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Leveraging Competing and Complementary Roles for Success in R & D Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning Sheila A. Arens, Helen Apthorp, Zoe.

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Presentation on theme: "Leveraging Competing and Complementary Roles for Success in R & D Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning Sheila A. Arens, Helen Apthorp, Zoe."— Presentation transcript:

1 Leveraging Competing and Complementary Roles for Success in R & D Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning Sheila A. Arens, Helen Apthorp, Zoe Barley, LeAnn M. Gamache © 2005

2 2 Questions to Ponder… What are the bridges evaluators must cross in the R & D world? What are the roles at play in the R & D continuum? How can evaluators respond to different (sometimes conflicting) expectations around issues of the validity of evidence? © 2005

3 Creating a Coherence with Language of an R&D Continuum LeAnn M. Gamache, PhD McREL © 2005

4 4 The Players Sponsors Program Evaluation Program Developers Implementers Evaluators Participants and Constituents Researchers Others © 2005

5 5 Purposes for a Continuum Enable common language Help to highlight project priorities Reveal assumptions Focus planning discussions within context of total endeavor © 2005

6 6 Overview of an R&D Continuum Four Phases for R&D Endeavor Need and Approach Model and Instrumentation Development and Pilot-Testing Broad Dissemination and Implementation © 2005

7 7 Stages within the Four Phases: Need and Approach © 2005

8 8 Stages within the Four Phases: Model and Instrumentation © 2005

9 9 Stages within the Four Phases: Development and Pilot-Testing © 2005

10 10 Stages within the Four Phases: Dissemination and Implementation © 2005

11 11 Roles and Discussions at Critical Junctures within Stages During Development At Implementation At Evaluation © 2005

12 12 The Context for Evaluation in an R & D World Zoe A. Barley McREL © 2005

13 13 Three Phases Development Implementation Production © 2005

14 14 Four Roles : Conceptualizer Implementer/Practitioner Funder Evaluator © 2005

15 15 Interactions: Roles and Phases P H A S E S Development Implementation Production R Conceptualizer X O O O L Implementer O X O E S Funder O O X © 2005

16 16 Variables of Interest Level of Investment (LOI) Level of Astuteness (LOA) Evidentiary Requirements (ER) © 2005

17 17 The Development Phase The Conceptualizer LOIHigh LOAHigh ERIs it true to theory? The Practitioner – Is it doable in the real world? The Funder – is it marketable/affordable? © 2005

18 18 The Implementation Phase The Practitioner/Implementer LOI High LOAHigh ERWill it work in context? The Conceptualizer – Can it stand the adaptations? The Funder – What is the market niche? © 2005

19 19 The Production Phase The Funder LOIHigh LOAHigh ERWill sales support it? The Conceptualizer – Is it still theory based? The Implementer – Will it make a difference? © 2005

20 20 What happens when - - The Conceptualizer is in charge The Reluctant Genius © 2005

21 21 What happens when - - The Implementer is in charge The Passionate Reformer © 2005

22 22 What happens when - - The Funder is in charge The Bottom Liner © 2005

23 23 Validity Concerns Reconciled? Client versus Evaluator Evidentiary Expectations Sheila A. Arens McREL © 2005

24 24 Concerns about the quality of evidence and claims underlie all social science Such concerns have been punctuated by the increased interest in evidence-based inquiry and evidence-based practice… Overview © 2005

25 25 Emerging Needs, Differing Perspectives Increased pressure on Practitioners to select and engage in only those practices that are evidence-based, elevates considerations of what constitutes “evidence” and “evidence based” Increased pressure on R&D Organizations to collect evidence for their products and services to satisfy practitioner requirements © 2005

26 26 Varied Perspectives on Validity There exist varied perspectives regarding how external readers approach or engage in evaluation documents and varied responses from evaluation community regarding how to appropriately deal with this © 2005

