Pub. October 2023
By Stefani Pautz Stephenson, Deblina Pakhira
SEERNet, a network of Digital Learning Platforms, researchers, and practitioners with the vision to leverage DLPs as research infrastructure, is committed to valuing practitioners’ insights and fostering a culture of collaboration among all three parties. Towards this end, SEERNet has implemented two strategies: Office Hours and a practitioner advisory board. Through these strategies, valuable lessons have emerged about recruitment strategies, challenges and complexities of the classroom, educators as content and context experts, the difference between buy-in and ownership, considerations for experimental research, and more. We hope that researchers will take into consideration what we learned from our experiences as they design and implement their own studies, and regardless of whether or not the DLP requires researchers to directly engage with educators in data collection, we hope that researchers will see the value of practitioners’ lived experiences and engage them in feedback loops from design to implementation to dissemination.
Pub. September 2023
By Stefani Pautz Stephenson, Jeremy Roschelle
Abstract: SEERNet is a network of Digital Learning Platforms, researchers, and practitioners with the vision to leverage DLPs as research infrastructure, enabling researchers to ask and answer important questions about learning in ways that are grounded in realistic, widespread use of learning technologies. A first wave of work established the foundation for the research community. The network looks now towards a second wave of work that clarifies research opportunities and builds capacity for the types of research that can be supported. A third wave seeks to expand the network’s efforts towards broader aspirations for better science, engineering, practitioner engagement, and community.
Pub. December 2022
By Stefani Pautz Stephenson, Rebecca Banks, Deblina Pakhira
Abstract: SEERNet’s goal is to enable alignment of research on digital learning platforms to the Institute of Education Sciences’ Standards for Excellence in Education Research (SEER) and thereby make research more rigorous, transparent, actionable, inclusive, and focused on consequential impacts. While researchers have long aspired to study problems of value to the field, the conception of research questions rarely is in partnership with practitioners. Without voices from the field, researchers do not have the deep understanding of educator, student, and system needs that are essential for ensuring research will impact decision-making. This paper will discuss a national call for involving practitioners in research question design, strategies for partnerships with practitioners, and SEERNet’s guiding principles for practitioner engagement. It will also introduce how needs and research question ideas were developed through SEERNet’s Office Hours.
Pub. October 2022
By Deblina Pakhira and Judi Fusco
Abstract: SEERNet, a hub of five digital learning platforms (DLPs), either in K-12 or higher education, are enabling researchers with capabilities to conduct research and collect data on large numbers of students. Based on the new Standard for Excellence in Education Research (SEER Standards) around Equity, we propose that researchers should consider future-oriented approaches and methodologies to conduct equity-relevant research using DLPs. Taking a future-oriented approach, we created scenarios and personas to help us envision an equitable and inclusive future. Scenarios and personas are tools that may help center equity in research. We make three additional recommendations to bring new perspectives into future-oriented, equity-relevant research practices. First, include diverse research perspectives. Second, engage teachers, students, and families as partners in research. Third, minimize bias. In SEERNet, we invite the research community to join in future conversations as we continue to consider personas and future-oriented scenarios and see what they can help us understand and do.
Pub. April 2022
Compiled by Adam Schellinger
SEERNet includes 5 digital learning platforms (DLPs) that connect researchers to millions of teachers and learners across US K-12 schools and post-secondary institutions. Each DLP has their own unique users and capabilities for conducting research – this guide is a central resource for researchers looking to understand what each platform offers.
Pub. August 2022
By Jenna Zacamy and Jeremy Roschelle
Abstract: Digital learning platforms are beginning to become open to research. Specifically, in our work in SEERNet, developers are extending five platforms, each used in either K-12 or higher education by more than 100,000 users, to enable third-party researchers to explore, develop, and test improvements. SEERNet seeks to enable equity-relevant research aligned with the IES Standards for Excellence in Education Research (SEER) principles. It also seeks to support research that is more agile (or rapid), is more open, and scales from research to impacts on practice. We review the emerging tensions among the goal of equity-relevant research and desires for agile, open, and scalable research. We argue that designing and developing technical capabilities for agile, open, and scalable research will not be enough. Based on a series of interviews we conducted with experts in social sciences and equity-focused research, we argue that researchers will have to rethink how they plan and undertake their research. Five shifts could help. First, researchers could deliberately reframe their designs away from a comprehensive, monolithic study to smaller, agile cycles that test a smaller conjecture each time. Second, researchers could shift from designing new educational resources to determining how well-used resources could be elaborated and refined to address equity issues. Third, researchers could utilize variables that capture student experiences to investigate equity when they cannot obtain student demographic variables. Fourth, researchers could work in partnership with educators on equity problems that educators prioritize and want help in solving. Fifth, researchers could acknowledge that achieving equity is not only a technological or resource-design problem, but requires working at the classroom and systems levels too. In SEERNet, we look forward to working with the research community to find ways to address equity through research using well-used digital learning platforms, and to simultaneously conduct research that is more agile, more open, and more directly applicable at scale.