Today, we are excited to announce the launch of three distinct Research and Innovation Centers as part of our mission as a not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping all kids learn. Expanding on our 42-year commitment to education research, the three centers each have a distinct mission and purpose to provide greater insights and inform education practice and policy.
The three Research and Innovation Centers are:
- The Collaborative for Student Growth is devoted to transforming education research through advancements in assessment, growth measurement, and the availability of longitudinal data. The Collaborative works on a range of educational policy issues, including achievement gaps, assessment engagement, social-emotional learning, and innovations in measuring student learning. The Collaborative partners with universities, think tanks, and foundations to broaden their understanding of the challenges facing students and inform new ways of serving them.
Collaborative researchers presented on these and other topics this March and April at SXSWedu; SREE; ASCD Empower19; AEFP; AERA; and NCME.
- The Center for School and Student Progress provides expert consultation and analysis to schools who use NWEA assessments to improve student learning. The Center also engages in research partnerships to investigate critical issues relevant to practicing educators that can be answered by the application of assessment data. The Center has explored issues of school and teacher accountability, testing integrity, social-emotional learning, and poverty and school performance.
New research on the effect of chronic absenteeism on student achievement was presented in March at AEFP.
Researchers in the Center also collaborate with educators to create tools that enable students and teachers to gain new insights from NWEA assessment data, including data visualizations, reports, and the College Explorer tool, which helps middle schoolers chart a course to become college ready.
- The Product Innovation Center conducts research to understand how emerging technologies impact how students learn and engage with content. Through its Partners in Innovation program, it works with classrooms across the country to conceptualize, build, and field test innovative approaches to immersive learning and assessment. The Center also is promoting innovation at scale, managing a partnership that is developing, administering, and evaluating the Louisiana Innovative Assessment Pilot.
Currently, the Center is testing the use of augmented reality within an assessment; prototyping an approach to measure Collaborative Problems Solving (CPS); developing an early learning app that enables students as young as three to successfully self-administer a digital assessment on a tablet; and exploring embedding items within reading passages to improve the student experience and their performance.
The research centers at NWEA are comprised of researchers with a wealth of multi-disciplinary academic and industry experience. They publish original research, provide expert insight as presenters and panelists at conferences, and serve on editorial boards and technical advisory committees.
NWEA researchers have access to one of the richest databases of student achievement data in the world—the NWEA Growth Research Database (GRD™), comprised of longitudinal student data points from more than 230 million anonymized test events from across the world. The GRD is recognized throughout the research community and utilized for studies at more than 40 leading universities and research organizations, including Stanford University, University of Notre Dame, and Harvard University. It allows for deeper analysis of student achievement because it contains data points from multiple times during the school year, rather than just annually.
To learn more about the NWEA Research and Innovation Centers, check out our website.