REL Pacific offers customized technical assistance services and resources for educators and policymakers that help translate research findings into everyday practice. Technical support projects are intended to advance the understanding of data and how it can serve to inform decision making, and can include environmental scans, policy scans, and data inventories. If you are part of an education organization and would like to request technical assistance, please contact us today.
Read more about past technical assistance projects below!
Making Data Meaningful Survey Data Analysis: For this project, REL Pacific supported administration of the Making Data Meaningful Survey and analysis of survey results in multiple Pacific entities. Surveys were administered to research alliance members and education stakeholders (i.e., staff members of K-12 public school systems and faculty and Executive Committee members of a community college) and gathered information on stakeholder perceptions of specific components of data use in order to provide foundational and baseline information in the following areas:
- attitudes and opinions regarding data use;
- quality of data management;
- frequency of data analysis;
- data-informed decision making; and
- improving data use.
SAT-10 Data Analysis: In the 2012/13 school year, the Stanford Achievement Test-10 (SAT-10) was administered for the first time to students in grade 9 and 11 in a Pacific entity. Pearson, the developer and owner of the SAT-10, analyzed students’ responses and provided reports back to the Ministry of Education (MOE). REL Pacific conducted a technical assistance project to help MOE personnel understand and interpret the SAT-10 results; specifically, (a) the types of information available in the Pearson reports, and (b) the terminology used in the Pearson reports (for example, national percentile rank-stanine, national normal curve equivalent, local percentile rank-stanine, and local normal curve equivalent).
Student Achievement Data Analysis: REL Pacific responded to a request to help analyze student performance data. Data were analyzed in order to answer the following questions:
- What are the frequency, distribution, and mean values of student and school characteristics variables from baseline curriculum and other test datasets?
- What is the performance of students and schools on specific tests from 2008 to 2011?
- To what extent does the performance of students and schools from 2008 to 2011 vary by student and school characteristics?
- What is the change in performance of students and schools between pre-test and post-test administrations of the baseline curriculum tests in each year from 2008 to 2011?
- To what extent does the performance of students and schools between pre-test and post-test administrations of the baseline curriculum tests in each year from 2008 to 2011 vary by student and school characteristics?
REL Pacific provided the requestor with student achievement analysis reports detailing findings on these four questions.
Workshops and Professional Development
Education Data Institute: REL Pacific examined the quality of education data available to investigate the apparent relationship between declining student test scores in math, language arts, and science and the increasing number of certified teachers in classrooms. The data were organized into a coherent data file so that the requestor could more easily respond to questions about student performance trends. In support of the project, Exploring the Use of Education Data for Improving Student Outcomes, REL Pacific organized an Education Data Institute and offered several professional development workshops for data systems managers and teams, as well as for principals and coordinators.
Building Capacity for Data Use: REL Pacific responded to a request to assist with the migration of data storage (e.g., administrative, student and teacher data) from the Pacific Education Data Management System (PEDMS) to FileMaker Pro 11. REL Pacific staff provided the data management team with information about best practices from case studies on how to develop a quality data system. Of the 10 specific FileMaker Pro technical assistance needs identified during the conversation, the requestor’s data team identified four as high priority. These included creating a layout design capable of linking various departmental data, scripting, generating reports, and data validation. A FileMaker Pro consultant was present on site with REL Pacific staff during the institute and provided technical assistance based on these priorities.
Information and Resources
Indicators of School Quality: REL Pacific responded to a request for research-based information on school quality, in particular on the areas addressed in an annual School Quality Survey (SQS). In response to this request, REL Pacific conducted a web-based search for informational resources to answer the key question: How do the current dimensions of the SQS (i.e., standards-based learning; quality student supports; professionalism and capacity of the system, coordinated team work, responsiveness of the system, focused and sustained action, involvement, and safety and well-being) affect school quality?
Utilization of Hawai‘i Specific, Publicly Available Data Sources: REL Pacific responded to a request to support increased use of Hawai‘i-specific, publicly available data sources for education research on specific priority topic areas. The project was guided by the following questions:
- What is the accessibility and format of Hawai‘i-specific, publicly available data sources?
- What research topics can be examined using the data within Hawai‘i-specific, publicly available data sources?
- What types of technical assistance can be offered to support the use of the Hawai‘i-specific publicly available data sources?
As part of the project, REL Pacific developed a resource of guidance materials with detailed information on Hawai’i-specific, publicly available data sources, and will provide technical assistance on using these data sources to execute research.
Inventory and Usage of Classroom Resources: REL Pacific was asked to gather information on resources that teachers are actively using in the classroom. This request came out of an interest to understand what materials/resources are available to teachers in their classrooms; which of these resources they consistently use; and reasons for using/not using particular materials. REL Pacific will help research alliance members develop a survey instrument for the research alliance to administer to teachers; this survey will explore teacher perceptions of the usefulness of available resources, as well as which resources they use in their teaching.