What's Happening

Check out what our people and partners are researching, thinking, reading, writing, watching and doing! (Note: The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of ETR as an agency.)


My Take: Students Are the Experts on Their Own Lives
October 23, 2013

My Take: Students Are the Experts on Their Own Lives

By Maura Minsky | October 23, 2013

I'm the Co-founder and Executive Director of Scenarios USA, an educational nonprofit based in Brooklyn, New York. We use writing, the arts and film production to build confidence, leadership and advocacy skills among youth regarding sexual and reproductive health.

We believe that education is more powerful when studnts can actually see themselves in the content they're learning. Social context is the door we ask them to walk through, inviting them to look at race, class, gender, sexual orientation, access and ability, and examine how these things relate to their lives and their communities. These factors all play a role in decision making and the ways people use information.

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Tags: Teens, Scenarios USA, Sexual and reproductive health
My Take: Taking Steps to Stop Cigarette Toxins
October 16, 2013

My Take: Taking Steps to Stop Cigarette Toxins

By Jessica Markham | October 16, 2013

Here at ETR’s Tobacco Education Clearinghouse of California (TECC), we provide tobacco education and advocacy materials to educators and health care providers across the country. We also offer research assistance to programs in California.

I spend a lot of time reading information about tobacco. I catalog articles, reports and other tobacco-related materials, including infographics. When you spend this much time deep in a topic, you learn a lot. I’m especially astounded by the environmental impact of cigarette toxins. I’ve been interested in environmental issues for a long time, but didn’t realize just how harmful discarded cigarette butts actually are.

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Tags: Tobacco
My Take: Queering the YRBS
September 25, 2013

My Take: Queering the YRBS

By John Shields, PhD, MSW | September 25, 2013

I’m the director of ETR’s portfolio of program evaluation projects with the San Francisco Unified School District’s Student, Family, and Community Support Department (SFUSD-SFCSD). ETR has been working in close partnership with SFUSD for over twenty years now—eleven during my tenure.

One of the most important components of our work with the SFUSD has been our bi-annual administration and analysis of the CDC’s Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS). The YRBS provides high-quality data on the health risk behavior of SFUSD’s middle and high school students. In partnership with SFUSD, we’ve taken steps to use the power of the YRBS to address the critical health and wellness needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.

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Tags: Teens, High school, YRBS, Research, LGBTQ, LBGTQ youth
My Take: Best Practices for E-Learning Conversions
September 18, 2013

My Take: Best Practices for E-Learning Conversions

By Matt Cherry | September 18, 2013

Many organizations and companies are looking at the possibility of migrating existing face-to-face trainings into the e-learning environment. There are some compelling reasons to do so. E-learning can be more affordable, accessible and consistent for trainees across a broad geographic range.

It’s important to follow established best practices for training design and implementation. I like to use the ADDIE model—Analyze, Design, Develop, Implement and Evaluate. By following an established instructional design methodology such as ADDIE, you can produce an effective online course that meets your organizational objectives.

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Tags: E-learning, Technology
My Take: Building Comprehensive School Health
August 28, 2013

My Take: Building Comprehensive School Health

By Jamie Sparks | August 28, 2013

I’m the Coordinated School Health Project Director with the Kentucky Department of Education. When it comes to program, policies and curricula, Kentucky is a local control state—the state sets up the standards, and the local districts determine how to meet them.

We’re a CDC-funded project, and we think very highly of comprehensive school health education. We’re taking active steps to foster more buy-in for this approach in districts throughout Kentucky. We’re building the foundations for an ongoing discussion with our districts on how to make comprehensive school health education work.

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Tags: K-12, School health
My Take: Implementation Fidelity in Evidence-Based Programs
August 21, 2013

My Take: Implementation Fidelity in Evidence-Based Programs

By Pam Drake, PhD | August 21, 2013

When we want to evaluate how well an evidence-based program (EBP) works, one of the important variables we need to measure accurately is implementation fidelity. This variable helps confirm that the program is being presented as intended, and that different educators are doing essentially the same things in teaching the program.

With good implementation fidelity, there’s a better chance others can replicate the program’s outcomes. Schools and communities that show good implementation fidelity for a program can affirm they’re taking the correct steps to reach health goals.

Implementation fidelity also helps us interpret outcomes—for example, why an intervention did or didn’t work. We can assess how practical the program activities are, or refine programs by determining which components lead to the outcomes we want.

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Tags: Evaluation, NIH, Evidence-based interventions, Research, Implementation fidelity

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