Where the Research is @iNACOL 2017

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For the last few years, MVLRI & TLA have been co-hosting the preconference K-12 Research Community Meeting at iNACOL. We hope to see you this year!

We have several great panels planned, including:

  • a funders panel featuring IES and Jobs for the Future;
  • a research panel with authors featuring those doing research both in academia and in practitioners’ settings; and
  • an Ask Us Anything panel featuring educators and education leaders who have spent the last year honing the measurement of their personalized learning initiatives with an eye for scale from The Learning Accelerator, Distinctive Schools in Chicago, IL, and Leadership Public Schools in the Bay Area, CA.

For the rest of the conference, here are the sessions of interest to the research community at iNACOL 2017.

Research Track Sessions at iNACOL 2017


Monday, October 23rd

8:00 AM–11:00 AM and 1:00 PM–2:30 PM, Southern Hemisphere IV
K-12 Blended and Online Learning Research Community Meeting / Preconference Workshop: Free to attend!
Presenters: Justin Bruno & Joe Friedhoff, MVLRI; Saro Mohammed, The Learning Accelerator

This day-long research community meeting will foster a space for researchers, practitioners and other stakeholders to come together and discuss newly published research, provide opportunities for networking, find funding opportunities, and drum up collaborative prospects. We’ll provide a chance for everyone to gain and give practical, applicable insights into measuring K-12 blended learning initiatives. In addition, we will hear from practitioners engaged in developing measurement systems for their own personalized learning initiatives in an interactive, no-holds-barred, “Ask Us Anything” format, with in-person and virtual participants and panelists.


Tuesday, October 24th

10:00 AM–11:00 AM, Oceanic 2
Using the Rapid Cycle Evaluation for Education Technology Toolkit to Evaluate What Works in Your Schools
Presenters: Rebecca Griffiths, SRI; Dr. Ignacio Martinez & Kate Place, Mathematica Policy Research

This demonstration will introduce rapid cycle evaluation (RCE) and tools developed through the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education to meet the needs of districts seeking to evaluate the education technology products they use. The free toolkit includes a series of tools to support districts at all stages of the research process, from considering what questions are worth pursuing to planning and conducting rigorous evaluations and interpreting the results.

  • Session Outcome 1: Describe the goals of an educational program and translate the goals into an actionable question that can be answered with data.
  • Session Outcome 2: Learn what rapid cycle evaluation is and how to use it to answer your question.
  • Session Outcome 3: Learn how to incorporate a continuous improvement model into your decision process.

11:15 AM–12:15 PM, Oceanic 4
A Venture Philanthropist and an Education Researcher Walk Into a Bar…
Presenters: Jessica Ball, Scott Benson, & Cameron White, NewSchools Venture Fund

This session will provide participants with an overview of our practitioner-focused research efforts in schools and ed tech tools at NewSchools Venture Fund, a national venture philanthropy working to reimagine public education. We will host an interactive session, with support from our research partners WestEd and Transforming Education, that will engage audience members in a dialogue about the implications of this type of approach in their contexts.

  • Session Outcome 1: Learn about practical ways to measure an expanded definition of student success in schools.
  • Session Outcome 2: Learn about practical methods of supporting iterative research for new ed tech tools.
  • Session Outcome 3: Take practical lessons back to apply in either a school or a product context.

2:15 PM–3:15 PM, Northern Salon A2
Personalized Learning Scan Results
Presenters: Bethany Gross, Center on Reinventing Public Education; Susan Patrick, INACOL; Kendra Rickerby, Revivify Learning Systems

Growth of personalized learning models is uneven across the U.S. Most importantly, there has been no large-scale, widely recognized study explaining the design elements behind personalized learning or exploring the characteristics of instructional models that are important elements taking hold in schools implementing personalized learning. Working with partners such as the Center on Reinventing Public Education and LEAP Innovations, iNACOL embarked upon a national scan of personalized learning in K-12 schools to more deeply understand the ways that personalized learning is taking hold. This session will provide insights into the preliminary feedback that has been captured as part of this national scan.

  • Session Outcome 1: Learn early results of a national scan of personalized learning.
  • Session Outcome 2: Gain insights into design elements and characteristics of personalized learning.
  • Session Outcome 3: Understand the ways in which personalized learning is being implemented in schools and districts across the country.

Wednesday, October 25th

4:00 PM–5:00 PM, Asia 1
Putting Learning Science Research to Work: Translating Research to Support Education Leaders
Presenters: Pooja Agarwal, RetrievalPractice.org; Aubrey Francisco, Digital Promise; Bari Walsh, Harvard Graduate School of Education

As many schools shift to competency-based, blended and online learning models, it is more important than ever to ensure that research on how people learn is used to inform these changes. But academic research findings are often inaccessible or difficult to apply. Panelists will discuss their work translating and disseminating educational research and building bridges between academic researchers and education practitioners, and will share resources for educators to continue exploring research.

  • Session Outcome 1: Understand why learning research matters and how it can inform the work of practitioners.
  • Session Outcome 2: Access available resources to help education leaders dive into key research on learning.
  • Session Outcome 3: Learn strategies for critically consuming research and deciphering which findings best inform practice.

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