For the last 18 months, the Office of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education, in partnership with the Institute of Education Sciences (IES) at the Department, has been working with Mathematica Policy Research and SRI International to build the Rapid Cycle Evaluation Coach (the RCE Coach). The RCE Coach is a free, open-source, web-based platform to help schools and districts generate evidence about whether their educational technology apps and tools are working to achieve better results for students.
The RCE Coach currently includes two types of evaluation designs:
— matched comparison, which creates two similar groups of users and non-users of an ed tech application already in use at a school site and;
— randomized pilot, which randomly assigns participants to groups of users and non-users of an ed tech application that has not yet been implemented.
While the tool is free and open for any school or district to use (and many have done so already, with over 1,700 individuals registered), the designers have worked closely with 12 districts to pilot the RCE Coach, and six of the pilots are already complete. The pilots spanned the two evaluation designs and studied how selected math or literacy products affected student academic achievement.
Access the RCE Coach here: https://edtechrce.org/
For more information about lessons learned from initial pilots, see https://medium.com/@OfficeofEdTech/eight-lessons-learned-from-piloting-the-rapid-cycle-evaluation-coach-1f7f681af96f