SEGway January 2017

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SEGway     January 2017
Research and Assessment News from SEG Measurement  
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Thank you for your readership and subscription to SEG Measurement's SEGway, our research and assessment newsletter.  We currently have almost 14,000 subscribers and are thankful to have so many colleagues interested in important education developments and our take on them.

It is difficult to predict where education is headed right now. The recent election and inauguration clearly have signaled a change in direction.  But it is still too early to get a handle on the precise impact.  The administration and appointee for secretary have signaled a move to more school choice and shifting federal money to the state and local levels.  Beyond that, not much is clear.  I am hoping we can share more on where education is heading in our February issue.  
We encourage you to learn more about our work in assessment and efficacy research. Connect with us at conferences, through e-mail, or by phone. We also look forward to continuing the discussion with you through this newsletter, on Twitter (@segmeasure) and on LinkedIn (SEG Measurement).  
Take a look at our website at, as it is frequently updated with developments in the field, and email me at I always look forward to hearing from you.
Scott Signature

Scott Elliot
SEG Measurement 

Making Wise Choices
A New Age of Research
The need to gather evidence of product/program effectiveness is certainly nothing new.  But, with a greater number of product and service choices than ever before and limited resources to purchase and implement solutions, states and districts are going to be even more careful with their spending than we have seen in the past.  Limited funds need to be used to address many needs. In short, buyers are going to be looking for hard evidence of product efficacy before handing over limited resouces.

What does this mean for educational publishers, educational technology providers and other service solutions?  Educational solution providers need to have strong scientifically-based evidence to be successful in the marketplace. School buyers are looking to purchase the most effective solutions for teachers and students.  Promises, testimonials and "trust me" are not going to be enough to be successful in the market.  Publishers and other solution providers need to have well-designed, well-executed and current research to support their claims.

The ESSA (Every Student Succeeds Act) puts greater emphasis on research than earlier initiatives.  Research is a clear requirement for federal funds to be used. There are multiple levels of research discussed in the ESSA as we presented in recent issues of SEGway.  Efficacy research should be clearly aligned with the ESSA levels and the results should be clear and actionable, so that research consumers at the local level clearly understand the research and how best to implement the program for student success.

Experts widely agree that research is most credible when conducted by a qualified, independent third party research organization.  This helps maintain the integrity and credibility of the results you share with buyers.

Please contact Scott Elliot at for assistance with interpreting and meeting the ESSA guidelines.

Evaluating the Effectiveness of STEAM Products & Initiatives
Critical Outcomes Checklist
STEAM initiatives are on the top of most district priority lists these days.  STEAM refers to science, technology, engineering, arts and mathematics and is an important initiative to ensure that students are ready for work and further education.  SEG has been engaged in research in these areas for more than a decade, but, not surprisingly is doing more work in this area than ever before.  

There are many ways to evaluate STEAM products and services.  Here are some ideas for outcomes to consider as you plan your research for STEAM. 
  • STEAM knowledge and skills.  Of course, we want to evaluate whether or not the students successfully acquired the knowledge and skills that were targeted in the instruction and that relate to state and national standards in the subjects.  Looking at this alone may not be enough to fully evaluate a STEAM program, though.
  • Critical Thinking skills.  Critical thinking, problem solving, and reasoning skills regardless of the specific subject area are typically a focus in a STEAM initiative and should be evaluated directly. 
  • Cross-over into other subject areas.  More effective STEAM programs also help to increase skills in other subject areas, in particular literacy skills.  Research on STEAM programs may examine whether the treatment helps to increase skills outside of the targeted subject areas.
  • Student STEAM self-efficacy and confidence.  In addition to the knowledge and skills, STEAM programs are typically built to help increase students' self-efficacy and self-confidence in the STEAM subject areas.  Therefore it can be useful to evaluate whether there were increases in these attitudes during the STEAM initiative. 
  • Student interest in STEAM activities and concepts.  Even if students' skills or self-efficacy are not increasing as quickly as hoped, the program may be generating interest in STEAM or in school which may lead to increased performance over time.
These outcomes can be investigated across all students and within subgroups as applicable.  In addition to these outcomes, it is worthwhile to evaluate implementation factors.  While this is not directly tied to the evaluation of the product/initiative effectiveness for increasing targeted outcomes, the implementation is an important factor driving effectiveness.  Many factors can contribute to a program's ultimate effectiveness, including but not limited to the cost of the initiative, the technology requirements, the professional development requirements, and the personnel time requirements.
We have several STEAM studies underway and planned and look forward to sharing more with you this year.

Call or email us today at 800-254-7670 ext. 102 or to find how SEG can help you improve product quality and increase sales through better assessment and product effectiveness research.

Visit our website for more details at:

SEG At Upcoming Conferences
Let's Meet!
We are looking forward to seeing our colleagues and meeting new friends at the upcoming conferences.  We are participating in several sessions & we invite you to join us.
 Look for us at these upcoming conferences:
  • TX Assoc. of School Admin. Conf. & Education Expo, January 29 - February 1, Austin, TX
  • Texas Computer Education Association Annual Convention, February 6 - 10, Austin, TX
  • Pennsylvania Educational Technology Expo & Conference, February 12 - 15, Hershey, PA
We would love to meet with you and discuss how we can help you build strong assessments and get the proof of effectiveness you need for success.  
If you would like to meet with a representative from SEG Measurement to discuss how we might help you with your assessment and research needs, please contact us at

About SEG Measurement
Building Better Assessments and Evaluating Product Efficacy
SEG Measurement conducts technically sound product efficacy research for educational publishers, technology providers, government agencies and other educational organizations, and helps organizations build better assessments. We have been meeting the research and assessment needs of organizations since 1979. SEG Measurement is located in New Hope, Pennsylvania and can be accessed on the web at