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Using Evidence from Teachers' Online Instructional Learning Logs in Evaluation and Decision-Making in a Math and Science Partnership

Abstract

"The purpose of this paper is to illustrate the use of evidence collected though an online instructional log system in the evaluation of a Math and Science Partnership (MSP). The Design, Implementation, Outcome (DIO) cycle for the use of evidence that has been identified by the Building Evaluation Capacity project (Callow-Heusser, 2005) provides a helpful framework for the paper. The online log system was developed to support teachers involved in the MSP's elementary grades program. The log system has been used for several purposes:

  • To support the design of the program;
  • As a tool for teacher reflection;

  • For communication with the project; and

  • To collect evidence regarding the implementation and outcomes of the program.

That evidence, as the DIO cycle suggests, has in turn been used to reconsider and modify the design of the program as the partnership has moved forward during its first three years. The paper begins with background information on the Indiana University-Indiana Mathematics Initiative Partnership, followed by a description of the online instructional log system. The next two sections illustrate: (1) how the partnership has used evidence from the logs about implementation to make modifications and decisions about its design, and (2) preliminary evidence of outcomes and impacts that can be gleaned from the logs. The conclusion summarizes lessons learned about using the online log system in the evaluation of the MSP."

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