Ensuring That the Measuring and Improving Student-Centered Learning Toolkit Is Easy to Use and Produces Accurate, Meaningful Results
Jun 8, 2020
This report summarizes a study on the validity, reliability, and usability of the Measuring and Improving Student-Centered Learning Toolkit, which was developed to help school systems measure, understand, and reflect on the extent of student-centered learning (SCL) and equitable distribution of SCL opportunities in high schools.
Key Takeaways and Lessons on Developing Tools for School Improvement
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Student-centered learning (SCL) describes various approaches that keep students' goals, interests, and needs central to the teaching and learning process. Despite the recent proliferation of SCL approaches, researchers and practitioners are still learning about which SCL strategies are most effective for supporting student achievement and how to measure them.
This report summarizes a study on the validity, reliability, and usability of the Measuring and Improving Student-Centered Learning (MISCL) Toolkit, which was developed to help school systems measure, understand, and reflect on the extent of SCL and equitable distribution of SCL opportunities in high schools.
To ensure that the MISCL Toolkit measured the aspects of SCL and its supports as intended, the research team collected various validity and reliability measures. To assess whether the Toolkit was used as intended and useful to practitioners, the research team collected evidence of usability through observations of Toolkit use and interviews with students and staff who used the Toolkit.
The wide variety of evidence collected for this study suggested that the MISCL Toolkit measured aspects of SCL it was intended to measure, and that the Toolkit may differentiate among levels of SCL in different schools. More research is necessary to understand how the aspects of SCL measured through the Toolkit are related to other variables.
Developers of similar toolkits may wish to prioritize design principles that maximize the potential for useful data and minimize burdens and common issues related to collecting and analyzing data in school settings.
The research described in this report was funded by the Nellie Mae Education Foundation (NMEF) and conducted by RAND Education and Labor.
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