WWC Online Training Introduction, Part 1

Welcome to the Introduction Module of the
What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) Group Design Standards Training. This module provides an overview of core concepts,
important logistics, and key resources referenced in the WWC Group Design Standards training
series. On the slides, some words are underlined and
in bold. Definitions for these terms are in the glossary,
which is available on the WWC website, whatworks.ed.gov. To receive a certificate of completion for
viewing these training modules, you must view the videos on the WWC’s website. You can access all of the resources mentioned
in this module through the WWC’s website, whatworks.ed.gov. This module provides an introduction to the
WWC Group Design Standards training. In this module, we will outline the purpose
and the goals of this training and explain the certification options. We will also provide some background information
about the WWC, including what we do and how we do it. In addition, we will describe the logistics
related to the training, including how to access additional resources that may be helpful
to you throughout the training. Finally, we will introduce and give a brief
overview of the topics that subsequent modules will cover. The WWC offers this training to inform the
public about our design standards, increase transparency of our review process, and promote
the use of rigorous research. The purpose of this training is to describe
and explain key elements of the WWC Group Design Standards and how the WWC uses those
standards to identify high quality, rigorous research. Each module of this training focuses on a
different aspect of the standards. It also describes the procedures the WWC uses
to review studies and how it reports findings. Finally, the training will prepare those who
are interested in pursuing the optional group design certification process. Although this training will go into depth
on the WWC standards, it is not a comprehensive training on research methods or designs more
generally. The training will reference many research
concepts, but it will only discuss them in the context of the WWC standards. This training is appropriate for those interested
in assessing the credibility of research evidence on the effectiveness of educational interventions
and interpreting research findings. This may include:
• People trying to make evidence-based decisions in education settings, or
• Researchers who are developing rigorous studies to meet WWC Group Design Standards. Those who view the first six modules in this
training will earn a certificate of completion for doing so. To receive a certificate of completion, you
must view these six videos on the WWC’s website. For people who want to pursue certification
through the WWC, there are two options available: Those who view the full set of nine modules
in the online training are eligible to become certified in the WWC Group Design Standards. To do so, trainees must successfully complete
a certification exam that tests knowledge of the standards covered in the training modules. The certification test, along with the three
additional training modules which include content about WWC procedures and standards,
can be accessed using the Additional Training and Certification link on the home page of
the online training site. After becoming certified in the WWC Group
Design Standards, trainees may also be eligible to become certified reviewers for the WWC. Achieving this level of certification requires
successful completion of additional tasks. Those who successfully complete this level
of certification can be included in the list of certified reviewers on the WWC website,
and the WWC or the Institute of Education Sciences may contact them to assist with review
efforts. To determine which option to pursue, consider
which certification level you would ultimately like to earn. Viewing the first six modules is a part of
the pathway to the certificate of completion and both levels of certification. Before you participate in the training, it
will be helpful to have some basic information on the What Works Clearinghouse. The WWC is an initiative of the Institute
of Education Sciences at the U.S. Department of Education. The purpose of the WWC is to evaluate and
summarize the rigorous research on education interventions. We define interventions as any educational
program, product, practice, or policy aimed at improving student outcomes. An intervention might be a math curriculum,
an afterschool program, the use of educational software, or an instructional practice for
teaching reading. When evaluating research, we use a common
set of standards to guide our work. This allows the WWC to be consistent and transparent
in our efforts. This training focuses on the most frequently
used set of WWC standards, called the Group Design Standards. When we apply the Group Design Standards,
we focus on effectiveness research—studies that try to determine whether an intervention
caused an improvement in student and teacher outcomes. We do this to provide educators and decision
makers with information to make evidence-based decisions. We provide information to educators by summarizing
our findings in different types of publications. Using a systematic review process, intervention
reports summarize all the rigorous evidence on a specific intervention to support evidence-based
decision making. Practice guides help educators address classroom
challenges by offering concrete suggestions and summarizing the evidence base associated
with the suggested practices. Finally, quick reviews contain the WWC’s
assessment of a single publication that is receiving media attention.

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