Research and Evaluation

Research that Educators Use to Learn and Improve  

ISKME’s Research Group designs research that is focused on bringing practical improvement to education initiatives. Equipped with new knowledge and with evidence-based models, our education partners and stakeholders, including administrators, policymakers, funders, and community members, can develop and adapt what works for their own learning contexts and their learners.

ISKME’s Research Services include:  

Landscape Studies

Exploring the landscape of current practices and policies, such as the uptake of an innovative pedagogical model across a state or school system. 

Impact and Evaluation Studies

Assessing new programs, such as the impact of digital curriculum use on student learning. 

Instrument Design

Creating research metrics and instruments that education leaders can administer in their own settings to inform decision making.

Practice Guides

Building research-based toolkits and guidebooks that help educators navigate and implement complex new teaching and learning practices.

Our Approach: The RISE Research Framework

The foundation of ISKME’s research is in understanding our partners’ unique context, practices, and perspectives. Our approach embodies “learning in action,” and is articulated through our RISE Research Framework, below.


We work with partners and clients to create collaborative processes and calibrate expectations toward robust research outputs. 


Our rich, rigorous methods enable us to engage stakeholders and integrate their input into research design, implementation and outputs.


All projects are viewed through the ultimate lens of student learning impacts, whether direct or indirect.


Our approach includes the needs of all affected populations served, using tested diversity and inclusion frameworks and rubrics as starting points.

Leaders in Research in Open Education

With more than 15 years of expertise in open education, ISKME’s Research Group works with partners to study and put into place structures, policies, and practices that support student success through the use of  Open Educational Resources (OER) and open educational practice (OEP). We view OER as accessible, adaptable curriculum, as well as a set of practices that support the continuous improvement of teaching and learning.

Featured Projects

Supporting Increased OER Use for Online and Emergency Remote Learning in CA Community Colleges, a project, supported by the Michelson 20MM Foundation, to produce a set of resources to support connections between OER and online teaching and learning.

Building OER Curriculum-Alignment Networks Across States and Higher Education Libraries, a project, supported by an IMLS-NLG National Digital Infrastructure grant, to collaboratively design and pilot a network service to exchange OER metadata across multiple institutional repositories and library systems.


Research Services

Landscape Studies

ISKME’s landscape studies help our partners gain a comprehensive understanding about a key issue, opportunity, or challenge they want to explore in their context. We gather nuanced information from the stakeholders that matter,  and develop digestible findings and recommendations that enable organizations and institutions to move from their current state—toward a desired future state that better meets the needs of the learners they serve. 

Open Educational Resources in Texas Higher Education

Open Educational Resources and K-12 Music Education

Impact and Evaluation Studies

ISKME’s impact and evaluation research helps those looking to assess the effectiveness of their education policies and programs for teaching and learning. We conduct both small- and large-scale studies in partnership with schools, school systems, government agencies, and curriculum developers to gather both formative and summative evaluative feedback to inform decision making.


Equity and Access, Civic Engagement, and Media Literacy:  External Evaluation of KQED Education Resources


Friends of Lucas Education Research (FLER): Study to Assess Teachers’ Use and Impact of Project-Based Learning Curriculum

Instrument Design

ISKME develops metrics, instruments, and rubrics that government agencies, foundations and others can use to do their own research, and to evaluate their own effectiveness. From developing a set of indicators to help UNESCO measure the extent to which its member countries have adopted OER, to designing a survey that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation used to understand the collaborative supports needed for its grantees, ISKME’s instrument design service helps partners better serve their key stakeholders, from the inside.

Practice Guides 

ISKME designs guides and toolkits that help educators navigate and implement new teaching and learning practices. Grounded in research, our evidence-based guides and toolkits help articulate what actually  works in real education settings—and are tailored to the unique professional learning needs of our partners and their stakeholders.


Ontario Colleges OER Toolkit for Faculty and
Library Staff


A Framework to Guide Practice:
School Librarians as OER Curators


Research Projects and Partners 


Schools and School Systems

  • UC Berkeley Principal Leadership Institute
  • Florida State University
  • Granite State College
  • Foothill-DeAnza Community College District
  • Chabot-Las Positas Community College District
  • Digital Higher Education Consortium of Texas (DigiTex) 
  • School District of Philadelphia
  • Ontario Colleges Library Services
  • Jesuit Higher Education Institutions


Nonprofit Organizations

  • Internet Archive
  • Lucas Education Research
  • KQED Education 
  • Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice 
  • Carnegie Hall Weill Music Institute
  • CAST / National Center on Accessible Educational Materials for Learning (AEM Center)
  • Accrediting Commission for Schools / Western Association of Schools and Colleges


Government Agencies and Organizations

  • U.S. Department of Education, Office of Education Technology
  • National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research
  • Institute of Museum and Library Services
  • White House Office of Science and Technology Policy
  • Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board 
  • UNESCO ICT in Education Unit
  • International Development Research Centre



  • William and Flora Hewlett Foundation
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • William Penn Foundation
  • Michelson 20MM Foundation
  • Shuttleworth Foundation
  • Lumina Foundation
  • MetLife Foundation
  • Pearson Foundation