As REL Northeast & Islands at EDC began its work with research alliances in 2012, our staff soon discovered that many district- and state-based alliance members wanted to learn more about how to use logic models to improve program or policy design, implementation, and evaluation.
The workshop helped the alliance members to identify that there were several needs to be addressed,” Espada-Santos said.
“Because of the discussions in this session, we realized we needed closer communication and collaboration between the key stakeholders. They had different definitions of what a dropout student is, and issues like that needed to be discussed with more intense communication. They also identified that studies were needed to better understand the statistics and data that were available about dropouts in Puerto Rico.
These alliances were particularly interested in learning how to use logic models as a vehicle for building effective evaluation designs. NEERA has focused much of its research agenda on educator evaluation, and alliance members were interested in thinking more deeply about using theories of action to guide educator evaluation models. USIA is comprised of research directors at mid-sized districts in New England and New York, and they wanted training in how to help their instructional leaders think about setting up a proper evaluation prior to starting a new program or initiative. To address these needs, Rodriguez and Shakman presented three logic model workshops as webinars, inviting people both inside and outside the alliances to participate. Over 100 people attended these virtual workshops, which were held in October and November 2013, and January 2014. (Visit REL Northeast & Islands’ Skill-Builder Archive to view the webinars.)
In 2015, the Institute of Education Sciences published REL Northeast & Islands’ Logic Model Workshop Toolkit. The toolkit includes a complete facilitator workbook, participant workbook, and slide deck that can be used by education researchers, district leaders, and others to lead two separate workshop sessions—the first focused on the elements of a logic model and the process for developing a logic model for a program or policy, and the second focused on how to use logic models to develop effective program evaluation questions and indicators of success. The toolkit also includes case study examples that can be used throughout the workshop to illustrate the logic modeling process.
Karen Shakman, PhD
Karen Shakman, an experienced researcher and evaluator, specializes in advancing the field's knowledge of educator effectiveness sytems and illuminating barriers and facilitators to sustaining K-12 education reforms. She brings significant expertise in collaborative research and works to deepen practitioners' understanding of program evaluation, research design, and data analysis.
Shakman is the lead researcher for the REL Northeast & Islands Northeast Educator Effectiveness Research Alliance (NEERA).