Interest in Measures of Effective Teaching Data Spreads

Barely six months after ICPSR began accepting applications from the research community at large for use of the Measures of Effective Teaching Longitudinal Database, 155 researchers are working with the data on dozens of projects.

The researchers are members of 34 teams making use of the MET LDB quantitative and/or qualitative data, said Johanna Bleckman, an ICPSR manager of the database project.

The MET LDB provides archival, dissemination, and training services for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation-supported MET Project, the largest study of classroom teaching ever conducted in the US. Additionally, about 20 teams are in the process of applying for access.

"Initially, the data were available only to the MET Partners -- the researchers and organizations who handled various aspects of the original data collection -- and to a set of 10 winners of the MET Early Career Research Grants, which were announced early last year," said Bleckman. "But now that the MET LDB is available to the entire research community, we're seeing the interest spread."

The MET LDB holds about 60 datasets containing a variety of indicators of teaching quality collected in classrooms of more than 2,500 4th- through 9th-grade teachers in over 300 US schools and six school districts.

It also provides access to an abundance of qualitative data in the form of more than 11,500 videos recorded in 1,424 classrooms.

ICPSR archive staff will be available at an exhibit booth at the annual meeting of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) on April 3-7 to discuss the MET project data and answer questions.

The MET LDB holdings recently were expanded to include two additional years of districtwide student standardized test scores from all six of the school districts, bringing the total number of years to four. These data, obtained through agreements established by ICPSR with the districts, can be used to create Value-Added Measures to attempt to quantify the value a teacher added to student's knowledge or education over the course of a year.

"Researchers can look longitudinally at students in order to estimate the effects of a particular teacher," Bleckman said. "Access to this kind of districtwide data is very valuable and difficult to obtain."

A few of the many other studies utilizing the MET LDB are investigating the characteristics of interesting mathematics lessons, using videos; measuring cultural dimensions of classroom interactions; and examining reading comprehension instruction.

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Mar 26, 2014

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