CRUE team members are involved in wide range of research use related projects in collaboration with partners across the globe.

Current and Recent Projects

New! Diffusion of Research on Supporting Mathematics Achievement for Youth with Disabilities through Twitter Translational Visual Abstracts

Jessica Rodrigues, University of Missouri

Joel Malin, Miami University

Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, University of Delaware

Improving how mathematics-focused research is communicated to a practitioner audience is one key avenue for mitigating the research-practice gap, which in turn, holds potential for reducing inequality in mathematics and STEM outcomes for youth with disabilities. This project features a partnership with the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), the largest international professional organization dedicated to improving outcomes of youth with disabilities, to explore current practices and innovative strategies for diffusion of practitioner-centered journal articles focused on supporting the mathematics achievement of students with disabilities through the online platform Twitter. The research plan involves a two-phase mixed methods design. Phase 1 includes a systematic journal analysis with Altmetric and qualitative content analyses to gain a descriptive picture of the extent to which, how, and by whom mathematics-focused articles in prominent practitioner journals for supporting students with disabilities have been shared on Twitter in the last 10 years. Phase 2 leverages the CEC partnership and use of the CEC Twitter account. A randomized controlled trial informed by Phase 1 findings will compare diffusion of mathematics articles focused on youth with disabilities and published in CEC’s flagship practitioner-centered journal, Teaching Exceptional Children (a) without CEC Twitter promotion, (b) with text-based CEC Twitter promotion, and (c) with innovative CEC Twitter promotion using translational visual abstracts (TVAs). Project broader impacts align with NSF 21-114 Dear Colleague Letter that suggested NSF fund more research related to improving STEM learning and workforce development for persons with disabilities and NSF 22-548 for training for STEM education researchers on communicating research to stakeholders.

New! A Critical, Ecological Perspective on the Wallace Foundation Research Production, Diffusion, and Use

Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple and Samantha Shewchuk, University of Delaware

Caitlin Farrell, University of Colorado, Boulder

Joel Malin, Miami University

Jenna Watling Neal and Brian Brutzman, Michigan State University

Lok-sze Wong, University of North Texas

Launched in 2023, this seeks to understand how research funded by the Wallace Foundation is used, by whom, and in what contexts. We draw on frameworks that allow us to conceptualize  research use as the diffusion of an innovation within ecological systems and with a critical lens.  We are engaging in a four-phased approach in which we: 1) map the field of Wallace-funded  research products through document analysis; 2) surface strategies and opportunities for  knowledge mobilization through interviews with Wallace stakeholders and partners; 3) identify  patterns of use and non-use through a survey of current and intended users; and 4) integrate  findings across phases and frameworks. Centering equity throughout, we examine the roots,  development, and spread of knowledge, and whether and how certain foci or strategies privilege the diffusion of some knowledge while marginalizing other knowledge. This project is intended to assist Wallace by providing information needed to support their efforts to fund high-quality,  equitable, actionable research; and build knowledge about how ideas from research can  spread, strategies to support such efforts, and barriers that may exist.

Building Capacity for Evidence-Informed Improvement: Supporting State and Local Education Agencies

Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, University of Delaware

Norma Ming, San Francisco Unified School District

Dan Goldhaber, University of Washington & the American Institutes for Research

Akisha Osei Sarfo, Council of the Great City Schools

Paula Arce-Trigatti, National Network of Education Research Practice-Partnerships

State education agencies (SEAs) and local education agencies (LEAs) are critical levers for strengthening the educational system’s capacity to generate and use evidence for continuous improvement. However, the work of evidence generation and use is not well-understood within these agencies, nor is there a strong understanding of how the larger educational ecosystem influences this aspect of agency work. This report summarizes two convenings with state and local agency research office leaders, organized by members of the broader education community to create a space to share and to learn about the evidence-related work of educational agencies. More than 60 participants joined these convenings to share perspectives on the factors that support the work as well as the challenges they face, offering recommendations for how the larger educational system can support and benefit from their efforts to generate, elevate and facilitate the use of evidence. 

Summary Report and Recommendations

District Research Leaders as Knowledge Mobilizers and Brokers

Samantha Shewchuk and Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, University of Delaware

The role of district research leaders (DRLs) in central offices has emerged as a strategy for improving the creation, flow, and use of research knowledge in decision-making. However, there is limited information about the responsibilities, opportunities, and challenges inherent in these roles. The purpose of this study is to explore DRLs as knowledge mobilizers and brokers of research knowledge.

Findings From the District Research Leader Knowledge Mobilization Survey

Survey of Knowledge Mobilization Among District Research Leaders

Taxonomy of DRL Job Tasks

A Job Description and Resume Analysis of District Research Leaders

Mapping the Field: Use of Research Evidence in Policy and Practice

Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, University of Delaware

Annette Boaz, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Kathryn Oliver, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine

Robert Borst, Erasmus University Rotterdam

Xiaoxue Zhang, University of Delaware

The use of research evidence (URE) in policy and practice is relevant to many academic disciplines and indeed many policy and practice domains. Different methods and approaches to measuring, evaluating, promoting and describing the various ways in which evidence and policy/practice interact have sprung up, reflecting the broad and diverse areas where this is a concern. There has also been an explosion of research into how evidence is produced and used,
with dedicated journals and increased funding for URE work emerging over last 15 years. Yet at the same time, those engaged in the scholarship and practice of URE face challenges advancing the field in terms of both accumulation of knowledge over time and across disciplines and intervention and improvement in evidence use. Our shared interest in advancing URE and its efforts, in collaboration with the William T. Grant Foundation, brought us together to “map the
field” in this research report, with the objective of provoking a conversation about where we are and what we need to move forward.

Mapping the field: Use of research evidence in policy and practice

Finding Support: Organizations Funding URE Work

Influential Works: Knowledge Utilization References

Elizabeth N. Farley-Ripple, Jesse Sheeks, Amanda B. Jennings, Andrew Millin, University of Delaware

As expectations for research and data to inform educational decision making continue to grow under federal policy, state longitudinal data systems (SLDS) are in place in nearly all states and offer a unique resource for generating evidence to support improvement efforts. However, little is known about whether and how researchers are able to access these data. State processes and procedures for granting researcher access may support or impede the generation of timely and relevant research.  In this paper, we present findings of a content analysis of state education agency (SEA) websites that explain those processes and procedures.  We find great variability in SEA approaches to supporting user requests, transparency of the process, data privacy and security, guidelines for use, and available data. Results are intended to launch a productive dialogue on these issues and promote more consistent and coherent policies that promote evidence-based decision-making, and, ultimately, stronger ties between research, policy, and practice in order to collectively improve educational opportunities and outcomes for all students.

Education Data Systems: A Systematic Look at State Practices Related to Researcher Access