Developing and Implementing Evaluations for Digital Learning Initiatives

This workshop series will help digital learning and other district-level program staff develop evaluation techniques and processes for reviewing a variety of curriculum-based initiatives. The sessions provide participants with an overview of a comprehensive and rigorous process for program evaluation.

Clear assessments are essential when implementing any new initiative. Measuring progress toward instructional goals requires well-defined, measurable outcomes and a set of data collection instrument specifically calibrated to the intervention. Over the course of the three sessions, the following basic questions will be explored and addressed:

  • How can district leaders identify, develop, and implement true data-based decision-making around digital and blended learning initiatives?
  • What data collection tools and techniques are effective in gathering meaningful data on digital and blended learning initiatives?
  • How can program evaluation drive strategic planning work and decisions?
  • To what extent can the overviewed evaluation techniques be used in programs other than digital learning?

This workshop series will assist district decision-makers in tackling these questions and will provide an overview of both the tools and a process framework to conduct personalized assessments of district digital learning initiatives. The evaluation framework and tools presented in this workshop have been successfully deployed by the presenter in a number of states (e.g., MassCUE Evaluators in Massachusetts, LEAD-IT in Vermont, and the Pioneer Project in Alabama) and many individual districts. All of these tools – surveys, interview questions, observation protocol, focus group questions -- are licensed as open source materials and may be used according to the presenter’s Creative Commons license. Participants will learn how to how to modify and adjust the tools via a rigorous program evaluation framework that emphasizes clear and comprehensive indicators of success.

Over the course of the three sessions participants will explore various aspects of the evaluation process such as:

  • Background research and indicator development
  • Survey and data collection tool design
  • Data collection procedures
  • Creating findings and recommendations

In short, this workshop series will focus on developing in-district capacity to conduct rigorous, formative, examinations of the degree to which digital learning initiatives are meeting instructional goals. By learning how to “think like an evaluator”, participants can assess current programs against benchmarks and design new projects that focus on clear and measurable outcomes.