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Evaluation Services

Specializing in education and applied science program evaluation, CRRE’s research department improves the impacts of programs and services through four levels of evaluation studies: (1) design quality; (2) development; (3) efficacy; and (4) effectiveness. Researchers at CRRE work with clients to tailor evaluation plans to needs and budget, offering a range of services including consulting, research design, program monitoring, data collection, survey and assessment administration, and rigorous analyses of quantitative and qualitative data.

We serve a diverse range of clients, including curriculum developers, education centers, individual schools and school districts, and private foundations. Our work has encompassed local, national, and international evaluations on topics such as at-risk students, leadership development, online learning, and democracy awareness. For more detail, see an overview of our recent and current evaluations listed below and read an example of the importance of evaluating evidence for product effectiveness.

To address the unique needs of each organization, CRRE offers the following range of evaluation studies. CRRE can work with your organization to choose the level that is right for you.

  1. Design and Implementation Quality: Smaller “formative evaluation” case studies, often using program design quality rubrics, observations, interviews, and surveys that focus on a program’s design components and how they are received and used by target consumers (e.g., teachers, students, parents, etc.). Program improvements are directly informed by results.
  2. Development Study: Initial feasibility studies or pilots without control groups used to refine program design and gather evidence. Data typically includes stakeholder perceptions and extant data analyses. Clients receive reports detailing the benefits of the program or product. This is typically a first step to tryout a product or program before wider implementation or in building a grant resume and initial evidence needed to be competitive for larger grant applications.
  3. Efficacy: Medium-scale studies that focus on how the program operates and affects educational outcomes in try-outs in pilot schools or small treatment-group vs. control-group comparisons. Efficacy studies are conducted to prove potential on a small scale.
  4. Effectiveness: Larger-scale “summative evaluation” studies that focus on the success of the program in improving outcomes in rigorous non-randomized (“quasi”) experimental studies or randomized controlled trials.

Benefits to program developers and providers include:

  • Documentation of program or service usage by practitioners and learners;
  • Documentation of program/service effects in improving learning and other educational outcomes; and
  • Formative feedback to developers and providers regarding program/service improvement. 

Project List

Texas A&M University: CRRE is the third-party evaluator for Texas A&M University in the study of their Literacy-Infused Science Learning Technology Innovation Opportunity (LISTO) program under the Investing in Innovation Fund (i3) validation grant awarded to them by the Department of Education. This randomized control trial involves 71 schools in 33 different school districts and follows a grade 5 cohort over a four-year period. CRRE is also third-party evaluator on another TAMU project, Empowering Teachers of English Language Learners (ETELL), funded by the US Department of Education, Office of English Language Acquisition. This five-year RCT involves 28 Texas school districts using distance education, online, and field-based methodologies for teachers to obtain professional development in bilingual ESL education, as well as preparation for passing the state-required certification exams.

McGraw-Hill Connect: CRRE completed an efficacy study of McGraw-Hill Education's Connect solution, a secondary education digital teaching, assignment, and assessment platform intended to strengthen the link between faculty, students, and coursework, increasing productivity and reducing completion time.

National University Harmony and Inspire: CRRE conducted a mixed-methods evaluation of Sanford Harmony, a social-emotional learning program whose goal is to reduce relational conflicts in the classroom while increasing student confidence, relationship skills, and academic excellence. CRRE is conducting a mixed-methods evaluation of Sanford Inspire, a professional learning tool, to evaluate how practitioners, students, and other members of the school community at diverse sites use and react to the program.

Educational Technology: CRRE conducted a quasi-experimental study of DreamBox Learning Math, a web-based personalized math curriculum, to determine its efficacy for raising student achievement in mathematics.

CRRE is currently the third-party evaluator for the 1:1 device initiative in Baltimore County Public Schools known as STAT (Students and Teachers Accessing Tomorrow), as well as Fairfax County Public Schools' FCPSOn. These programs' goals include professional development and the resulting impact on measurable outcomes relating to the goals of improving teacher practice, improving student achievement, and preparing globally competitive students.

For more information on how CRRE can work with your organization, contact Dr. Steven M. Ross, professor and evaluation director, at (410) 616-2407 or