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CTL: Insightful design, research, and evaluation of innovative learning environments and assessments
What Can You Learn From Five Years of Funding Postsecondary Digital Courseware?

Key Findings from Evaluating 5 Years of Postsecondary Digital Courseware

As the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Postsecondary Success Strategy entered its fifth year of learning technology investments, the foundation asked what is required for technology applications to produce positive student impacts at scale. CTL researchers Barbara Means, Vanessa Peters, and Ying Zheng analyzed the features of 137 different courses from 12 major postsecondary institutions and performed a quantitative meta-analysis of student outcomes to estimate the impact of digital courseware on student learning.

A key finding was that the most effective courseware innovations were developed through multiple cycles of design and implementation that were informed by data collected in pilot studies. Additionally, when reviewing projects, Means, Peters, and Zhing found that entire course redesigns produced significantly better learning outcomes than when technology was used as a supplemental resource. The full report presents a number of recommendations for organizations looking to make investments in digital courseware to enhance student outcomes.


Build IT Helps Girls, Boys, and Their Educators Pursue Computer Science Learning and Careers

Build IT Helps Girls, Boys, and Their Educators Pursue Computer Science Learning and Careers

Evaluation results of Build IT, an afterschool curriculum for middle school girls, showed significant increases in girls’ conceptual understanding of computer science (CS), interest in mathematics and CS, and knowledge of CS careers compared with a matched comparison group. With funding from NSF and the Noyce Foundation, Build IT has achieved scale and sustainability throughout the Girls Inc. network of affiliates. More than 80% of girls who have participated in Build IT are African American or Latina, with the majority from low-SES households.

Currently, SRI leads two NSF-funded studies in collaboration with CalSAC to investigate whether the Build IT curriculum has a similar impact on African American and Latino boy, girls in coeducational and single-sex classrooms, and adult educators in afterschool sites throughout California. In the Gender Equity in Afterschool Computer Science study, we compare all-boys, all-girls, and coeducational Build IT classes at 20 afterschool organizations. In the Afterschool Computer Science Educators study, we investigate the role that teaching Build IT specifically or STEM in general plays to activate or reactivate educators’ interest in CS and STEM careers. Preliminary data from our Girls Inc. evaluation suggest that Build IT may encourage educators to pursue CS education and careers.


Future Ready Schools Guide Helps Leaders Improve Ed Tech Decisions

Future Ready Schools Guide Helps Leaders Improve
Ed Tech Decisions

CTL researchers contributed to a US Department of Education report, Future Ready Schools: Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning. The White House released this report in November as part of the ConnectED to the Future initiative. The Future Ready Schools guide provides practical strategies for district leaders to connect their schools, teachers, classrooms, and students to high-speed Internet. Peppered with examples of innovative strategies for addressing common challenges, the guide presents options for district leaders to consider when enhancing technology infrastructure because connectivity and circumstances vary greatly across districts. It addresses thorny implementation issues and concerns including acceptable use policies, student privacy, and security, as well as device selection, costs, and financing. This effort goes hand in hand with the President’s ConnectED Initiative, also supported by SRI Education. With the guidance provided in Future Ready Schools, along with $4 billion in public and private funding provided to schools through the ConnectED Initiative, the hope is that all students--or at least 99% of them--will gain access to the broadband tools and content needed to thrive in a globally connected world. Read Future Ready Schools: Building Technology Infrastructure for Learning.

Blog Post: Investigators Chart New Frontiers at Cyberlearning 2015

Report: A Content Comparison Analysis of the Next Generation Science Standards and the Michigan Science Standards

Video: NASA features CTL’s Dan Zalles and Data-enhanced Investigations for Climate Change


Don't miss our June Research Update featuring findings from the evaluation of the Ready to Learn Initiative

Learn about recent results from our ongoing evaluation of the Ready to Learn Initiative (RTL). We will share what we have discovered about how public media materials can help low-income preschoolers develop key early mathematics skills.



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