Universal Research Framework

InnovateEDU Launches Open-Source Blueprint for Inclusive Research and Development in Education [BIRD-E]

Developed in Collaboration with ED's Institute of Education Science and Top Education Organizations

Education nonprofit InnovateEDU today launched the Blueprint for Inclusive Research and Development in Education, dubbed BIRD-E, to make it easier to build data-based evidence that is accessible to all K–12 stakeholders and applicable in all classrooms, according to a news release.

BIRD-E is an open source, universal framework designed to generate actionable, high-quality research that ed tech providers, policymakers, researchers, education leaders, and other K-12 stakeholders can easily access, understand, and apply in the classroom. The BIRD-E Blueprint is free to download at www.bird-e.org.

A free webinar will be held at 3 p.m. EDT on Wednesday, May 18 to explain the Blueprint and help stakeholders incorporate its framework into their work to maximize data and research in boosting student outcomes. Register for the webinar at the bird-e.org Events page.

InnovateEDU noted that as demand has grown for research-based evidence mandated by federal law, there is no universally agreed-upon standards to define what data is collected when impact studies are conducted, for example. As a result, K-12 stakeholders struggle to know for certain what solutions are truly effective, especially for specific student groups.

“For evidence to truly benefit our educators and students, we need to take a hard look at the foundational infrastructure and how we conduct research from the start,” said Mark Schneider, director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Science. “The BIRD-E Blueprint promotes a more collaborative approach to research that supports diverse teams of education researchers and practitioners coming together to plan, implement, and interpret results from research studies.”

The Blueprint outlines the key data elements that researchers should use to design their research, according to the news release. “Practitioners and providers can use the Blueprint’s common language to better identify and align their programs and services to what works,” InnovateEDU said. “Educators can then more easily use the data and insights in their own decision-making, selecting the interventions that will work best for their diverse student needs.”

BIRD-E guidelines are based on a proven intervention model that has led to closer connections between research and practice in other fields, such as healthcare and energy, the nonprofit said.

“Education research and development must work for the benefit of students and educators,” said Erin Mote, executive director of InnovateEDU. “For too long, much of education research has been happening in a silo with results unable to be discovered or generalized by practitioners. Without a strong, robust research and development ecosystem that focuses on inclusive and connected practice, it can be challenging to find and apply evidence equitably and effectively for every student. The BIRD-E Blueprint is building the infrastructure for the next generation of education research to help answer how education tools, interventions, programs, and services work, for whom, and under what circumstances.”

The Blueprint was created in collaboration with leaders from more than 70 education organizations, federal and state education agencies, and ed tech providers. Several national education organizations are acting as co-launchers of the BIRD-E Blueprint in the hopes of advancing a “more diverse, inclusive and equitable research ecosystem anchored in effective practice,” including the Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences, LearnPlatform, The Education Trust, Digital Promise, Advanced Education Research and Development Fund, and The Spencer Foundation.

About the Author

Kristal Kuykendall is editor, 1105 Media Education Group. She can be reached at [email protected].