Building Capacity

CIRE systematically gathers and assesses evidence on policies, programs, and practices, and synthesizes the findings for clients' decision-making needs. CIRE provides workshops and forums on understanding evidence and using it to inform decision making.

Some examples of our work in the area of building capacity include:

"Supporting Policy and Program Decisions: Recommendations for Conducting High Quality Systematic Evidence Reviews." Issue Brief. Susan Zief and Roberto Agodini, October 2012. Systematic reviews are a useful tool for decision makers because they identify relevant studies about a policy or program of interest, and summarize the findings across the various studies. This brief from the Center for Improving Research Evidence provides recommendations for conducting high quality systematic reviews to support policy and program decisions.

"Compendium of Student, Teacher, and Classroom Measures Used in NCEE Evaluations of Educational Interventions." Research Reference Report. April 2010. This NCEE Reference Report is a ready resource to help evaluators and researchers select outcome measures for their future studies and also assist policymakers in understanding the measures used in existing IES studies. The two-volume Compendium provides comparative information about the domain, technical quality, and history of use of outcome measures used in IES-funded evaluations between 2005 and 2008. The Compendium is intended to facilitate the comparisons of results across studies, thus expanding an understanding of these measures within the educational research community. Focusing exclusively on studies that employed randomized controlled trials or regression discontinuity designs, the Compendium also used outcome measures that were available to other researchers and had information available about psychometric properties. For example, Volume I describes typical or common considerations when selecting measures and the approach used to collect and summarize information on the 94 measures reviewed. While Volume II provides detailed descriptions of these measures including source information and references.

Volume I: Measures Selection Approaches and Compendium Development Methods Kimberly Boller, Sally Atkins-Burnett, Elizabeth M. Malone, Gail P. Baxter, and Jerry West.

Volume II: Technical Details, Measure Profiles, and Glossary (Appendices A-G) Lizabeth M. Malone, Charlotte Cabili, Jamila Henderson, Andrea Mraz Esposito, Kathleen Coolahan, Juliette Henke, Subuhi Asheer, Meghan O'Toole, Sally Atkins-Burnett, and Kimberly Boller.

"Survey of Outcomes Measurement in Research on Character Education Programs." Research Reference Report. Ann E. Person, Emily Moiduddin, Megan Hague-Angus, and Lizabeth M. Malone, December 2009. Character education programs are school-based programs that have as one of their objectives promoting the character development of students. This report systematically examines the outcomes that were measured in evaluations of a delimited set of character education programs and the research tools used for measuring the targeted outcomes. The multifaceted nature of character development and many possible ways of conceptualizing it, the large and growing number of school-based programs to promote character development, and the relative newness of efforts to evaluate character education programs using rigorous research methods combine to make the selection or development of measures relevant to the evaluation of these programs especially challenging. This report is a step toward creating a resource that can inform measure selection for conducting rigorous, cost-effective studies of character education programs. The report, however, does not provide comprehensive information on all measures or types of measures, guidance on specific measures, or recommendations on specific measures.