Projects

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ProjectDescription
African Art The African Art project provided k-12 teachers with the Art and Life in Africa technology (CD-ROM software, website) and training to enhance their teaching of African art and culture. The evaluation documented the implementation of the teacher training and classroom implementation. The evaluation team examined lesson plans, created and administered a workshop survey, and evaluated the implementation of the training. This project was completed in 1999.
Alliance for Graduate Education and the Professorate (AGEP) The AGEP project was an initiative to increase the number of underrepresented minorities obtaining graduate degrees in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. This alliance included the three Iowa Regents Universities, which includes The University of Iowa, Iowa State, and the University of Northern Iowa. Target populations for the evaluation were project staff who planned and provided project activities (including a summer institute) and undergraduate students who participated in the project. The purposes of this evaluation were to (1) explore how the students' experienced the academic year scholars program and the summer program, and (2) to find ways to improve service delivery to students.
Alliance for the Production of African American PhD’s in Mathematical Sciences (Alliance) Alliance is a consortium of departments of mathematics, statistics, and testing and measurement at the three Iowa Regents Universities and four HBCUs. The overarching goal of the Alliance project was to increase the number of African Americans receiving a Ph.D. in mathematics. To achieve these promising students at participating HBCSs were identified and subsequently provided with research experiences and mentoring. The evaluation team used surveys, interviews, and focus groups toward identifying areas in need of improvement, and this information was reported to the project staff.
Assessment for Learning Project This study is an evaluation of the implementation of a state-wide school improvement policy. Three Iowa schools are piloting the Assessment for Learning training modules developed by the Iowa Department of Education. This project supports these school districts in their work by providing inservicing, classroom observations, and other support as requested by the district administrators. Data are gathered on the effectiveness of the modules and sent regularly to the DE to help modify and evaluate the existing modules. Project Lead: Liz Hollingworth Graduate Students: Sarah Hale, Asih Asikin-Garmager, and Katie Winn
Bringing History Home (BHH) The Bringing History Home Project (BHH) was funded in 2001 as part of the US Department of Education Teaching American History program. The BHH project produced a set of 14 curricular units in American history intended for use in grades K-6. Since project inception, the curricula have undergone revisions, teachers have created adaptations and three additional units authored by project participants have been added to the BHH curricula. To accompany the written curricula, the project provided professional development in history content and pedagogy to 29 teachers in the Washington (Iowa) Community School District. Throughout the grant period, the project also provided ongoing intense support from the project staff in terms of personal visits and frequent email and telephone communication. Prior to the grant, there was little or no history taught at the elementary level in the community served by the project. Over the course of the grant over 1200 students were taught the curriculum, the great majority receiving instruction in history for two to three years of their elementary years. The purposes of the evaluation were to contribute to project improvement, to document the actual activities and procedures of the project as implemented, to investigate changes over the three years in participating teachers and their implemented curricula in participating schools, and to begin to develop outcome measures to document changes in students who learned with these developed curricula.Evaluation methodology included classroom observation, teacher surveys, teacher individual and focus group interviews, collection of student work products, student focus groups, and written student assessments.
Bringing History Home 2 (BHH2) The Bringing History Home II (BHH 2) Project evaluation focused on five areas: 1) monitoring the grant processes and products during Year 3, 2) providing formative feedback on ways to continue to improve the processes and products, 3) collecting survey and focus group data from teachers on their second and third implementations of the BHH curriculum, 4) observing classrooms during BHH curriculum implementations, and 5) collecting multiple forms of written assessments of student outcomes and conducting focus groups with participating students in 3rd through 5th grades.
Bringing History Home 3/ Grant Wood History Institute (GWHI) The Grant Wood History Institute (GWHI) is a professional development initiative to improve high school and middle school history instruction. Over the three years of the project, the GWHI plans to use two main types of programming to provide teachers with professional development in teaching U.S. history: teacher professional development workshops and on-site support from projects staff members. The evaluation of GWHI is multi-faceted, including pre- and post-tests to assess the knowledge of history content and historical thinking for participating teachers. Similar skills are assessed using a pre- and post design for the students in these teachers classrooms. Professional development is evaluated using workshop surveys, participant observations, and implementation surveys.
