Center for Educational Innovation

Academic Affairs and Provost

Research and Evaluation

The Research and Evaluation team at the Center for Educational Innovation (CEI) explores the nature and effects of educational technology used at the University of Minnesota. CEI consultants provide, for no charge, advice and assistance to University of Minnesota instructors and support staff.

Areas of Expertise

The Research and Evaluation team provides expertise in a number of areas relevant to carrying out evaluation and research projects, including the following.

Planning: Preparing for a Research or Evaluation Project

  • Conducting literature reviews and benchmarking exercises
  • Defining research questions
  • Selecting a research methodology and data collection methods appropriate for answering the research questions
  • Preparing an overall research or evaluation plan

Implementation: Carrying Out the Project as Planned

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


  • Collating, organizing, analyzing, and interpreting project data


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

Levels of Service

The Research and Evaluation team offers three levels of service or involvement in client projects:

Tier 1: Consultation

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, grant writing, etc. Research and Evaluation consultants do not attend project team meetings other than those devoted to project evaluation; they provide feedback on, but do not themselves produce, data collection instruments such as surveys; they do not write evaluation plans or project reports.

Tier 2: Technical Assistance

At this level, Research and Evaluation consultants act as technical assistants to project leads. They provide consultation on all aspects of the project and, in addition, conduct the technical aspects of evaluation and research, such as developing data collection tools, collecting data, and collating data. They do not attend project team meetings other than those devoted to project evaluation. They produce a basic report describing the project’s findings, but they do not engage in extensive data analysis or interpretation. Finally, they do not produce evaluation plans or full project reports.

Tier 3: Research Partnership

At this level, Research and Evaluation consultants act as professional partners working in concert with project leads. They are involved in every stage of the project, from defining research questions through data gathering to interpretation of data and report writing.


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