Initially, the KUCRL’s primary R&D focus was the design and validation of intervention programs and technologies for improving outcomes for struggling adolescent learners, including students with disabilities, and strategies for restructuring secondary schools to raise the literacy level of all students. Our research targets not just the students who struggle, but also their families, the educators who work with them, and the communities within which they live. Since its inception, the KUCRL’s work has expanded to encompass multiple research teams including:
- Advanced Learning Technologies (ALTEC) designs, develops, and evaluates the effective use of educational technologies in K-12 instruction.
- The Division of Adult Studies works to improve services for adults with disabilities or disadvantages and cultivates improved policies, systems, and practices.
- The e-Learning Research Collaborative studies and develops new uses of technology to improve online learning environments and pedagogy.
- The Institute for Research in Adolescent Learning designs and validates instructional practices, strategies, and programs that significantly enhance the achievement of adolescents who struggle with learning.
- The Kansas Coaching Project conducts research on instructional coaching— on-site professional development intended to teach educators how to use proven instructional methods.
- The Professional Development Research Institute studies ways to design and deliver quality professional learning opportunities and support to teachers and other school personnel, with the ultimate goal of improving student achievement.
- Research Collaboration provides professional development and evaluation for diverse education projects.
- The Institute for Content Area Learning and Teaching provides research on and development of instructional practices that enhance student learning and higher order reasoning in content area classes.
The extensive expertise represented in these teams coupled with the KUCRL’s commitment to multidisciplinary collaboration position the Center to successfully conduct significant, large-scale research projects; advise educators and policy makers on best practices; and deliver new and better methods and technologies to address education and quality-of-life challenges.
While each unit has a unique mission, research frequently intersects across the units. In general, expertise can be classified according to the following categories:
- Advancing the academic success of all learners, particularly those who struggle with learning or are at-risk for failure,
- Studying how educational technology can be used to facilitate learning, and
- Providing high quality professional development opportunities for educators worldwide.