Understanding education field trial research can be confusing no matter our background – multiple naming conventions can make it hard to distinguish between evaluation designs.
The goal of the Learning Assembly Evaluation Taxonomy is to describe the various kinds of evaluations that we engage in with schools and districts across the country while providing a non-technical primer to those also engaged in the work. These evaluations are a specific opportunity that engage educators and learners, in real life education environments, with products and practices designed to demonstrate a positive effect on student learning, teacher practice, and/or learning environments.
What the Evaluation Taxonomy is:
- Rooted in the context of an organization piloting with schools
- Grounded in the IES/NSF Common Guidelines for Education Research
- Meant for non-researchers (product/practice developers, educators, etc.)
- Meant to be non-technical in language
- A starting point for those looking to understand the continuum of education research and be able to ask critical questions, be good partners, and engage thoughtfully in the process
What the Evaluation Taxonomy isn’t:
- A technical guide for researchers
- An exhaustive list of all evaluation types or a comprehensive guide to research design. For example, early stage exploratory product design work in the learning sciences and lab based expert evaluations are intentionally not represented as the taxonomy assumes that products have gone through a vetting or curation process prior to entering a field trial.
- A prescription for how to move through piloting, that is the design of the document does not intend to suggest that evaluations must progress in a linear fashion, although it is possible to do so.
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