CELL at UIndy

Center of Excellence in Leadership of Learning

Past Research Studies

Innovation through Information

CELL uses research to respond to evolving opportunities, challenges, questions, and concerns.  Using research as a tool to evaluate both existing programs and promising practices, CELL provides the data to drive decision-making that ultimately benefits all Indiana students. Following is a list of CELL’s ongoing research studies:

School Studies

Pike High School Graduation Study

As part of the Pike High School Graduation Study, completed in spring 2012, both quantitative and qualitative data were collected simultaneously through student, teacher, and parent/guardian surveys; student outcome data; and teacher interviews and focus groups. Quantitative data informed the evaluation of student outcomes and provided comparisons among groups, while qualitative data described important qualities and effects of the program for students. This study collected data about Pike High School’s methods of improving the number of graduates who continue to higher education including an analysis of specific support structures for students and parents/guardians. Findings were reported through a research brief released in fall 2012.

Case Study of Decatur Middle School PBL Initiative

The Case Study of Decatur Middle School PBL Initiative included an investigation of the PBL planning and implementation process. Both qualitative and quantitative data were collected to evaluate student outcomes and compare groups. Methods of data collection included student and teacher surveys, student outcome data, classroom observations, and teacher interviews. In particular, this study explored teacher collaboration patterns, and areas of success and challenge in PBL implementation. Further, relationships between student outcomes and PBL participation, and the effect of technology use were examined.

M.S.D. of Perry Township Secondary Education Program Diagnostic Study

The M.S.D. of Perry Township Secondary Education Program Diagnostic Study, conducted in spring 2012, included a comprehensive assessment of student and teacher performance, as well as stakeholder perceptions through quantitative data collection and analysis, followed by the collection and analysis of qualitative data to explain the relationships found in the initial quantitative work. Data were collected via student, teacher, and community surveys; classroom observations; student and parent focus group discussions; and teacher and administrator interviews. The goal of this study was to accurately and reliably identify which factors impacted student achievement to inform the M.S.D. of Perry Township of specific areas of strength and needed development.

Avon High School Study

The Avon High School Study, conducted in spring 2013, included an assessment of student, teacher, and parent/guardian perceptions of the schedule for the school day at Avon High School. Data was collected via student, teacher, and parent/guardian surveys; student focus group discussions; and teacher and administrator interviews, as well as the analysis of student outcome data.

Teacher Education & Professional Development

Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship Program Evaluation

The Woodrow Wilson Indiana Teaching Fellowship Program Evaluation was initially conducted with an emphasis on capturing the Fellows’ experiences during their clinical residency year, and first three years of teaching. In recent years, the research has developed into a study of teacher effectiveness and efficacy. Methods used to collect data have included classroom observations, surveys, interviews, and document analysis. The overall purpose of this multi-year concurrent mixed methods study is to examine the program quality of the WWITF at the University of Indianapolis, specifically focusing on the Fellows’ experience during their teaching internship and the mentoring program.

Northeast Indiana Project-Based Learning Coaching Initiative Study

The Northeast Indiana Project-Based Learning Coaching Initiative Study examined the success of the PBL Coaching Initiative, specifically focusing on the coaching model. The study aimed to capture the coaches’ experiences as they conduct their work as PBL coaches within Northeast Indiana schools. In addition, the study evaluated the level of teacher implementation of PBL across the region through a survey. Data were collected via surveys and interviews.

Project-Based Learning Institute Study

The Project-Based Learning Institute Study has evaluated Indiana’s annual Project-Based Learning Institute from its first year of implementation in 2009. The study has focused on the long-term impact the event has on educators’ classroom teaching practices. Methods of data collection have included observations of the event, interviews, document review, and surveys.

School Models

Study of Co-Curricular Programs: Central Indiana

Funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc., CELL studied the use of co-curricular programming in central Indiana schools. The goals were to identify the types of programs that are most beneficial for students and how teachers and school leaders would prefer programs be offered or delivered. Overall, school leaders’ and elementary and middle school teachers’ preferred methods of delivery for co-curricular programs are guest speakers, in-school demonstrations, and field trips. High school teachers prefer a guest speaker or virtual/online experience. Findings are disaggregated by school/district leaders and elementary, middle, and high school teachers as well as organized by three themes – current and preferred use of field trips, current and preferred use of in-school co-curricular programs, and barriers to and awareness of co-curricular programming.

Study of the Early College High School Model at Ben Davis University High School

The Study of the Early College High School Model at Ben Davis University analyzed student performance data as well as graduation results and post-secondary plans to determine potential effects of the ECHS model related to student achievement, matriculation, and college readiness. In addition to the collection and analysis of student outcome data, surveys, classroom observations, interviews with teachers and administrators, and student focus groups were conducted. Findings from the school were reported through a research brief released in fall 2012.

Indiana New Technology High School Study

The Indiana New Technology High School Study examined the implementation of the model, and outcomes for Indiana schools implementing the New Tech model since 2007. Data collection methods have included classroom observations, student focus groups, teacher and student surveys, teacher and administrator interviews, and document review, as well as an analysis of student outcome data. Findings from one school were reported through a research brief released in fall 2012.

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