Impact Based Research: Cross Sector Insights Toward Aligning Education Research and Real World Impact

Project: Research project

Project Details


Impact Based Research: Cross Sector Insights Toward Aligning Education Research and Real World Impact Impact Based Research: Cross Sector Insights Toward Aligning Education Research and Real World Impact Grant Summary This initiative will bring together pioneering government, academic, philanthropic and industry leaders to inform the development of an impact-based research methodology (IBR); a new approach to enabling a more direct and overt connection between academic research and the development of educational products and services that are making sustainable, scalable realworld impact. IBR is a service-oriented research approach that aligns key stakeholders around impact outcomes accomplished through clearly articulated theories of change that are continually optimized through sustained, capital efficient, real-world implementations and shared best practices across a committed community of practice. We have been developing the IBR methodology in the context of our core focus, game-based-learning, but believe the methodology applies to any tech-enabled, research-based educational initiative. At this point in our research, IBR is a proposed thesis with some initial work around key assumptions and process, as well as some aligned initiatives that leverage and inform the emerging IBR tenets. Through this NSF-EAGER support we will invite colleagues carrying out related work, examine existing promising projects from others, and engage in a critical examination of our own work to further substantiate this thesis. We will also carry out a series of case studies on identified exemplar projects, including our current game-infused digital teacher initiative. With multiple stakeholders and already over 2M in investment, this initiative creates a timely opportunity to iterate the framework given its focus on building, optimizing, and scaling a suite of game-infused products and services. To be clear, while our particular focus is targeted on the production of sustainable and scalable outcomes through game-infused products and services, the goal of this proposal is to develop an impact-based methodology that will be relevant to a broader NSF STEM portfolio. Such IBR methodologies are essential in the current financial times to ensure that large research expenditures of dollars are resulting in research that is being turned into innovative products and services with the potential for broad sustainable and scalable impact. The work to be carried out through this EAGER proposal will provide the essential foundation for justifying and iterating the IBR methodology, necessary next steps before embarking on a larger initiative and advocating for its widespread utility.
Effective start/end date9/1/135/31/15


  • National Science Foundation (NSF): $176,902.00


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