< Explore

Introduction to Improvement Science: A Learning-By-Doing Simulation Facilitator’s Handbook

This facilitator’s handbook and related teaching materials prepare an experienced improver to lead a group through a case-based simulation of an extended improvement effort. Participants experience an improvement journey from initial problem identification through to seeing measurable improvement and sharing effective changes through simulation activities.

Improvement journeys typically progress through phases of problem identification, learning aligned to a theory of change, and the spread and scale of changes that improve results. Improvement science principles and methods can shape these journeys, elevating the expertise of those closest to the problem and bringing discipline to the process of testing changes and gathering evidence about the changes that lead to improvement.

At the beginning of an improvement effort it can be challenging to visualize a team’s path from initially recognizing a problem to realizing a different result. Leaders can be challenged to help their teams to imagine the path ahead. This facilitator’s guide for the Introduction to Improvement Science: A Learning-by-doing Simulation equips a leader take teams through a case-based set of activities to simulate an extended improvement journey in a 2.5-4 hour time period. Participants in the simulation follow a team as it works to improve chronic absenteeism, and in the process are introduced to different improvement science tools and methods that can be used at each stage of work.

The facilitator’s handbook and related materials equip an experienced improver to lead others through this simulation experience. The handbook details instructional objectives, paths to customize based on audience and time available, and common misconceptions to address. Teaching materials include handouts, slides with detailed talking points, and a facilitator’s agenda. To access the material, please INQUIRE below.

Introduction to Improvement Science: A Learning-by-Doing Simulation workshop description

Using a case-based simulation that mixes instructional lessons with guided, hands-on teamwork, participants in this workshop will advance their understanding of how improvement science can enhance the capacity of classrooms, schools, districts, and other institutions to produce high-quality outcomes reliably for every child across diverse settings. Participants will experience being part of an improvement team at key stages: investigating the problem, articulating a focused aim, identifying changes, and working through Plan-Do-Study-Act (PDSA) cycles to test and learn from those changes. Participants also reflect on the personal dispositions that support effective improvement work. From this interactive session, participants will learn how a multi-month improvement journey can build and take shape.