An $18 Million, 3 Year, Ed Tech Dataset Proposal

Proposal Overview:

June 19, 2011

Proposal Overview:

This project will develop and disseminate a representative dataset of anonymous information from U.S. postsecondary enterprise learning management, lecture capture, media management, and student information systems and platforms. This dataset will be made available to researchers investigating the role of technology in educational attainment, persistence, retention, and other outcomes. The ultimate project goal is to build dynamic data feeds into a range of instructional platforms from a robust and representative set of postsecondary institutions to create a continuously growing (anonymized) database suitable for use in research.

Project Goals:

  • Create a common set of data standards and specifications that can be applied across proprietary and open source learning/instructional platforms that will facilitate the aggregation of data for research purposes.
  • Develop a representative dataset that will allow for empirical research on the effectiveness and R.O.I. of educational technology investments.
  • Facilitate decision making in educational technology spending that is informed by evidence via the creation and maintenance of a dataset suitable for research.
  • Support the training and development of a new cohort of scholars, at the graduate and professional level, who are undertaking rigorous research for peer reviewed publication.
  • Develop and nurture of a community of researchers and project partners involved in the creation of the dataset, as well as subsequent research utilizing the resource.

Project Timeline:
Year 1:

  • Creation of initial project team that will develop the detailed list of project outcomes and deliverables.
  • Writing of detailed specifications for the dataset.
  • Develop plan for creation of stable revenue source for long-term project stability.
  • Creation of project website and development of communications plan.
  • Recruitment of project partners across higher ed institutions and educational technology vendors.
  • Plan and host project participant meeting.
  • Hold quarterly webinars to report on progress.
  • Writing of detailed project plan, with sign-off from project partners and project funders.
  • Development of database structure and authoring of data feed tools.

Year 2:

  • Execution of project plan to create the dataset.
  • Execute communications plan.
  • Development of research plan.
  • Hold quarterly webinars to report on progress.
  • Plan and host project participant meeting.

Year 3:

  • Dataset becomes live and available on project website.
  • Hold quarterly webinars to report on progress.
  • Plan and host project participant meeting.
  • Plan and host researcher meeting.

Project Team:
Principal Investigator
Database Specialist
Application Specialist
Communications Specialist

Annual Project Budget: $6 Million
Project Team: $2 million.
Database and Application Development: $2 million
Communication, Outreach: $1 million
Operations: $1 million

Total Project Budget (3 Year): $18 million

Project Risks:

  • Creating the technical specifications for the dataset and the data feeds for dynamic data population will prove too difficult or not possible to implement.
  • Institutions will choose not to cooperate, or be unable to cooperate, in creating systems for dynamic data feeds.
  • Vendors will choose not to participate in the creation of common standards and tools to output data.
  • Concerns over student privacy and data security will slow project participation.
  • Long-term project funding mechanisms will not be put into place.
  • Final dataset will not be robust enough for quality research on educational outcomes and technology.
  • Enterprise campus technology platforms and standards move too quickly to create a meaningful dataset for research.
  • A research community will fail to coalesce around the new dataset.

How can this proposal be improved?
Who should be on this research project team?
Where should this proposal be submitted?

Can this space be used as a method to develop a team that will come up with a plan to move this vision forward?


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