Educational Research and Evaluation

Our research and evaluation team supports the scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) by exploring the nature and effects of educational innovations undertaken at the University of Minnesota. Because CEI is a centrally funded unit, there is no additional cost to you regardless of the level of engagement you seek. Start a collaboration with our research consultants for advice and assistance with:

  • evaluating course-level innovations,
  • assessing department- and college-level educational initiatives, and
  • conducting campus-wide research into the impact of digital learning technologies and other teaching and learning innovations

Contact J.D. Walker to learn more and get started.

How our expertise can support your educational research project

Planning

  • Conducting literature reviews and benchmarking exercises
  • Defining research questions
  • Selecting a research methodology and data collection methods appropriate for answering research questions
  • Preparing an overall research or evaluation plan
  • Determining the need for IRB review and helping with the IRB application process

Implementation

  • Developing data collection instruments
  • Conducting data collection
  • Testing instruments for validity and reliability
  • Managing research and evaluation projects

Analysis

  • Collating, organizing, analyzing, and interpreting project data

Reporting

  • Producing overall project reports, including project background, data presentation, interpretation, and analysis

We offer three levels of involvement in your project

Level 1

Most research inquiries fall into this category. At this level, research and evaluation team members act as consultants on all aspects of the project, providing advice and expertise as needed on project planning, data collection, analysis, etc. We provide feedback on but do not produce data collection instruments such as surveys nor do we write evaluation plans or project reports. Service of this sort will typically result in the client's collection of data suitable for program inprovement purposes.

Level 2

Some projects may eventually require greater involvement. At this level, we act as technical assistants to project leads. We consult on all aspects of the project as well as conduct the technical aspects of evaluation and research. This could include assisting with IRB applications, developing data collection tools, and collecting, cleaning, and collating data. We produce a basic report describing the project's findings, but do not engage in extensive data analysis or interpretation. At this level, we do not produce evaluation plans or full project reports. Service of this sort will typically result in a brief report suitable for internal consumption and decision-making processes.

Level 3

In a few cases, we act as professional partners working in concert with project leads. We are involved in every step of the project, from defining research questions through data gathering and analysis to interpretation of findings and report writing. This form of service typically results in scholarly outcomes such as presentations and peer-reviewed publications