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Catalyzing innovative research on equitable digital learning at scale

SEERNet’s Transformative Model of Research will begin with learning platforms that already have 100,000 or more students and will begin on day one with scale and generalizability at the forefront. We’re not waiting to figure out how to scale, we’re bringing research to the world-class platforms which students already use today. By continually pressing to address issues of equity, ethics, and efficacy at every stage of the research, we will enable rapid research that is responsive to student needs.


NCES Launches second automated scoring challenge

The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), which administers the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP), also known as The Nation’s Report Card, has launched its second automated scoring challenge. This data challenge invites researchers and assessment practitioners to develop algorithms that predict the human-assigned scores on open-ended items for NAEP mathematics assessment for students in fourth and eighth grades.


Guides & Reports

Practitioners at the Center: Catalyzing Research on Problems of Practice in Realistic Settings

Within SEERNet, we believe that practitioners need to play a central role in the research process, echoing the National Academies call that “research needs to begin in the field.” Since publishing Practitioners at the Center: Catalyzing Research on Problems of Practice in Realistic Settings, we’ve continued to think about how we will engage with practitioners, with an explicit focus on equity. We recognize that partnerships between practitioners and researchers often arise from particular kinds of districts, and there are some districts that are approached by researchers more often than others. As we’ve considered how to ensure that partnerships are not perpetuating some of the equity issues we see in the research field and instead are broadening participation within the education community, we’ve looked to Chicago Beyond’s guidebook, Why am I Always Being Researched? The guidebook’s premise resonates deeply with us and is aligned to the SEER standards: if evidence matters, we must care how it gets made. They outline seven inequities held in place by power, and seven opportunities for change. There is detailed advice for before, during, and after the study, customized for community organizations, researchers, and funders.


Reflections on Researcher-Practitioner Co-design of SEERNet Research Questions

One of SEERNet’s aims is to enable alignment of research on digital learning platforms to practitioner needs. Office Hours: A Conversational Series was SEERNet’s first initiative to convene practitioners and researchers in identifying problems of practice relevant to digital learning platforms (DLPs) and co-designing research questions. Participants discussed their experiences, goals, challenges, and vision related to DLP use. The conversations were synthesized and feedback from the participants led to refined research questions. In addition, we asked the participants to reflect on the value of the Office Hours process.

What We’re Reading

The Future of Education Research at IES: Advancing an Equity-Oriented Science

In 2002 Congress passed the Education Sciences Reform Act of 2002 (ESRA), authorizing the creation of the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) as the research, evaluation, statistics, and assessment arm of the Department of Education, and crystallizing the federal government’s commitment to providing national leadership in expanding fundamental knowledge and understanding of education from early childhood through postsecondary study. IES shares information on the condition and progress of education in the United States, including early childhood education and special education; educational practices that support learning and improve academic achievement and access to educational opportunities for all students; and the effectiveness of federal and other education programs. In response to a request from the Institute of Education Sciences, this report provides guidance on the future of education research at the National Center for Education Research and the National Center for Special Education Research, two centers directed by IES. This report identifies critical problems and issues, new methods and approaches, and new and different kinds of research training investments.