Our Projects

ETR can support your organization or project in numerous ways to best fulfill your goals. Whether you need short-term capacity-building assistance, customized trainings, program evaluations, full-scale research projects, technical assistance clearinghouses, or high-quality print and digital resources, we can help. Please review our core competencies to learn more about our areas of expertise.

ETR's multidisciplinary teams are committed to the highest standards of quality in their respective fields.

View projects by area of focus, type of project, or status:

About Us: A Healthy Relationships Program for Vulnerable Youth

ETR was awarded a Personal Responsibility Education Innovative Strategies Program grant from the Family & Youth Services Bureau to refine and evaluate a relationships-based program called About Us. About Us is an innovative intervention that draws on developmental neuroscience principles to support young people in exploring and developing healthy romantic relationships and using condoms and highly effective contraceptives if having sex. ETR has partnered with the California School-Based Health Alliance to implement About Us in school-based health centers located in rural or suburban counties in California with large Hispanic populations. The evaluation is being conducted by Dr. Eric Walsh-Buhi and his team from the Graduate School of Public Health/ Institute for Behavioral and Community Health at San Diego State University. 

All4You! and All4You2!

ETR was funded by the CDC to develop, implement and evaluate All4You!, a 2-component intervention (behavioral skills and community involvement/service learning) for youth in alternative schools with a high rate of sexual risk behaviors. The program was successful in reducing selected sexual risk-taking behaviors at 6 months.

With funding from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, ETR developed, implemented and evaluated the individual and combined effects of interventions that featured a skills- and norms-based curriculum, All4You2!, and/or service learning. The study involved youth in continuation schools. Results show modest short-term impacts of the skills-based curriculum, but not the service-learning or the combined service-learning/curriculum intervention.

Boot Camp or University Classroom? Preparing Women and Underrepresented Minorities for the Software Development Workforce

With the rapid rise of coding boot camps promising training that leads directly to lucrative jobs, industry has more options for finding trained employees to fill software development jobs. However, it is not well understood who attends these boot camps and how the training they offer aligns with workforce needs. This study—a collaborative work with the College of Charleston—investigates what skills and knowledge both coding boot camps and university computer science programs offer to their students and how these align with the skills and knowledge that employers seek in newly minted software developers.

The Benefits of Computer Game Programming: A Research Synthesis

The goal of this project is to systematically analyze and summarize research on the benefits of computer game programming for children. In the last decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the number of tools and opportunities for children and young adults to learn to program computer games, but no accumulation of knowledge about what children learn, the best pedagogical strategies, and which tools and learning environments promote different kinds of outcomes, and for whom. The methodology will use an integrative approach, specifically a meta-synthesis, which is an interpretive integration of qualitative and quantitative research findings based on a systematic literature search and analysis process. The study will go through seven steps, and a panel of content and methodology experts will evaluate the rigor and transparency at each step of the analysis process. The results will be written up and shared with three audiences: academic researchers, educators and program developers, and funders.

Beyond Marketing to Stealth Recruitment: Creating ICT Pathways from High School to College and Work for Underrepresented Groups

This project is building technical education pathways that motivate and prepare rural, high school students from underrepresented groups to enter and stay on information and communications technology (ICT) pathways. It involves two key strategies: building strong, sustainable partnerships across high schools, community colleges, and employers, and infusing ICT skills into digital media high school classes and aligning them with college classes and workforce needs. This “stealth recruitment” approach is in contrast to most efforts that take a marketing approach that tries to convince students of the value of ICT classes; instead it leverages students’ interests in digital media and contextualizes their learning. Read more >>

Can Pair Programming Reduce the Gender Gap in Computing? A Study of Middle School Students Learning to Program

This study aims to understand the conditions under which pair programming can foster the kind of thinking and problem solving that will prepare middle school students to pursue and persist in computing fields. The design experiment involves 80 girls and boys from a range of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds who are enrolled in game programming classes. Read more >>

Computer Game Programming Classes for Children

ETR has developed, implemented and analyzed studies of over 800 middle school students in computer game programming classes, including developing and testing curriculum and pedagogical approaches for using game programming to teach computational concepts, and testing a range of strategies to assess learning. A systematic synthesis of research on what children learn from computer game programming was begun in fall of 2014.

Computer Science for the Social Good: Using Near-Peers to Engage Latino/a Students

Latinos are the fasting growing ethnic minority population in the US, but are underrepresented in computing fields. In this project, we are designing and testing an afterschool program that aims to increase the interest and capacity of Latino youth to pursue and persist in computing fields, and build their capacity to transform their schools. Read more >>

Computing for the Social Good (CS Teach)

This program used a near-peer strategy for infusing Computer Science (CS) content and the connection between CS and the social good into the K-12 curriculum, because effective strategies for engaging Latino/a students in CS require an increased focus on the societal implications of computing.

Digitally Blending HIV Prevention for Heightened Impact (Blended RTR or BRTR)

In this Phase I SBIR project, dfusion with its research partner, Education Training and Research (ETR), will establish the technical merit and feasibility of producing and using a “blended” learning version of Reducing the Risk: Building Skills to Prevent Pregnancy, STD and HIV (RTR) for 14-18 year olds. A modernized delivery model will be used that capitalizes on recent trends, such as blended learning and technological advances to enhance students’ motivation and perceived relevancy, yielding stronger and more lasting impact. The Blended RTR prototype will use a flipped classroom approach and include traditional RTR classroom-based activities and new transposed online activities (InstaRTR activities) to be completed by youth as online assignments, outside of the classroom.