Bringing History Home 4/Cedar Rapids (BHH4/CR) Bringing History Home in Cedar Rapids (BHH-CR) is a professional development initiative that will serve 250 elementary school teachers from two public school districts in the Cedar Rapids metropolitan area of East Centeral Iowa. The program expands Bringing History Home, a successful U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History (TAH) project, into nine K-5 schools previously unserved by any TAH programs. The evaluation of this BHH will build upon and expand previous evaluation efforts.
CivicConnections The CivicConnections was a three year project involving nearly 300 teachers and over 7,000 students in grades 3-12 across the nation. The goal of this project is to engage participating teachers and students in linking local history inquiry with community service-learning. The evaluation included a survey given to students prior to participation as well as a retrospective pre-post survey administered at the end of the school year, which was the end of thier participation. Analyses conducted explored response shift bias. In addition, reliability coefficients and a factor analysis were conducted to explore the nature of the responses.
Classrooms for the Future (CFF) The CFF project and project evaluation occurred in the late 1990s and was funded by the Riverboat Davenport Authority. The Davenport school system provided facilitators that were involved in planning, inservice training, and program implementation. Project activities included the introduction of a technology and other equipment and materials for the inclusion of a computer classroom into selected elementary and secondary schools in Davenport. Evaluation methodology included classroom observations and surveys for participating teachers and for their students.
Consortium for Minorities in Teaching The Consortium for Minorities in Teaching Careers was a national and multi-site project that focused on minority recruitment of pre-college students to future teaching careers. Coallitions were formed with identified Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs). The CEA evaluation of this project occurred in the mid-1990s and included various methodologies, including telephone interviews with participating students, surveys, and the collection of program descriptions from staff, students, and project leaders. Quantitative and qualitative methodologies were included in the analyses and subseqent evaluation reports.
Elementary Mathematics Partnership Opening Windows to Rigor and Relevance (EMPOWERR), Math Science Partnership (MSP) This three-year MSP project is focused on providing professional development and on-site support to approximately 65 elementary mathematics teachers at three high-need schools in Eastern Iowa. Professional development follows the Iowa Professional Development Model. The evaluation team conducts data analysis of the ITBS and surveys, and consults with project staff on appropriate methods of evaluation and data analysis. In addition, the CEA staff construct, moderate, and analyze annual focus groups conducted with all participating teachers. Annual reports are provided to project staff for reporting purposes, along with more frequent and formative reports for project improvement.
FAST  
Geriatric Fellowship project This project, funded by HRSA, provided fellowships to community-based practitioners. During these fellowships, participants received clinical training and distance learning in the area of geriatrics, including: clinical geriatrics, health education, clinical research, health administration, and cultural competence. Evaluation questions were developed in collaboration with project leaders and stakeholders. To address these questions the evaluation team conducted data analysis through methods such as interviews.
Grant Wood Inquiry: Geographic Information Systems for Science Teachers (IGISST) MSP This three-year math-science partnership (MSP) provides approximately 50 secondary science teachers at schools in the Grant Wood Area Education Association (AEA) with teacher professional development (TPD) and on-site assistance from project leaders and science consultants. The focus of the TPD includes earth science content, inquiry pedagogies and problem based learning (PBL) instruction, and technology such as GIS. The CEA external evaluation is conducted in collaboration with a Grant Wood AEA internal evaluator. CEA staff provide consulting on appropriate data analysis, particularly of the ITBS and other standardized instruments, annual web-based surveys of program learning and classroom implementation, and annual focus groups. Annual reports are provided for reporting purposes, along with more frequent reports to the instructional team containing formative feedback for project improvement.
High School Advanced Placement High School Inventory This project was a collaboration between the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (BBC), the Iowa Department of Education, and staff at the CEA. CEA staff, in consultation with the other partners, constructed a comprehensive instrument designed to evaluated the sustainability of a school's Advanced Placement (AP) program. This instrument was piloted at four schools across the state of Iowa, which represented urban and rural schools, and AP programs that were just beginning to those with extensive AP offerings and other academic support. Results from the pilot were used to revise the instrument.
