The Evidence for Improvement approach described in this paper is designed to enhance a network’s internal learning processes and, in turn, lead to more positive impacts for educators and students. It has implications for improvement practitioners, evaluators, and funders.
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This course introduces an approach for attending to the work of an improvement network and is intended for network leaders and individuals who support the analytic activities of networks, such as data analysts, researchers, or evaluators. In the course, participants will use the Evidence for Improvement framework to consider a network’s activity related to its working theory of improvement, collaboration among its partners, concerns about scaling, and interaction with its environmental context. Course activities emphasize the importance of simultaneously engaging with the work in each of these areas and the implications that doing so has for the collaboration between a network leader and an analytic partner(s).
- Understand the Evidence for Improvement framework.
- Identify key approaches, techniques, and tools used by analytic partners at each of the areas of inquiry—working theory of improvement, collaboration among its partners, concerns about scaling, and interaction with its environmental context—and have an introductory understanding of how they are used.
- Describe how and why analyzing each of the improvement network levels—environmental contexts, improvement enterprise, and working theory of improvement—is important to a well-functioning improvement effort.
- Articulate the role of analytic partners and how it differs from the role of traditional evaluators.
This course is intended for those who support the analytic activities of a network, network leaders, and evaluation professionals. Participants should have basic knowledge of improvement science (e.g., participated in an improvement effort, attended a Carnegie Summit on Improvement in Education, etc.) or familiarity with another continuous improvement methodology.
This course is currently being offered through live, interactive sessions hosted on Zoom. Sessions include small group discussions, activities, and presentations that require real-time participation. Workshop sessions are scheduled on three different days in the span of a week (such as Tuesday-Friday-Tuesday). Participants should plan to complete short readings or assignments in between workshop days.
This course is designed for individual participants. Analytic partners and evaluators who are currently collaborating with network leaders may find it particularly useful to attend together.
Erin Henrick is a senior lecturer in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Organization at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Dr. Henrick is also president of Partner to Improve, an education research and consulting group supporting improvement and systemic change in education through powerful partnerships.
Dr. Henrick is an Research Practice Partnerships (RPPs) researcher, evaluator, and professional development provider. Prior to evaluating RPPs, Dr. Henrick was a researcher on a 10-year NSF funded RPP (known as MIST) focused on improving math instruction across large urban districts. She co-authored the book Systems for Instructional Improvement-Creating Coherence from the Classroom to the District Office. Dr. Henrick received her Ed.D. in Leadership, Policy, and Organization from Vanderbilt University.
Contact us if you have questions about the course.