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Current Projects

Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE) - NSF ITEST Evaluation (2014-2017)

Under a National Science Foundation (NSF) grant sponsored by The STEM Learning and Research (STELAR) Center (www.stelar.edc.org), Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (www.siue.edu) is implementing the Innovative Technology Experiences for Students and Teachers (ITEST) titled Digital East St. Louis.  SIUESIUE and partners will develop and test a model for urban place-based learning aimed to motivate and help prepare minority middle-grade students to pursue STEM education and career pathways. The three-year program contains both research (effectiveness of the learning model) and evaluation (performance of NSF-funded activities) components. DESL staff will develop a coordinated series of learning activities designed to increase students’ interest in digital humanities, STEM educational pathways, and computer technology. Hezel Associates was contracted to assist with and build the research capacity of DESL as well as conduct an external evaluation to monitor implementation; provide formative feedback for project improvements; and assess the effectiveness of the project in terms of achieving its goals, and contributing to the body of knowledge on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education.

Hezel Associates’ evaluation will assess project progress toward completion, inform the improvement of both project implementation and the learning model being developed, and assess preliminary effectiveness of the learning innovation and its implementation. Data will be collected through internal project activities, including process and product quality assurance documentation, student and parent feedback, DESL observations, output assessments, and interviews with DESL program staff.

Through this evaluation Hezel Associates will be able to identify the level of successes of the DESL project. The research plan is designed to measure the effect of the DESL innovative learning model on students, and build the capacity of SIUE to sustain research protocol. The evaluation plan and analysis is designed to measure the extent of the quality of project activities, the extent to which the outcomes of the activities meet expectations, and the effectiveness of new materials.