Institute for Clinical and Translational Science (ICTS) The broad goal of the ICTS is to increase the amount of translational research and cross-discipline collaborations in biomedical research. ICTS is one of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA), which have been funded by the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR) at the National Institute of Health (NIH) across the United States. The University of Iowa evaluation is focused on studying collaboration between researchers, supporting the 12 Key Functions in their self-evaluations, providing formative feedback to Key Function leaders and other stakeholders, and meta-evaluating the progress of the overall ICTS.
Institute for Social and Economic Development (ISED) The ISED project supported entrepreneurial efforts by individuals. CEA staff conducted and analyzed interviews, among other methods, toward evaluating this project.
Integration of Simulation Technology Into Undergraduate Engineering Courses and Laboratories Evaluation (ISTUE)  
Iowa Accountability Research Project (IARP) The Iowa Accountability Project (IARP) was a multi-year study supported by the Iowa Department of Education to monitor instructional and testing practices since the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). This project utilized a mixed-methods approach to obtain evidence related to the following to broad research questions: 1. What are some of the positive and negative consequences resulting from Iowa's schools using the ITBS and ITED for high-stakes accountability purposes? 2. Are changes in statewide ITBS and ITED scores attributable to changes in student achievement or are they possibly the result of instructional and/or administration practices designed simply to raise test scores? The evidence utilized for this research included: a) annual statewide student-level achievement data, b) longitudinal statewide school-level achievement data, c) student achievement as measure by an audit test within 220 schools, d) questionnaire from over 5,000 educators, and d) interviews with 139 teachers.
Iowa Alternative Schools Projects (IASP) This three-year project, managed by staff at the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (BBC), provided teacher professional development (TPD) to teachers at alternative schools in Iowa. This TPD focused on identifying students in alternative schools who were academically gifted. CEA staff constructed two surveys to evaluate the TPD, one focused on a summer institute and the other focused on a differentiated instruction workshop. CEA staff analyzed results from these two surveys, as well as other instruments such as a student survey.
Iowa Bioscience Advantage (IBA) IBA, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), identifies academically talented undergraduate students from underrepresented minority groups and provides mentoring and training toward eventual successful entry into doctoral programs in the areas of biomedical, behavioral, or biophysical sciences. The evaluation of IBA serves three primary purposes: (1) to investigate problems, issues, and barriers for formative improvement of the project, (2) to assess the value of the program to students, and (3) to examine students' perceptions of doctoral degree attainment. To achieve these purposes, the evaluation team has relied on surveys and focus groups.
Iowa Excellence Iowa Excellence, managed by staff at the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (BBC), identified middle school students in one of five schools in rural Iowa who were academically talented in the areas of math or science. Identified students were provided advanced work in science and/or math, either before or after school. The CEA conducted data analysis and also evaluated students’ attitudes toward and interest in science and/or math.
Iowa Geriatric Education Center (IGEC) Reynolds This program was sponsored by The University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine and the Iowa Geriatric Education Center (IGEC), supported with funds from the Donald W. Reynolds Center. The project developed and provided training simulations to be used by those who work with elderly patients. The evaluation constructed, administered, analyzed, and reported survey results for participants who completed these simulations.
Iowa Lakes Community College Working Connections The Iowa Lakes Community College received funding from AACC/Microsoft to plan and implement the Working Connections program. The major objectives of the program were to develop and IT curriculum at the college, to better serve the technology training needs of area businesses and industry, the develop faculty and staff training, and to develop a workforce with a particular commitment to disadvantaged students. The purpose of the evaluation was to describe and evaluation the Working Connections program implementation and outcomes, to provide monitoring of equipment purchanses and the decision-making process for all of these purchases, to develop evaluation capacity at Iowa Lakes Community College, and to describe and evaluation the effectiveness of the Mobile Lab use, among other components. The evaluation team used existing data, such as copies of student course evaluations, as well as CEA-constructed instruments, including surveys and phone interviews.
Iowa Learning Technology Consortium (ILTC) The Iowa Department of Education provided annual, one-year awards for six schools across the state of Iowa for three years. While awarded projects were diverse in scope, each awarded school aimed to increase student achievement, along with other student outcomes such as increased motivation or a decrease in behavioral incidents. The Iowa Regents Universities - The University of Iowa, Iowa State, and University of Northern Iowa - served in a metaevaluative role and supported the participating schools by providing feedback on each school's internal evaluation reports and conducting site visits.
