Module 2

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Appropriateness Icon


Appropriateness deals with what is actually being measured and how it is defined. Within child and adolescent development, there are numerous competency domains practitioners may want to measure and evaluate: physical wellbeing, mental health, cognitive functioning, academic skills (e.g., literacy and numeracy), social and emotional learning, and values, morals, and spirituality. In determining a measure’s appropriateness, practitioners need to consider the following questions: 1) what do I want to measure? 2) why do I want to measure it? 3) how will I measure it? and 4) who will use the results? We discuss the nuances of these questions when using formative or summative measures for tracking, screening, situation analyses, monitoring, or evaluation.

Additional Resources

Practical recommendations for equity analysis in education

Carina Omoeva, Wael Moussa, Amy Jo Dowd, Amy Mulcahy-Dunn, Keely Alexander, Chris Cummiskey, and Wilima Wadhwa

“…practical recommendations of best practice standards for measuring key equity dimensions. These recommendations are put forward as a means to consolidate current best practices in data collection in education and to chart a way forward together. They serve as a sounding board for future data collection and analysis as well as a starting point for honing our practice in areas not yet well-measured.”

Research translation planning template


“This template guides teams through the four stages of Research Translation: Partnership, Process, Translation Product, and Dissemination. The template is meant to be utilized after team formation and during the process of determining partner roles and developing work plans. It will inform the early-stage planning process and guide future planning with activities and thought processes critical in effectively translating research into practice. Projects are encouraged to revisit this planning template to see how tracked progress reflects initial planning and whether the implementation plan needs revision to guide future work.”

Communications strategy template


“The Communications Strategy Template is intended for use specifically for projects that require a robust communications strategy, but is a useful tool for any project to effectively strategize toward communicating messages effectively. This template guides your project in completing a plan for communications strategy and deliverables. It will guide you through sections on audiences, resources, barriers, goals and objectives, messages, products and channels, and ultimately evaluation. We intend for projects to consult this template early on to begin thinking about communications audiences and objectives. Complete with partner input and revisit during the course of the project.”

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What is practical measurement?

Practical measurement is measurement of children and adolescents’ learning and development that is driven by and focused on the needs of practitioners working with limited time and resources in low-resource, conflict-affected, and fragile contexts. Practical measurement is not a specific tool but rather a conceptual framework that can be used to develop a simple, yet rigorous plan to measure holistic learning and development outcomes related to physical health, mental health, psychosocial wellbeing, academic learning (e.g., literacy, numeracy), social and emotional learning, or values, morals, and spirituality.


Why this course?

When searching for online resources on measuring children and adolescents’ learning and development, there are two common forms of resources: those aimed at monitoring outputs of programs (e.g., number of training sessions implemented or number of beneficiaries engaged) and those aimed at rigorous program or impact evaluations such as randomized controlled trials. However, while these resources are valuable, they do not address many practitioners’ immediate purpose to go beyond monitoring outputs and to measure actual changes in children and adolescents. Recognizing the need for something that is driven by and focused on the needs of practitioners working with limited time and resources in low-resource and fragile contexts, the Practical Measurement course focuses on equipping practitioners with the knowledge and resources to develop rigorous yet feasible measurement initiatives. 


Who is this course designed for?

Maybe you are an education technical expert with years of experience working in low-resource or fragile settings on programs for children. Or perhaps you are a monitoring and evaluation officer in the early stages of your career. Wherever you find yourself in your career, the Practical Measurement course is designed to support practitioners like you in understanding how to develop an effective approach to measuring holistic learning and development outcomes, especially when faced with limited time and resources. For this reason, you will find limited research and statistical jargon throughout the course. Instead, you will find clear and concise descriptions, tips, tools, and resources to support you on your journey of measuring the learning and development outcomes of children or adolescents.


What will I learn?

This course is focused on four key parameters that are important to consider when attempting to measure how children learn and develop through programs in low-resource and fragile contexts: appropriateness, utility, feasibility, and rigor. The materials in this course are not comprehensive nor are they meant to prepare you to take on a large research initiative. Instead, you can anticipate gaining a deeper understanding of the why and how behind measuring children and adolescents’ holistic learning and development outcomes. You can also expect to leave this course with a foundational understanding of how to start down the road of choosing a measure, adapting it, administering it with children, and ensuring that the data is useful. Throughout the course, you will find a curated list of resources to help develop a strategy to measure learning and development whether you are interested in tracking (formative assessments), screening, situation analyses, monitoring, or evaluations.

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