Effectiveness of Teachers’ Guides in the Global South: Scripting, Learning Outcomes, and Classroom Utilization

This report presents the results of RTI International Education’s study on teachers' guides across 13 countries and 19 projects. Using quantitative and qualitative methods, we examine how teachers’ guides across the projects differ and find substantial variation in the design and structure of the documents. We develop a scripting index so that the scripting levels of the guides can be compared across projects. The impact results of the programs that use teachers’ guides show significant impacts on learning outcomes, associated with approximately an additional half year of learning, showing that structured teachers’ guides contribute to improved learning outcomes. During observations, we find that teachers make a variety of changes in their classroom instruction from how the guides are written, showing that the utilization of structured teachers’ guides do not create robotic teachers unable to use their own professional skills to teach children. Unfortunately, many changes that teachers make reduce the amount of group work and interactivity that was described in the guides, suggesting that programs should encourage teachers to more heavily utilize the instructional routines designed in the guide. The report includes a set of research-based guidelines that material developers can use to develop teachers’ guides that will support effective instructional practices and help improve learning outcomes. The key takeaway from the report is that structured teachers' guides improve learning outcomes, but that overly scripted teachers' guides are somewhat less effective than simplified teachers' guides that give specific guidance to the teacher but are not written word for word for each lesson in the guide.

Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) Pilot Activities in Amhara and Tigray, Ethiopia: Final Report

This report summarizes main findings and lessons learned from the piloting of the lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) methodology in the education sector in Ethiopia. It also suggests next steps for applying the LQAS methodology more broadly for education program monitoring.

Local Education Monitoring Approach (LEMA) Toolkit

This manual was created at the request of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). It is a tool to guide individuals who are implementing a pilot application in locations that have not previously tested it. The assumption is that they will be gauging the appropriateness and effectiveness of using the method within that context as a routine monitoring tool. LEMA is an adaptation of a monitoring approach known as Lot Quality Assurance Sampling. (LQAS). LQAS uses small sample sizes and binary indicators to classify local areas as meeting or not meeting minimum performance standards. This approach was first developed in the 1920s as a way to monitor the quality of manufacturing production. A small sample of items would be randomly selected from a production lot and examined for any imperfections. If the number of defective items within the lot was greater than a pre-set threshold level, then the entire lot was rejected (Robertson et al., 1997, p. 199). Rejected lots were then “examined more closely and either repaired or discarded” (MEASURE Evaluation Project 1998, p. 5). The downloads link to the toolkit (3000 kb) and a related presentation (7000 kb).

Using the EGRA Calculator for Study Design and Budget Estimates

This presentation was prepared and presented at the USAID workshop/webinar “Release of the EGRA Toolkit, Second Edition: Updated Guidance and Tools for Conducting Early Grade Reading Assessments,” Bethesda, Maryland, April 27, 2016. It discusses the design and intended use of the EGRA Calculator.

Lot Quality Assurance Sampling (LQAS) Pilot in Tanzania: Final Report

This final report summarizes main findings and lessons learned from the piloting of lot quality assurance sampling (LQAS) in the education sector in Tanzania. It also suggests next steps for applying LQAS more broadly for education program monitoring.

User Guide for the EGRA Calculator

This user guide accompanies the Excel-based EGRA Calculator to offer tips and suggestions for each step in the calculator to help the user enter appropriate and accurate information.

EGRA Calculator

The EGRA Calculator is an Excel-based estimation tool that can produce an approximate budget reflecting the costs commonly associated with implementing an EGRA. The tool itself contains step-by-step instructions plus descriptions to guide the user to insert or adjust the parameters. Tips and suggestions for each step are also provided in an accompanying User Guide.