ICPSR has prepared a number of video tutorials about MET data available on YouTube. In addition, the American Educational Research Association and MET LDB staff prepared an introductory video on MET (site requires you create a free account).
Which of the MET studies do I need to apply for? What's the difference between the Core Files, the District-Wide Files, and the other files?
The Core Data Files contain a crafted sample of teachers to facilitate longitudinal analyses, and include only MET teachers who participated in Year 1 or both Year 1 & 2 of the MET Project. No teachers are included who only participated in Year 2 of the MET Project. Additionally, for certain instruments, only aggregated or summary variables are included. No sub-sample instruments or special topic data are included.
The Base Data Files include all MET teachers regardless of what year(s) they participated in the study. All aggregate, summary, and item-level data are available for all instruments and measures. Users interested in using a sample of the random assignment students or including only longitudinal teachers will need to craft this sample themselves. Analysts may decide to use some variables from the Base Data in tandem with the Core Data. The ID crosswalk is available in the Study Information Files to assist with that endeavor.
The District Wide Data Files include all teachers in the school district regardless of participation in the MET study. Variables included are only those used to construct the Valued Added Measures.
Please read the User Guide included in Measures of Effective Teaching: Study Information for a more detailed explanation of the studies.
Can I compare districts in the MET data?
No. The MET database was not designed as a representative sample of teachers in each district. Comparisons across districts are not valid. Analytical models should control for unobserved differences among districts, but conclusions about differences between districts cannot be derived from these data.
Why don't you provide the names of school districts?
Although the names of the school districts included in the MET LDB are known, the identities of those districts should be masked in all publications based on the MET LDB for two reasons.
First, since the MET data are not a representative sample of teachers in each district, identification of districts may lead to comparisons that lack scientific merit.
Second, public identification of districts would increase the risk that individual teachers and students might be identified. As a user of the MET LDB, you are obligated to protect the confidentiality of individuals in the database.
Districts should not be named in any publications or presentations except as part of a statement listing all the districts that participated in MET. This information can already be found publicly on the MET website and in existing MET publications.
Publications should not include tables providing information that could be used to identify MET districts. For example, demographic characteristics (e.g. distribution by race, ethnicity, free and reduced school lunches) may lead to identification of districts and should not be associated with MET District IDs. Readers may be provided background information about the districts from public sources without associating that information with MET District IDs.
Restricted Contracting System and the DUA Application Process
Who is eligible to access the data?
The Primary Investigator of a research project using the METLDB must: hold a PhD or other terminal degree, and hold a faculty position at a university or research position at a research institution.
Who is my Institutional Representative?
Your Institutional Representative is an individual who has been delegated the authority to enter your institution into legal contracts and agreements. The METLDB Confidential Data Use Agreement is an institution-to-institution agreement and so must be signed by both your institution and the University of Michigan.
My institution would like to propose modifications to the data use agreement --is this possible?
The Agreement for the Use of Confidential Data from the Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database is a standard template that is required to be signed by the authorized institutional official for each approved requester. The terms and conditions are written to apply uniformly to all data users and without modification.
How can the District-Wide Files be analyzed, and what do I and my Institutional Review Board (IRB) need to know about this group of files?
All of the data files and videos are consented by parents and teachers for secondary analysis except the District-Wide Files. The District-Wide Files are a collection of administrative data provided to approved researchers in accordance with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA), which stipulates that student record data may be distributed for secondary analysis only for the purposes of education research. Please see FERPA §99.31 for further information on appropriate uses of student administrative records. All MET LDB Data Use Agreement applications will be evaluated to ensure that the proposed use of the District-Wide Files, if applicable, complies with FERPA requirements and falls within the scope of the goals of the original MET Project: to build and test measures of effective teaching and to help school districts identify and develop great teaching.
The district wide files are comprised of one data file per district for each of the two years of the MET project, for a total of twelve data files. Each file contains information on each student in the school district including student demographic variables, such as race, age and gender, specialty student status variables such as free lunch, English language learner, and gifted and talented program participation, and student-level test rankings for math and reading. Also included are the aggregate means of those same student demographic, specialty status, and test score variables for each teacher.
All of the quantitative data will be utilized on an ICPSR server accessed via secure log in to ICPSR's Virtual Data Enclave, a virtual machine isolated from the user's physical computer, restricting the user from downloading, emailing, FTP'ing, copying, or otherwise moving information, files, or parts of files outside of the virtual enclave. All of the video data will be accessed via a secure video streaming tool, requiring a unique login and password for access. The MET LDB Data Use Agreement stipulates prohibited uses of the data and associated analysis output, including information that cannot be made public through publication, presentation, or other means.
My co-PI or research staff are at a different institution than me; can we collaborate on one project?
Yes. Please note, however, that Data Use Agreements are between the University of Michigan and the PI's institution, therefore if two institutions will collaborate on one project, two Data Use Agreements must be established. Each institution needs a Principle Investigator, Data Use Agreement, and IRB review documentation. Please contact us for more details.
Virtual Data Enclave (VDE)
What is the VDE?
The VDE is a virtual machine launched from the researcher's own desktop but operating on a remote server, similar to remotely logging into another physical computer. The virtual machine is isolated from the user's physical desktop computer, restricting the user from downloading files or parts of files to their physical computer. The virtual machine is also restricted in its external access, preventing users from emailing, copying, or otherwise moving files outside of the secure environment, either accidentally or intentionally.
What software applications are available in the VDE?
