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The Center for Strategic Research and Development Alliances

The Center for External Research

The Center for Strategic Research and Development Alliances finds and creates opportunities for collaboration between ETS researchers and like-minded organizations to create innovative, education-measurement solutions. ETS researchers lead approximately 60 projects funded by governments, philanthropies and organizations. We collaborate with other organizations — government agencies, foundations and institutions — to strengthen our shared resources and generate knowledge that promotes positive change in education. Some of the highlights in current research include:

  • Measuring how people work in groups. ETS researchers and our partners, such as UCLA CRESST, the Concord Consortium, the Center for Occupational Research and Development (CORD) and the Institute of Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado Boulder, are investigating how to measure collaborative and individual problem-solving skills. We accomplish this by working with the U.S. Department of Education's Institute of Education Sciences (IES Award No. R305AA170432), the National Science Foundation (NSF Award No. 1535224) and the U.S. Army Research Institute for Behavioral and Social Sciences (Award No. W911NF-18-0001).
  • Evaluating how students learn the concept of function in mathematics. With support from the NSF (NSF Award No. 1621117), ETS researchers, in partnership with the Algebra Project, The Young People's Project and Southern Illinois University Edwardsville are helping students — especially historically disadvantaged students — develop a deep understanding of a key concept in learning algebra. The project includes an assessment designed to measure student understanding with respect to this key concept.
  • Supporting students learning argumentation. ETS researchers, with funding from IES (IES Award No. R305A190242), are looking to identify the malleable factors that predict the development of middle school students' argumentative writing skills by exploring the students' abilities to generate oral and written arguments.
  • Helping teachers lead classroom discussions. In another NSF-funded effort (NSF Award No. 1621344), ETS works to help teachers — particularly novice teachers — develop their ability to effectively facilitate argumentation-focused discussions in elementary science and mathematics. Using Mursion's proprietary simulation platform, ETS is developing a formative assessment system that uses simulated classroom environments and associated performance tasks to allow teachers to practice their classroom discussions, receive constructive feedback on their performance, and reflect on that feedback and their experiences with peers and teacher educators.
  • Supporting educators to measure and build content knowledge for teaching. ETS researchers, in partnership with science education faculty from Western Washington University and with support from NSF (grant #1813254 and #1814275), are creating a suite of assessment tools that can help elementary teacher educators as they work with preservice elementary teachers in teacher education programs. These tools are being used to assess and develop the content knowledge that elementary teachers use when teaching science — such as eliciting student ideas and selecting instructional activities that meet a specific instructional goal — in one science content area (matter and its interactions).

The outcomes of these and our other externally funded studies help us understand and foster skills that are critical for success in school, career and life.

Contact Us

If you are interested in collaborating with one or more of our researchers on an externally funded study, please contact the Center for Strategic Research and Development Alliances.

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