U.S. Department of Education offers a new tool to help schools measure ed tech results

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A new tool from the U.S. Department of Education will help school districts rapidly measure the results of education technology.The Ed Tech Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach was announced last week at the Blended and Online Learning Symposium in San Antonio, Texas. It’s still in the early stages, so those interested in using the tool must apply to be part of the inaugural group.

Technology vendors tend to make grandiose claims about the usefulness of their programs. But there’s precious little research, aside from marketing materials and vendors’ “studies” of their own programs. Independent, high-quality methods commonly used to study educational programs tend to move slowly. In technology that can be a problem, because technology changes so rapidly – by the time the study is complete the program has likely reinvented itself. Check for Educational Evaluations in US at UT Evaluators

Teachers and schools aren’t waiting for gold-standard research before they begin test-driving new tools in the classroom. As a result, teachers find themselves using programs and products without any clear method for evaluating whether or not they will work.

“Districts and states are spending millions of dollars buying educational apps [technology applications, tools and platforms], many of which have minimal evidence supporting their effectiveness,” Katrina Stevens, deputy director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology, wrote last week. “Additionally, once a purchase is made, there is often no systematic process for reviewing the effectiveness of ed tech tools before renewing contracts, which collectively can run into the millions of dollars.”

The Department’s new program will guide school leaders and teachers through the steps they should take before buying education technology. The “RCE Coach” will help schools define goals, create effective pilot programs, gather evidence and measure results. The research tool is being created with help from SRI International and Mathematica, two well-known (and highly regarded) research groups. The tool will not provide the same results as working closely with a traditional researcher, but it will allow schools to measure if technology is helping them meet whatever goal school leaders have set for themselves.

It will be available to schools in January. In the meantime, the department of education needs help from district- and school-level administrators who are willing to try the program. They are accepting applications from schools. It’s free. Educational Evaluations in US visit here

“The goal is to fundamentally change the procurement and implementation process to include a continuous cycle of evidence-based decision making and to help states and districts spend millions of dollars more effectively,” Stevens wrote.

What Is The Concept Of Evaluation

In every walk of life the process of evaluation takes place in one or the other form. If the evaluation process is eliminated from human life then perhaps the aim of life may be lost. It is only through evaluation that one can discriminate between good and bad. The whole cycle of social development revolves around the evaluation process.

In education how much a child has succeeded in his aims, can only be determined through evaluation. Thus there is a close relationship between evaluation and aims.Education is considered as an investment in human beings in terms of development of human resources, skills, motivation, knowledge and the like. Evaluation helps to build an educational programme, assess its achievements and improve upon its effectiveness. Check for Educational Evaluations in US at UT Evaluators

It serves as an in-built monitor within the programme to review the progress in learning from time to time. It also provides valuable feedback on the design and the implementation of the programme. Thus, evaluation plays a significant role in any educational programme.Evaluation plays an enormous role in the teaching-learning process. It helps teachers and learners to improve teaching and learning. Evaluation is a continuous process and a periodic exercise.

It helps in forming the values of judgement, educational status, or achievement of student. Evaluation in one form or the other is inevitable in teaching-learning, as in all fields of activity of education judgements need to be made.In learning, it contributes to formulation of objectives, designing of learning experiences and assessment of learner performance. Besides this, it is very useful to bring improvement in teaching and curriculum. It provides accountability to the society, parents, and to the education system.

Let us discuss its uses briefly:

(i) Teaching:

Evaluation is concerned with assessing the effectiveness of teaching, teaching strategies, methods and techniques. It provides feedback to the teachers about their teaching and the learners about their learning.

(ii) Curriculum:

The improvement in courses/curricula, texts and teaching materials is brought about with the help of evaluation.

(iii) Society:

Evaluation provides accountability to society in terms of the demands and requirements of the employment market.

(iv) Parents:

Evaluation mainly manifests itself in a perceived need for regular reporting to parents.In brief, evaluation is a very important requirement for the education system. It fulfills various purposes in systems of education like quality control in education, selection/entrance to a higher grade or tertiary level. For Educational Evaluations in US visit here

It also helps one to take decisions about success in specific future activities and provides guidance to further studies and occupation. Some of the educationists view evaluation virtually synonymous with that of learner appraisal, but evaluation has an expanded role.It plays an effective role in questioning or challenging the objectives.

What Is The Evaluation for The Operational Objectives Of Educational Evaluation

It is possible to identify some “operational objectives” or uses of educational evaluation, in addition to the general aims of educational evaluation. Check for Educational Evaluations in US at UT Evaluators

The following objectives are linked to the implementation and practice of educational evaluation and, to the uses of its outcomes at different moments of the process. The following list is certainly not exhaustive. Educational evaluation has a lot of potential and uses, but among others, the following:

1  To plan better

Educational evaluation can help to change things and to plan “different things”, but it can also help us to plan things better, in order to prevent negative consequences and to compensate for possible shortcomings.

2  To take stock of achievements

It is important to recognise, name and give value to the achievements of the educational process so that they do not get lost or not sufficiently used.

3  To consolidate results

Identified results can be consolidated by making them explicit at the end of the evaluation process. The description, sharing and further use of results are natural follow-up steps of educational evaluation.

4  To check if we met the interests of the funding institutions

When funding institutions support a certain educational project, they do it according to certain criteria: the nature of the project, its objectives, their priorities. Funding institutions usually ask to receive a descriptive and evaluative report at the end of the project. Even so, educational evaluation plans and criteria should not be limited to the expectations of the organisations that fund the project. But, it is important to consider and include them. Usually this is not a difficult exercise: in most cases the questions they would like to answer through evaluation would be part of our evaluation anyway. For Educational Evaluations in US visit here

5  To reinforce co-operation with partners

If partners are involved in the educational project, they will be involved in its evaluation. A constructive and participative evaluation will naturally reinforce co-operation.But, even if your partners are not directly involved, the results of the evaluation can be ofinterest to them. You might share new ideas for common projects, other fields of common interest and ways of co-operating, new partners and networks with them.