Past Programs

Education

  • Longitudinal Data Systems (LDS) – Virginia is one of 20 states to receive a 2010 Longitudinal Data Systems Grant, funded through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009. CIT assisted the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) in securing this grant for the development, operation, and enhancement of a Longitudinal Data System (LDS). Virginia’s $17.5 million grant will allow VDOE to enhance the Commonwealth’s Educational Information Management System (EIMS) and to place additional high quality, actionable data into the hands of teachers, administrators, researchers, policymakers, and the public. To this end, CIT explored several areas to assist VDOE in identifying the potential benefits of the LDS.

  • VDOE Data Exchange Best Practices – CIT Connect was commissioned by VDOE to develop an up-to-date and relevant assessment of best practices related to the design, development, deployment, and operation of industry, government, and cross-industry data exchange initiatives. To achieve the objective, CIT applied its proven CIT Connect analysis process, which included a thorough research review, a gap analysis, and direct interview performed by the CIT Connect study team. A Best Practice report was developed outlining both recommended action steps for successful project execution and trap to avoid. While specific data exchange applications vary widely from industry to industry, the central hypothesis behind this study was that there were common lessons learned to be harvested from among the breadth of data exchange transformation experiences: Build a Community, Adopt and Adapt Standards, Actively Foster Adoption, Choose the Right Technical Architecture, and Develop a Sustainment Plan.

  • VDOE Workforce Readiness – In 2008 and 2009, CIT worked with VDOE on a Data Exchange Decision Support and Sustainability project. CIT provided VDOE with direct support as it expanded the capacity of its longitudinal data system. CIT applied the proven CIT Connect analysis process which included a blend of direct research and analysis from a subject matter advisory panel. CIT planned and executed a series of advisory panel meetings, identified and interviewed experts, conducted best practices and benchmarking analysis, and developed a series of reports to support the VDOE. The project enabled VDOE to determine key data elements needed to answer during educational questions; recommendations to develop and improve upon data governance practices; and to pursue alternative ongoing funding options for the data exchange and the research required to answer enduring policy questions.

  • VDOE Online Learning – CIT was commissioned by VDOE to analyze the state of online learning in Virginia and the United States. CIT conducted a thorough examination of Virginia state policy documents to identify risks and potential opportunities for change. Policies were categorized and examined by analysts with expertise in a particular policy area. In addition, CIT used its proprietary CIT Connect research, survey, and interview process to conduct an analysis of virtual school activities and policy developments outside of Virginia and in the commercial world. The information gathered was evaluated for benchmarking and comparison purposes and for the development of a comprehensive compilation of best practices. Online learning activity in Virginia’s school divisions was examined to determine what gaps existed and what resources might be necessary to make online learning available to all students in Virginia.

  • VDOE Linked Student–Teacher Data – CIT was tasked by VDOE to explore the use of linked student and teacher data. One objective of the project was to improve the quality and utility of data policy and instructional decision makers at the school-, division-, and state-levels. CIT designed and executed four stakeholder meetings throughout the Commonwealth to gather input regarding the linkage of teacher and student data. In addition, CIT applied a carefully constructed survey process to identify and reach out to states that perform exceedingly well in their ability to match teachers to students. CIT conducted in-depth interviews with representatives from key states to identify best practices and potential pitfalls. The stakeholder input and national trend information was used as CIT conducted best practices and benchmarking analysis to identify stakeholder requirements to write a series of reports to inform VDOE’s decisions.

  • VDOE Academic and Career Plans – VDOE tasked CIT with exploring the topic of academic and career plans and their impact on student achievement outcomes. Academic and Career Plans (ACP) are planning tools that guide students in academic and career decisions so as to focus on particular career goals, while leveraging available resources and academic offerings in the pursuit of their goals. Students who develop a career plan and receive career counseling in high school are less likely to drop out and more likely to enjoy greater success post-high school. The project team applied a rigorous project scope to provide a thorough analysis of the client scenario and solutions that included: developing and executing a series of stakeholder workshops; designing and conducting a statewide survey for benchmark analysis; analyzing ACP planning programs at the state and district level throughout the nation; and examination of various operating models and considerations for access. During this process, a team developed several reports that outlined the benefits academic and career plans can provide, created a set of best practices, and provided recommendations for potential data elements in standardized ACP.

  • VDOE Teacher Evaluation – VDOE commissioned CIT to head a workgroup to conduct a comprehensive study of teacher evaluation as a tool to improve student achievement. In order to tackle this politically-sensitive project, CIT provided a structured and disciplined program management approach to ensure schedule adherence and maximum performance. CIT engaged a 40-plus member workgroup and subject matter experts to update and restructure the state’s guidance documents. CIT managed a series of workgroup meetings, a three-part statewide survey, national outreach, and research to provide VDOE with a collection of reports, including four standards documents, to guide Virginia’s divisions in establishing teacher performance evaluation processes.

  • VDOE Growth Measures – Growth Models are powerful tools which can be used by policy makers and administrators to understand and measure the progress of students based on where each individual student begins. The state of Virginia, mandated by federal law to develop a growth model, is working to identify and develop a specific Growth Model. As part of the development process, VDOE asked CIT to coordinate a series of regional workshops to communicate this Growth Model and to gather feedback on it before the final version is released. CIT developed and administered four regional workshops designed to provide participants with a thorough explanation of the growth model – through lecture and experiential activity – and an opportunity to provide input to be used in the development of the final model.

  • Virginia Longitudinal Data System Architecture – VDOE commissioned CIT to indentify key success factors that could provide guidance in the development of a more efficient SLDS in Virginia. In order to achieve this complex objective, the CIT project team investigated other large data integration projects in state education agencies, other governmental agencies, and large data integration projects in other industries. The team examined published information from a variety of sources, and a gap analysis was performed on these reports and articles to identify missing information and critical areas where further research must be conducted. In addition, researchers interviewed a number of SLDS leaders and industry leaders who managed large integration projects. These interviews provided the foundations for the compilation of best practices and key takeaways that were essential to the success of each of these projects. The CIT project team, along with COV subject matter experts, incorporated the original conceptual SLDS architecture with results gained through the best practices research and subject matter expert interviews to develop and implementation architecture. The refined architecture expanded the details for functional components, security, reporting, and how data requests would be managed given known constraints. Through this effort, the CIT team developed a physical infrastructure architecture.

  • VDOE Division Competition – VDOE allocated $2M to assist school divisions that may be pursuing their own development and data integration projects. CIT is managing a statewide competitive process to encourage and finance division data projects that would advance the goals of the LDS, support the four ARRA Education Reform areas, and improve education data statewide.

Mobile Learning

CIT was selected by the US Department of Defense (DoD) to conduct market analysis of the mobile learning market, which included identifying industry implementation best practices and assessing and identifying technical solutions capable of delivering mobile learning aides for a branch of the US military. Download CIT’s White Paper on mobile learning.


Web 2.0 Technologies

Because Web 2.0 applications (e.g., Facebook and Twitter) increasingly serve as viable channels for information sharing and learning, the DoD sought to assess how Web 2.0 technologies could serve as platforms for internal collaboration and learning. CIT was called upon to assess the viability for Web 2.0 technologies and to develop best practices for implementations.


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