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Using the Delphi Technique to Explore the Use of Social Network Analysis in the Evaluation of MSP Programs

Abstract

In May 2009, with the support of NSF's Math and Science Partnership Program, Westat convened a working conference on the use of Social Network Analysis (SNA) in educational research and evaluation. The purpose of workshop was to bring together individuals with expertise in SNA, who may have already been applying SNA to educational research and individuals interested in learning more about potential applications to explore the potential of the technique. At the end of the 2-day meeting, it was decided that it would be interesting to further explore how SNA might be used in conjunction with other evaluation methodologies to address some evaluation questions that emerged as potentially profiting from this approach. The questions addressed the areas of partnerships, professional development, and the creation of teacher leaders.
In response to this idea, Westat implemented a Delphi process to formulate questions addressing the three areas, identify variables to be examined, and identify where SNA might be used. The purpose of this report is to describe the study that was undertaken and the "designs" that ultimately emerged.

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