Think of me as a partner…
I didn’t set out to be an evaluation consultant. My background is in program development. I have been designing and implementing programs in education for 30 years. During graduate school, I realized that the research methods I was learning in order to conduct behavioral and social science research could be used to improve educational programs.
Research methods can reveal patterns underlying data, and that’s what I look for—patterns. Patterns can be based on certain demographic characteristics, motivations, shared experiences, or any number of factors. But these factors are not always obvious in the crush of lived experience, and they cannot always be discerned through simple descriptive statistics or themes that emerge in a handful of interviews. That’s why most of my projects use mixed-methods research—a combination of qualitative and quantitative data that, taken together, reveal the contours of lived experiences, along with color and shading.
Notice the company name. Quality outcomes depend on quality designs. Study design is the key to efficient and effective data collection, analysis, and reporting. My specialty is envisioning elegant, laser-focused designs that conserve resources while generating great data. Great data are the basis of great results. The right design, combined with well-targeted data, investigative data analysis, and clear, thoughtful reporting, can inform not just a single program, but reveal insights that can leverage an entire sector.
Examples of QED’s Quality Evaluation Designs
- QED’s six-year inquiry into the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) program at Stanford University identified a handful of Engaging STEM Teaching Strategies that have the power to motivate K-12 students to pursue STEM majors in college.
- Two papers I’ve co-authored related to retention research in engineering education have been awarded the American Society for Engineering Educations (ASEE’s) William Elgin Wickenden Award for the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE) article each year that exemplifies the highest standards of scholarly research.
- In 2016, QED completed a five-year, mixed-methods study of refugee integration in Denver for the Colorado Refugee Services Program (CRSP). Having achieved a 70% retention rate over four years of data collection, this might be the first longitudinal survey study of a refugee population ever successfully conducted in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world.