Empirical Education continued its active involvement as an associate member of Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), participating in its 9th annual Ed Tech Industry Summit and helping to draft a set of guidelines for provider-sponsored research on educational technology products and service.
At SIIA’s San Francisco conference held May 3-5, Dr. Denis Newman discussed Empirical Education’s experience in state and local experimental evaluations as a panelist in a session addressing technology-based assessment tools entitled “Harvesting Information from Assessment to Support the Learner and the Educator.” Other panelists representing SRI and CTB/McGraw Hill brought their expertise in testing to a discussion of the differences between formative and summative assessments and how data from such assessments are used to inform decision-making at various levels: teacher, school, district, and state. Dr. Newman’s remarks drew the discussion into technology trends such as longitudinal data systems, growth scales, and value-add analysis and the need to apply statistical processes that are not yet commonly part of school data systems.
For the past year, SIIA has also supported a working group consisting of members with interest and expertise in research and evaluation. Dr. Newman was asked to participate as co-chair and has been working with the other group members to complete a set of guidelines that can provide guidance in designing scientific evaluations, given the particular characteristics of technology interventions. The company has worked with many SIIA members, assisting them to work with school systems to evaluate their products and services.