Introduction

Federal guidelines now ask school and district staff to use research evidence when making decisions about policies and programs. Despite these realities, finding and using solid research can be a difficult task. 

Using Research to Inform Decisions will guide you in how to find and evaluate pertinent research, with a constant eye toward how such research can be used to inform various school- and district-level decisions. The workshop provides an overview of how practitioners use research and offers several simple tools to help you find the study you need. You will also learn strategies and structures that help foster an environment where research truly informs decision-making.

This two-week online workshop is jointly led by HGSE Professor Heather Hill, University of Colorado Professor Bill Penuel, and other leaders in the field. Video lectures, readings, facilitated online discussions, and exploration exercises will help you engage with research and gain confidence in using evidence to make sound decisions.

By completing the program, you will be able to:

  • Explore the nature of research use and current national patterns in research use
  • Learn how to find relevant research and read it accurately
  • Evaluate research design, and be able to judge the credibility of the research
  • Implement strategies for increasing the use of evidence within your own educational setting

The self-paced online instruction, discussions, and job-embedded practice should take five to seven hours over the duration of the program. Participants who complete all individual assessments and contribute to group discussions will receive a certificate indicating completion of five clock hours of instruction.

Meet The Faculty

Heather Hill

Heather Hill

Jerome T. Murphy Professor in Education

Heather Hill's primary work focuses on teacher and teaching quality, and the effects of policies aimed at improving both. She is also known for developing instruments for measuring teachers’' mathematical knowledge for teaching (MKT) and the mathematical quality of instruction (MQI) within classrooms, and for work on the design and evaluation of professional development. Her other interests include knowledge use within the public sector and the role that language plays in the implementation of public policy. She has served as section chairs for the American Educational Research Association and Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness conferences, and on the editorial boards of Journal of Research in Mathematics Education and the American Educational Research Journal. She is the coauthor, with David K. Cohen, of Learning policy: When state education reform works (Yale Press, 2001).

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