Research & Evaluation

Evidence empowers educators to drive positive change. Over the decades, McREL has successfully executed thousands of grants and contracts for research and evaluation work on topics including enhancing teachers’ use of formative assessment, increasing STEM workforce readiness, and expanding social equity and awareness.

Our designs and methods highlight the importance of studying interventions. With a broad range of quantitative and qualitative methods at our disposal, including many that can be accomplished remotely, we can help stakeholders document what’s at stake, what works, and how successful (or not) an intervention has been.

Contact Us

by phone
800.858.6830
by email
info@mcrel.org

by web form

McREL helped our team identify the most critical behaviors for teaching inquiry.

Western Kentucky University

McREL made our processes organized and efficient with great data analysis and assistance to our stakeholders.

Wyoming Department of Education

McREL helped us narrow and focus our questions so we would get to what we most needed to know.

Science4Us

Your Investigative Journey

Our collaborative, partnership-style approach ensures support at every stage—from co-authoring proposals and evaluation plans, to securing funding, collecting data, and reporting outcomes. We can also refine methods and processes at any point along your investigative journey to maintain integrity and viability and ensure accurate and useful reporting. We’ll give you contextually relevant recommendations and practitioner-friendly reports that you can use to develop, modify, and sustain your efforts.

Our researchers and evaluators can prepare studies, reports, and technical briefs, as well as provide technical assistance and consulting on logic models and theories of action; impact research; large-scale studies of federal and state programs; research syntheses and meta-analyses; causal-comparative studies; quasi-experimental studies; rigorous, randomized control trials; and case studies.

McREL can support and strengthen your research and evaluation efforts at any stage along your investigative journey.

OPPORTUNITIES


  • School improvement initiatives
  • Securing funding sources
  • Application design
  • Interventions
  • School climate improvement
  • Teacher preparation program review
  • Curriculum planning, review, audit, and alignment
  • Classroom evaluation and assessment
  • Teaching and instruction improvement
  • 1-1 device initiatives
  • Impact research

APPROACHES


  • Developing clear theories of action
  • Proposal and grant writing and review
  • Needs assessments
  • Literature reviews
  • Iterative improvement cycles (improvement science; design-based research)
  • External third-party audits, evaluations, and reviews
  • Case studies and descriptive studies
  • Meta-analysis and research synthesis
  • Experimental and quasi-experimental designs
  • Process and implementation studies

PATHWAYS


  • Instrument development and validation
  • Data collection: paper-based and/or electronic surveys; assessments; conversations (interviews or focus groups); observations; extant document reviews
  • Secure, private data handling
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and mapping

OUTCOMES


  • Comprehensive, practitioner-friendly reports
  • Analyses aligned to questions and data: traditional and cutting-edge quantitative and/or qualitative analyses
  • Actionable recommendations and valid conclusions
  • Success stories
  • Expertise in federal reporting requirements

Consulting Services

Group of educators

Making Sense of Data

Using data effectively is at the heart of continuous school improvement, and our experts can help your school or district become more systematic about your approach. Our consultants deliver training on using a four-step data-driven decision-making process and fostering a data-driven school culture. Our evaluators provide services and training to help you and your staff collect and analyze data more effectively and develop and implement program logic models and performance indicators and measures.

READ SUCCESS STORY

Monitoring Improvement Efforts

When schools begin new initiatives, they often don’t see the immediate benefits of their work. We’ll show you how to monitor and adjust the implementation of an initiative, including how to use the right tools, measure effectiveness, and make adjustments to increase effectiveness.

Support for ESSA Improvement Initiatives

Current U.S. education law, known as ESSA (the Every Student Succeeds Act), states that K–12 schools and districts across the U.S. should use “evidence-based” activities, strategies, and interventions. We can help your school or organization through every step of the U.S. Department of Education’s recommended 5-step process for improvement initiatives: 1) identifying local needs; 2) selecting relevant, evidence-based interventions; 3) planning for implementation; 4) implementation; and 5) examining and reflecting on outcomes.

Grant Proposals

McREL delivers affordable, high quality, and timely research and evaluation services for school improvement initiatives, ed-tech efficacy studies, and other grant-funded projects. Our collaborative, partnership-style approach ensures support at every stage—from coauthoring proposals and evaluation plans, to securing funding, collecting data, and reporting outcomes.

If you are interested in talking with a member of our Research, Evaluation, and Technical Assistance team about a potential partnership on a grant application or other research and evaluation project, contact us today.

Research Studies

Our research and evaluation team centers its efforts on your needs and questions. Our collaborative approach ensures support at every stage—from co-authoring proposals and evaluation plans, to securing funding, collecting data, and reporting outcomes. We’ll give you contextually relevant recommendations and practitioner-friendly reports that you can use to develop, modify, and sustain your efforts. We can also refine methods and processes at any point along your investigative journey to maintain integrity and viability and ensure accurate and useful reporting.

Third-Party Evaluations

Are you looking for an independent, third-party evaluator for your federal or institutional grant? We’ll help you determine appropriate, measurable goals and identify data-collection frameworks and strategies, analyses, and reporting that measure progress and ensure accurate and useful reporting.