27 27 House 1985: Decisions about the data to collect are intertwined with prospectively considering the rhetorical power of statements one wishes to issue relative to audience... …regardless of the veracity of the claim(s) being made, evaluators must attend to audience — if evaluation fails to provide audience with acceptable explanation / fails to enhance understanding of some phenomenon, findings may not be considered adequate Thus, persuasion plays a role in evaluative claims and the perceived validity of the inferences and the extent to which the evaluator herself is able to craft a compelling rhetorical argument is partially a product of audience. Validity is therefore not merely about reaching “true” assertions. © 2005

28 28 Patton 2002: goal of ensuring evaluative validity should not be to reach technical standards but rather, to determine whether appropriate methods and measures have been utilized for the particular evaluation purpose(s) and relative to the intended users of the evaluation findings © 2005

29 29 Lincoln 2003: validity is not simply a matter of determining which data collection efforts lead to better information "…but rather, which kinds of evidence will best address certain questions, and, at a foundational level, which kinds of literary-rhetorical devices are being employed, and which kinds of symbolic-interpretive processes are being brought to bear in the mounting of a persuasive argument?" (italics in original). © 2005

30 30 Cases Several illustrative cases to highlight differences in evidentiary expectations These emerged both among various stakeholders and between stakeholders and evaluators © 2005

31 31 Up the Ladder Context: A state department of education State interested in documenting accountability for the state funding of teacher professional development Participants in the experience expressed interest in “telling their stories,” and resisted the state department data collection efforts © 2005

32 32 Ready, Set…Ready, Set… Context: Proprietor of online professional development courses While proprietor interested in collecting evidence of success of product, timing issues (evaluability) precluded the collection of meaningful data In rush to advance evidence that program “works,” organization began to inappropriately utilize student data to make claims about program efficacy © 2005

33 33 Hurry, hurry! Context: Textbook publisher interested in examining curricular materials with eye on textbook adoption While product development pressed to “rush to market,” organization continued to stress need for the collection of “rigorous evidence” © 2005

34 34 All That Glitters Context: State department and University interested in outcomes of systemic school reform model State department interested in “bottom line accountability” student achievement Participants interested in having their stories heard and having individual school successes and obstacles documented through case studies. © 2005

35 35 Evaluator Responsibilities What are the responsibilities of the evaluator regarding evidence? How does the evaluator navigate between competing demands for evidence? At what point does the evaluator need to intervene with client(s) to ensure that claims being made are adequately supported? © 2005

36 Geniuses, Bottom Liners & Chameleons: Complementary and Varying Roles in Education R&D Helen S. Apthorp, PhD McREL © 2005

37 37 Three Stories across the Phases of Education R&D Production Development Implementation Cycling Back into the Future The Passionate Reformer (What happens when the implementer is in charge) Juggling Multiple New Roles The Reluctant Genius (What happens when the conceptualizer is in charge) Crossing into the Future The Bottom Liner (What happens when the funder is in charge) © 2005

38 38 The Passionate Reformer What happens when the implementer is in charge? “We know it works.” Evidence is not necessary © 2005

39 39 The Reluctant Genius What happens when the conceptualizer is in charge? Intervention is often ill-defined. Moves ahead, can’t wait for feedback. © 2005

40 40 The Bottom Liner What happens when the funder is in charge? Marketability is priority Being savvy reigns Agreements and obligations become real © 2005

41 41 Cycling back and into the Future Find the bridges between What clients want to know and what they ought to know Study design, method, and audience © 2005

42 42 Juggling Multiple New Roles How not to be fickle Reject the chameleon Use professional authority © 2005

43 43 Crossing Boundaries into the Future Serve the needs of a broad base of stakeholders to protect against bias Anticipate informational needs Preserve credibility while remaining flexible © 2005

44 44 Contact Information Sheila A. Arens, Zoe Barley, LeAnn M. Gamache, Helen S. Apthorp, © 2005

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