Evaluation

FAQs

1.  Why use an independent, third party evaluator?
Beta tests can often be done in-house but the most credible data are developed at a distance from the sponsors.  Our thirty years of peer-reviewed research and professional publication has made us a trusted source of commentary on what works in education and particularly in e-learning.

2.  How much do evaluations cost?
The scope of work can be sized to fit the available budget.  And, we regularly work with clients to develop proposals for outside funding—foundations, government agencies, etc.

3.  How is working with a research firm different from working with a university?
Both have their advantages.  We specialize in responding to client needs and are not distracted by other obligations, for example, meeting graduate classes or defending a dissertation.  And, the results of privately conducted analyses can be treated with appropriate discretion.

4.  When should we start testing?  Collecting impact data?
Interactive, Inc. is frequently asked to join projects in the early development stage where we are an outsourced point of information for defining and refining product messages, functions, value propositions, etc.

5.  Can reports be used for marketing and sales?
Absolutely.  Reports are the property of our clients to do with as they wish.  We specialize in the intersection between effective marketing and empirical research.

6.  Who recruits sites and students, who handles the logistics?
We manage research in all parts of the United States (and abroad).  Each project is unique and working collaboratively with our clients we strive to implement a plan of tasks, deliverables, and participants that is most effective for the purposes of the evaluation.

7.  Can we see data and analysis as they are being developed?
That strengthens our research and the sponsor’s work.  And, we often bring schools and districts into the process of commenting on our analysis which builds good working relationships.

8.  Does Interactive, Inc. work with individual schools and/or school districts?
Yes.  Our ability to field large scale, multi-site and longitudinal analyses depends in part on our understanding of how schools work, what their concerns and strengths are.  We learn from and we enjoy working with clients who are responsible directly for teaching children.

9.  What about publishing?  Speaking at professional meetings?  Meeting with customers?
We are a full-service firm beginning with design and following all the way through to reporting the end results to audiences of practitioners, policy elites and the general public.  Part of our job is to make complex research easy to understand.  We are happy to make presentations and facilitate discussions regarding our work at the client’s request.

10.  Does Interactive, Inc. have any biases?
No and yes.  In the first place, we are “guided by the numbers”.  If something works, we can tell for whom, how well and why.  The same can be done for those things that don’t work.  Our mission is to play one part in increasing learning opportunity.

 

Last Updated: June 17, 2015