Iowa Online Advanced Placement Academy (IOAPA) IOAPA is a statewide project with a particular focus on rural education. It is managed by staff at the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (BBC). Schools that are unable to offer particular Advanced Placement (AP) courses, often due to the small size of the school staff or number of interested students, may apply to obtain an AP course that is delievered through the Iowa Communications Network (ICN). The CEA staff conducted qualitative analysis on the content of teachers' applications to attend the IOAPA summer training workshops.
Iowa Peace Institute (IPI)  
Iowa Technically Adequacy Project (ITAP) The Iowa Technical Adequacy Project (ITAP) was a state-wide professional development program for teams of educators in Iowa schools during 2003. The primary purpose of this professional development program was to train teams of educators in Iowa public (and private) school districts to identify, understand, and use criteria that lead to technically adequate data-based information and decisions using their standards-referenced assessment systems. The training program was provided by the CEA and was funded by the Iowa Department of Education. Nearly 1,300 educators participated in this program.
K30 Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation The K30 program, funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH), provided high quality, multidisciplinary didactic training as part of the career development of clinical investigators. The program goals for K30 scholars included the development of clinical research knowledge and skills through didactic training and mentorship support, and the opportunity to be involved in research projects, manuscript development, or other opportunities to build clinical research skills. The evaluation provided information about the effectiveness of, and satisfaction with the K30 program, as perceived by K30 scholars. The evaluation also provided information about the success of the mentoring relationship, as perceived by K30 mentors. Data sources included telephone interviews and written surveys.
Learn Anytime, Anywhere Partnership (LAAP) The LAPP project provided vitual learning models to participants across the state of Iowa who were training to become certified nursing assistants (CNAs). Evaluation of this project included telephone interviews with participants who had used the modules. Focus groups were also conducted toward understanding how useful the modules were in preparing the students for the nursing assistant certification exam and how useful the modules were for practicing CNAs.
Learning Communities Medical learning communities that took place at The University of Iowa were evaluated by staff at the CEA. The evaluation approach taken by the CEA considered organizational resources and operations, specific programs and sub-programs, and specific projects and sub-projects. An expanded logic model was used to define and evaluate the learning communities.
Lila Wallace-Reader’s Digest Fund Iowa Network Project / Hancher project This three-year project and the concurrent project evaluation were completed in 2001. The goal of the project was to provide artistic performances to those who had not previously experienced a similar event. Workshop locations were chosen to introduce participants to new artists and art forms that they had not previously experienced. A specific focus was on younger people who had not year had much experience with these art forms. Data collected included observation forms, demographic data, and workshop participant comments. Overall participants expressed interest in attending similar performances in the future and the targeted participants attended the performances; however, the response rates were low and results were interpreted cautiously.
Mississippi Bend AEA Teaching American History This three-year project was managed by the Mississippi Bend Area Education Association and was funded under the U.S. Department of Education Teaching American History (TAH) grants program. The project provided teacher professional development (TPD) aimed to increase teachers historical content knowledge and pedagogical knowledge related to teaching history. The evaluation documented outcomes at the teacher level (efficacy, self-reported pedagogical skill and historical knowledge) and the student level (ability to construct a historical narrative).
Mississippi Bend Area Education Association Early Reading First (ERF) This three-year ERF project was funded by the U.S. Department of Education and managed by staff at the Mississippi Bend Area Education Association (AEA). Six preschool teachers in southeastern Iowa participated in intensive professional development that focused on early literacy research, implemented play plans and other Vygotskian-based instructional strategies, and participating in literacy coaching. The CEA evaluation included the development of an assessment designed to gather information on participating teachers' knowledge of early literacy areas such as phonological awareness, alphabet knowledge, and oral language. In addition, teachers completed surveys, participated in focus groups, and participated in classroom observations that used the ELLCO. The Parents as Teachers (PAT), a component that was proposed to enhance relationships between families and schools, also participated in focus groups. The project was disseminated to other teachers and schools during Year 3.
