SageFox is granted NSF Award

Using a Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Approach to Develop a Shared Evaluation and Research Agenda for Computer Science for All

NSF Org: DRL
Division Of Research On Learning
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Initial Amendment Date: August 31, 2017
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Latest Amendment Date: August 31, 2017
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Award Number: 1745199
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Award Instrument: Standard Grant
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Program Manager: Karen King
DRL Division Of Research On Learning
EHR Direct For Education and Human Resources
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Start Date: September 1, 2017
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End Date: August 31, 2021 (Estimated)
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Awarded Amount to Date: $1,222,855.00
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Investigator(s): Alan Peterfreund apeterfreund@sagefoxgroup.com (Principal Investigator)
Rebecca Zarch (Co-Principal Investigator)
Leigh DeLyser (Co-Principal Investigator)
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Sponsor: SageFox Consulting Group, LLC
30 Boltwood Walk
Amherst, MA 01002-2155 (413)256-6169
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NSF Program(s): ITEST
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Program Reference Code(s): 023Z
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Program Element Code(s): 7227

This project will adapt the Researcher-Practitioner Partnership (RPP) approach to build the capacity of evaluators and researchers to study, understand, and report on their project efforts and to establish a participant-driven, multi-site research agenda for the Computer Science for All: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships (CS for All: RPP) program. This project will engage the community of funded partnerships to collectively work to develop a shared research agenda to facilitate the understanding of the efficacy of the RPP model and the impact on computer science (CS) and computational thinking (CT) education. The connected community will bring together the RPP research and evaluation teams and connect them to the larger CS for All education community through the CSforAll Consortium. This connection to the larger community will ensure a bidirectional dissemination – with the intellectual merit of the projects reaching the largest possible audience of researchers and practitioners, as well as ongoing connection to initiatives outside the funded RPPs helping to share learnings and best practices as well. The project will develop a community consensus on a research agenda for the RPP programs which may provide a solid foundation for future research, program evaluation and assessment. This project has the potential to affect the relative success of the CS for All: RPP projects and the program overall. By creating a connected community, it will promote a robust culture of sharing knowledge from experts (both within and external to the community), lessons learned in near-real time associated with implementation, having sharing common metrics that are both supportive of the projects and the program overall, and shared means of dissemination to broader communities of researchers and practitioners. This project has the broader potential of serving as a model for NSF programs for proactively developing the methods for shared learning and common metrics that have more commonly been developed and implemented at much later stages.

To both support the projects and maintain awareness of the larger initiatives, we propose a Connected Community of Practice (CCOP). A Researcher-Evaluator Working Group (R-EWG) will form to provide a process for pursuing the shared research agenda developed through the CCOP. This structure will facilitate data collection, analysis, interpretation and dissemination at a program level. The approach will also generate a mechanism for those outside of the immediate RPP community to benefit from this investment by engaging in learning from the participants that will add value to the initial investment by supporting those undertaking the RPP work and scaling to a broader audience. Recognizing that the funded partnerships will likely be highly diverse in terms of size, context, research area and strength of working relationships, the project will deeply engage evaluators and researchers at the onset of the program to collaboratively develop a shared data set to capture participation data across projects, co-define an RPP research agenda to advance the field of CT/CS educational knowledge, and use the CS for All infrastructure for collaboration, learning and dissemination. This approach will lay the foundation for program-wide assessment and learning. The project will facilitate the community in developing a framework for answering: 1. What are the RPP-specific activities that are high-leverage/highly effective in affecting quality computer science education? 2. What common indicators are appropriate to collect across CS for All: RPP projects to demonstrate the relative and overall effectiveness of the RPP projects? 3. Using these indicators, what are the outcomes and impact of the CS for All: RPP projects for districts, teachers and students?

Posted in Alan Publications, Rebecca Publications.