College of Education, Health and Human Sciences Center for Research in Educational Policy
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Educational Technology Research and Evaluation CenterEducational Technology Research and Evaluation Center

Technology is increasingly used in education to facilitate the acquisition of a variety of student skills, as well as a resource for content area instruction. CREP has evaluated a broad range of educational technology-related initiatives including the integration of laptops and computers into classrooms, new approaches to instructional design, and the use of technology as a learning tool and instructional delivery mechanism.

Although the nature of the project, as well as stakeholder needs, shapes the evaluation methodology, CREP has developed the Formative Evaluation Process for School Improvement-Technology Package (FEPSI-TP) that many schools have utilized. The FEPSI-TP includes seven components: direct classroom observations, surveys, student performance assessments, interviews, focus groups, school-developed technology benchmarks, and student achievement analysis. The FEPSI-TP instrumentation is directly aligned to national technology and curriculum standards, subjected to reliability and psychometric validation, and employed in a growing number of peer-reviewed, published studies. In recent years, FEPSI-TP instruments were used in over 2500 schools across the nation.

The staff of CREP has extensive evaluation experience across a broad spectrum of initiatives, ranging from school, district and state level programs.

Selected recent educational technology projects

Tennessee EdTech Launch (TnETL)

In response to the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) legislation, Tennessee implemented the TnETL model, which was designed to prepare "home-grown" Technology Coaches to plan and implement comprehensive, school-based professional development programs for teachers in their own schools. The overall purpose of TnETL was to integrate the use of technology as a tool into curriculum and instruction to prepare students to meet state academic standards. CREP conducted a mixed-method evaluation over three years in which two cohorts of treatment and control schools were studied. Over this period more than 5,000 classrooms were observed across Tennessee. Program effectiveness was measured using the Formative Evaluation Process for School Improvement: Technology Package (FEPSI/TP) developed by the Center for Research in Educational Policy. Link to report.

Michigan Freedom to Learn (FTL)

The major goal of the FTL program was to improve student learning and achievement in Michigan schools through the integration of 21st Century technology tools into K-12 classrooms. The primary intervention of the program consisted of providing laptop computers for students in participating schools. In addition, FTL teachers, Lead Teachers, and administrators were provided with extensive professional development opportunities. CREP employed a mixed-methods approach in order to examine the processes and products that resulted from students using laptops to improve learning. Validated survey and observation instruments, student performance-based assessments, and student Michigan Educational Assessment Program (MEAP) scores served as the data sources in the comprehensive evaluation. Link to report.

Walled Lake Anytime Anywhere Laptop Program

The Walled Lake Consolidated Schools (WLCS) laptop program was based on the Anytime, Anywhere Learning (AAL) program, which had been in schools since 1996. The goal of the AAL program is to provide students the knowledge, skills and tools to learn anytime and anywhere. CREP's evaluation design was based on both quantitative and qualitative data collected from students and teachers involved either with the laptop program or in classrooms using mobile laptop carts from which each student was provided a laptop computer. Comparative analyses were completed for teaching activities and learning outcomes, and descriptive analyses were completed for student and teacher reactions to the laptop program (laptop) or using mobile laptop carts (cart). Data collection included classroom observations, surveys, CREP-designed student assessments and achievement scores. Link to report.

Florida's Enhancing Education Through Technology (Florida EETT)

This report summarizes the 2006-2007 classroom practices evaluation results of the Florida EETT program. The overall purpose of the evaluation was twofold: (a) to provide evidence of EETT program implementation progress as demonstrated through classroom practices; and (b) to provide formative evaluation data of classroom practices as a basis for guiding improvement planning. The research methodology involved the use of trained external researchers from Florida EETT schools conducting multi-class and targeted classroom observations in each participating school during two time periods: baseline (fall 2006) and end of year one (spring 2007). A total of 381 hours of direct classroom observations were conducted in 845 FL EETT classrooms in 41 schools representing 11 districts. Observation data were collected with the School Observation Measure (SOM©) and the Observation of Computer Use (OCU©). The SOM was used to collect data regarding overall classroom activities and the OCU was used to assess student use of computers. Both descriptive and inferential analyses were conducted. Link to Report.

West Orange (TX) STARK

CREP conducted a multi-year examination of the Students and Teachers Accessing Real-time Knowledge (STARK) Program in the West Orange Consolidated Independent School District (CSID). The overall purpose of the evaluation was twofold: (a) to provide formative evaluation data to the participant schools to serve as a basis for improvement planning and as documentation of their accomplishments to demonstrate progress; and (b) to provide cumulative evidence of the implementation progress and outcomes of the participant schools as well as identification of exemplary programs. The evaluation concentrated on the progress of the 10 schools in achieving STARK Program goals and raising student achievement. CREP utilized the Formative Evaluation Process for School Improvement: Technology Package while conducting a mixed-methods evaluation. This included both classroom observations and teacher surveys. Link to report.

Center for Research in Educational Policy (CREP)
325 Browning Hall
Memphis, TN 38152-3340
Office: (901) 678-2310
Toll free: 1-866-670-6147
Fax: (901) 678-4257

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Last Updated: 2/6/12