The VDE operates just like a standard Windows desktop and includes many of the most popular statistical analysis packages. All work with the quantitative data files can only be done within the VDE. The data files and software remain on an ICPSR server. Software packages available in the VDE include:
- ArcGIS 10
- Adobe Acrobat
- Microsoft Office 2010
- SPSS 19
- SAS 9.3
- Stata 12
- StatTransfer 9
- SUDAAN (SAS-callable) 10
- Emacs 21
- Textpad 5
- WinZip 14
- R 2.15
Requests for additional software are welcome, and will be reviewed in batches every 3 months. Please email MET-LDBfirstname.lastname@example.org with requests.
How will I remove output when I'm ready to present my findings?
Researchers interested in removing output or other non-data files from the secure environment may submit a request to ICPSR, and ICPSR staff will review the requested files to ensure no confidential information is removed from the secure environment. Approved researchers requesting to remove output from the VDE should send an email to MET LDB Inquiries with the following information:
A narrative summary of all output requested for release, compiled into a single document, one-page maximum.
File names of all documents requested.
ICPSR staff will email files with adequately low reidentification risk or request modifications prior to a second review.
Current vetting requirements and criteria are provided here but may be modified in order to protect confidentiality of students and teachers.
No data files, data extracts, or listing of cases will be released.
No identifying output broken out by district, teacher, classroom, or student will be released. Please review the Data Use Agreement for further information on acceptable output presentations.
Please limit requested output to results that are needed for presentations and papers. We are unlikely to review output beyond 15 standard pages in length. Be aware that longer output will significantly increase the length of the review period. In most cases, we will only review one set of output files per project.
Well-documented and explained program files should accompany all output.
Tables must include cell counts and percentages
Tables with cell sizes smaller than ten (10) will not be released. Please recode variables as necessary before submitting tables for review.
If applicable, tables must be accompanied by a relevant subset count and description.
Regression output must include a description of any sub sampling and description of variables included in the model
Regressions based on fewer than 20 cases will not be released
Logistic regression output should be submitted with a pseudo-R-squared statistic
District-Wide output files:
We will look closely at District-Wide output to ensure that it meets the above requirements, meets FERPA regulations, and falls within the scope of the original goals of the MET Project. Please see How can the District-Wide Files be analyzed, and what do I and my Institutional Review Board (IRB) need to know about this group of files? for further information on appropriate and sanctioned uses of the District-Wide Files.
Can I upload files to the VDE, such as programming syntax, for use with the MET data?
Researchers interested in uploading existing syntax or other files into the VDE for use with the MET data will email the files to MET-LDB-Inquiries@umich.edu and we will vet them, similar to requested output. ICPSR staff will not allow researchers to input data files as the MET data may not be merged other data sources.
How do I access the video files?
Once approved for use of the confidential data, access to the streamed video data files will be granted via a secure log in, using a web browser on your computer (not within the VDE). A filterable and categorized list of uniquely ID'd videos will be presented and researchers may select and stream all videos of interest.
Can I get access to higher-quality versions of the videos?
Unfortunately, the video you see on the site is the highest quality version of the video. After video processing (and compression), the original videos were destroyed.
Can I download the video files?
ICPSR's agreement with the data producers prohibits us from releasing the video data files. We are only permitted to stream the videos.
How were the microphones positioned?
In the video, you can see a black/silver pole interrupting the view. Atop that pole was a microphone that captured the students input. In addition, the teachers wore a microphone. You can switch between these audio tracks using the video player.
Why does the video appear to be distorted?
The distortion is the result of rendering all sides of the room into one long image, a segmented panorama.
Although the distortion is unusual at first glance, this view enables you to see the entire classroom without having to adjust the camera angle, which is very useful for observational coding.
Why is the video so wide?
The original videos are just over 1300 pixels wide. Although we can shrink them within the Web browser, that makes it difficult to perceive the details necessary for observational coding. (Facial expression and such.) If you're attempting to code the videos, you probably want to adjust your screen resolution and maximize your browser window.
How can I link the videos to the quantitative data?
Each video has a four-character alphanumeric Session ID that is referenced in the data files. Write down the code and find it on the Observation Session List. Please note that access to the videos is restricted to approved researchers.
Can I record information about videos outside of the VDE?
As a user of the MET data you are obligated to protect the confidentiality of students and teachers who appear in the videos and quantitative data. No information may be recorded outside of the VDE that might disclose the identities of districts, teachers, classes, or students -- either alone or in combination with other information. For example, attributes of teachers or students appearing in videos, such as race, age, gender, etc. may not be recorded in any way outside of the VDE. Additionally, attributes of the class session, such as grade or subject, may not be recorded outside of the VDE. Re-identifying schools or districts from information like classroom setting, student demographics, or material appearing in classrooms (e.g. names of sports teams) is also prohibited.
It is acceptable to record information that does not identify people or places. For example, rubrics describing teaching styles, student reactions to lessons, classroom tone or climate may be used to score videos. These scores may be recorded outside the VDE with the video ID.
I have a large team of video raters; do they all need access to the VDE?
Research team members who will record non-identifying information about teaching sessions will not need access to the VDE. Any team member who will record identifying information (such as characteristics of teachers or students) or requires access to the quantitative data will need to complete their work within the VDE.
How many videos are available, and from how many teachers?
We currently have 11,541 videos available for viewing, of 1,124 teachers' classrooms. It is possible that additional videos will become available in the future; we will update the database, if necessary, at regular intervals.