Our Kids The Our Kids project provided an annual summer institute for PK through 12 teachers in the state of Iowa. The teacher professional development (TPD) provided during these institutes was aimed at providing mainstream teachers with knowledge of how to teach English Language Learners (ELLs), which included content and pedagogical knowledge, as well as addressing the need to increase cultural empathy. The evaluation of the summer institute over its four iterations included participant observations and surveys. The evaluation team also worked with the Title II AEA leaders and the project director in planning the summer institutes, particularly by providing formative evaluation results in a timely manner.
Project Lead the Way (PLTW) Researchers at the Iowa Department of Education, The University of Iowa, and Iowa State received funding from the Kern Foundation to evaluate various outcomes of Project Lead the Way (PLTW), a high school engineering curriculum. CEA staff will conduct analyses on a longitudinal database that includes approximately 88,000 students. Analyses include propensity score matching and other techniques to reduce selection bias, as well as other inferential statistics to examine PLTW participants' outcomes, participation in courses, enrollment in post-secondary engineering courses, an potentially increased interest in pursuing postsecondary education in STEM fields of groups with traditionally lower participation in engineering (e.g., women, minority groups, students from low SES families).
Science and Mathematics Avenues to Renewed Teachers and Students (SMARTS) The SMARTS project was a four-year Math Science Partnership (MSP) that provided teacher professional development that was primarily focused on inquiry learning in science and math. The CEA evaluation team conducted data analysis of the participating teachers' pre- and posttest results on the Survey of Enacted Curriculum (SEC).
Science Mathematics Inquiry Learning Enhancement (SMILE) The Science Mathematics Inquiry Learning Enhancement (SMILE) project was a Math Science Partnership (MSP) that provided teacher professional development (TPD) that was primiarly focused on science content and inquiry learning. The CEA evaluation staff created, analyzed and reported the results of two teachers surveys, content analysis of teacher notebooks, and descriptions of the summer workshops. In addition, CEA staff conducted focus groups with teachers, with administrators, and with project staff.
Science Mathematics Inquiry Learning Enhancement – II (SMILE-II) The Science Mathematics Inquiry Learning Enhancement II (SMILE-II) project continued the work of the first SMILE project. Teacher professional development (TPD) was a major focus of this project, and the focus was on content area knowledge as well as inquiry learning. CEA staff constructed, analyzed, and reported survey results.
Teacher Quality Enhancement, English Language Learners (TQE, ELL) The Iowa Teacher Quality Enhancement Program (TQE), funded by the U.S. Department of Education, is a multi-component intervention designed for system-wide impact on the quality of teaching, use of technology to support teaching and teacher education, teacher in-service and pre-service preparation and development, and ultimately student achievement in the state of Iowa. The CEA was the third party evaluator for the Teacher Quality Enhancement, English Language Learner (TQE, ELL or TQELL) component, which focused on the preparation of pre-service teachers (teacher candidates) and those who guide their training programs (teacher educators). The evaluation included survey or focus groups following the two professional development opportunitites, the Iowa Culture and Language Confernece (ICLC) and Our Kids. In addition, the evaluation tracked outputs, such as the number of participants and participating institutions, as well as formative evaluation of the implementation of Polycom technology.
Teacher Quality Partnership (TQP) The Iowa Teacher Quality Partnership project (TQP), funded by the US Department of Education, is a five-year intervention whose mission is to boost achievement of Iowa PK-12 students by developing and retaining more highly effective teachers. The project seeks to define effective teaching across the spectrum from pre-service to career teaching and integrate the attributes of effective teaching into pre-service and professional development programs statewide. The TQP project will also select and customize a system for examining teacher effectiveness to be supported by an integrated technology platform for documenting teacher-created digital artifacts. The project also seeks to enhance the capacity of pre-service teachers to serve high-needs rural schools and to promote teacher retention in those areas.
Teaching American History This Teaching American History (TAH) project, funded by the U.S. Department of Education, was managed by staff at the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (BBC). CEA staff provided evaluation services in the form of data analysis of surveys and other evaluation instruments.
Twice Exceptional Project The Twice-Exceptional project was managed by staff at the Connie Belin and Jacqueline N. Blank International Center for Gifted Education and Talent Development (BBC). The project provided teacher professional development to gifted educators, special education teachers, administrators, and counselors on students who are both academically gifted and who have a special condition, such as autism. The CEA staff consulted with BBC staff in the development of a needs assessment.
Undergraduate Outcomes at the University of Iowa