for enhancing family and community engagement. Part 3 is divided into two sections: cross-cultural communication in a school community and preparing staff for two-way communication with families. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with school staff. Part 3 includes a tool that assists educators in examining their current use of cross-cultural communication and in planning improvements. Other Part 3 activities guide educators in discussions about effective communication strategies and ideas for listening to parents.
9/20/2016
REL 2016151 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 2: Building a cultural bridge
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students’ ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 2 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to utilize the strengths of families and community members, and to help families establish active roles within the school community in support of student learning. Part 2 is divided into two sections: tapping into the strengths of families and communities and establishing roles for building family and community engagement. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and activities that can be used with family and community members. The activities emphasize a strengths-based approach and are designed to help school staff and family members establish positive roles within a partnership working toward co-constructed goals for student success.
9/20/2016
REL 2016148 Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and the Community as Partners in Education Part 1: Building an understanding of family and community engagement
The Toolkit of Resources for Engaging Families and Community as Partners in Education provides resources for school staff to build relationships with families and community members and to support family well-being, strong parent-child relationships, and students' ongoing learning and development. Originally developed for the Guam Alliance for Family and Community Engagement in Education, the Toolkit is based on information from a variety of sources that address engagement in diverse communities. Part 1 of the toolkit provides tools and activities to build awareness among educators about how their beliefs and assumptions influence their interactions with families. The activities also address how demographic characteristics of the families can provide information to educators about what might support or hinder family engagement with schools. Part 1 is divided into four sections: reflecting on beliefs and assumptions, getting to know your families, understanding the influence of cultural lenses, and acknowledging cultural differences. Each section includes an introduction, summary of key points and related research, and a series of activities that can be used with school staff and community members. The activities are designed to guide discussions about the influence of culture on individual beliefs, assumptions, and efforts to engage others in support of student learning.
9/20/2016
REL 2016162 How to use the School Survey of Practices Associated with High Performance
Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest, in partnership with its School Turnaround Research Alliance, developed a survey that state education departments and school districts can use to measure the degree to which schools are engaging in practices associated with high performance. An extensive literature review was conducted to determine key domains of practices and policies (for example, effective leadership, curriculum, professional development, positive school culture, data practices) in which high-performing schools engage, and a search was conducted to assess existing surveys that measured similar key dimensions and supporting constructs. The psychometric validation of the survey was completed using classical test theory and item response theory analyses. The guide includes information regarding ways that principals and educators can use the survey, as well as the development of the survey and its psychometric validation. Educators can utilize the survey to identify and describe practices associated with high performance, compare practices across subgroups of schools, target schools for specific interventions, and design interventions to improve school performance.
9/8/2016
REL 2016169 A guide to developing and evaluating a college readiness screener
This guide describes core ideas for colleges to consider when developing a screening tool for estimating college readiness. A key focal point within the guide is a discussion of ways to improve how well a screening tool can identify individuals needing remedial or developmental education along with key considerations that a user or developer of such a tool must address. Specifically, the following steps are discussed:
1.Creating an operational definition of success and college readiness
2.Selecting potential predictors of college readiness
3.Prioritizing types of classification error
4.Collecting and organizing the necessary data
5.Developing predictive models
6.Evaluating the screening results and selecting the final model
9/7/2016
REL 2016144 Measurement instruments for assessing the performance of professional learning communities
This annotated bibliography is a compilation of valid and reliable measures of key performance indicators of teacher professional learning communities (PLCs). The research team employed a rigorous process of searching and screening the scientific literature and other sources for relevant qualitative and quantitative instruments, followed by a careful review and evaluation of each instrument against established standards of measurement quality, such as reliability and validity, as well as the instrument’s ability to detect a variable’s change over time. This resource, which is organized according to key elements of a PLC logic model (i.e., a model that describes how PLCs are expected to operate to achieve their goals), is intended for researchers, practitioners, and education professionals who seek to engage in evidence-based planning, implementation, and evaluation of teacher PLCs. The PLC-related measurement instruments identified in this project include 31 quantitative and 18 qualitative instruments that assess a range of teacher/principal-, team-, and student-level variables.
8/31/2016
REL 2016165 Guide to the Competency-based Learning Survey for Students
Many states are beginning to move away from policies that base student advancement on credits and "seat time" toward competency-based learning policies that provide schools with the flexibility to link advancement to a student's mastery of content. As schools and districts implement these changes, information about students' exposure to and understanding of competency-based learning policies and practices can help identify areas of improvement for implementation and communication with students. However, few tools exist for systematically collecting this information. In response to this need, the Regional Educational Laboratory Northeast and Islands worked with practitioners and researchers to develop a new survey—the Competency-Based Learning Survey for Students. Designed to be administered to students attending high schools in which competency-based learning is being implemented, the survey collects information regarding students' beliefs about, understanding of, and exposure to key elements of competency-based learning. This report describes (1) why the survey was developed, (2) elements of competency-based learning addressed by the survey, (3) how to adapt and administer the survey, and (4) how to analyze the results. The report includes the complete survey instrument.
8/24/2016
REL 2016129 Self-study Guide for Implementing Early Literacy Interventions
The Self-study Guide for Implementing Early Literacy Interventions is a tool to help district and school-based practitioners conduct self-studies for planning and implementing early literacy interventions for kindergarten, grade1 and grade 2 students. This guide is designed to promote reflection about current strengths and challenges in planning for implementation of early literacy interventions, spark conversations among staff, and identify areas for improvement. This self-study guide provides a template for data collection and guiding questions for discussion.
4/5/2016
REL 2016108 An educator's guide to questionnaire development
Educators have many decisions to make and it’s important that they have the right data to inform those decisions and access to questionnaires that can gather that data. This guide, developed by REL Central and based on work done through separate projects with the Wyoming Office of Public Instruction and the Nebraska Department of Education, provides educators with a process for developing questionnaires. Principals, superintendents, state-level personnel, or other school or district personnel can use this guide when they need to make a decision about an education policy or practice but (1) lack the information needed to make that decision and (2) lack a preexisting questionnaire that can be used to gather the information. This guide can help these educators collect information about attitudes, perceptions, or factual information to inform their decisions.
1/7/2016
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