Cross-Alliance Webinar: Framing Your Research Agenda Using a Research Continuum
This webinar, Part 1 of a two-part series, provides an introduction to developing a comprehensive and focused research agenda for a research alliance. In addition, the webinar examines the value and use of different types of research in answering questions about policy and practice.

Melissa Dodson, PhD
Analytic Technical Support Lead
REL Southwest, SEDL
800-476-6861, ext. 6606


Webinar Overview

The webinar covers the following topics:

SEDL’s research continuum: This research continuum serves as a framework for understanding how different types of research studies contribute to creating an evidence base for education policies and programs.

Steps in developing a research agenda: A research agenda outlines priority topic areas, as well as short-term and long-term goals, for future research studies. The webinar includes information on how to collectively create research questions, identify study outcomes, determine data needs and availability, and understand common constraints on implementing research.


The webinar benefits alliance members in three ways:

  • Strengthens alliance members' capacity to develop a research agenda.
  • Increases alliance members' understanding of research questions, designs, and methodologies.
  • Presents knowledge and tools to ensure members' research interests and priorities are represented in their alliance's research agenda.


Melissa Dodson

Melissa Dodson, PhD
Analytic Technical Support Lead, SEDL

Dr. Dodson brings extensive experience designing and implementing large- and small-scale research and evaluation studies. She provides overall leadership for SEDL’s evaluation research efforts and oversees Task 3 analytic technical support activities targeting the needs of REL Southwest alliance members.
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Michael Vaden-Kiernan, PhD
Applied Research and Evaluation Lead, SEDL

Dr. Vaden-Kiernan has more than 15 years of experience designing and implementing rigorous research and evaluation studies to address education policy questions. He is SEDL’s Research & Evaluation director and the Task 4 lead for the REL Southwest, providing oversight and support to all of the applied research and evaluation activities.
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Brenda Arellano, PhD
Alliance Researcher, SEDL

Dr. Arellano brings broad experience and expertise in quantitative statistical research methods and evaluation research to bear on her work as a research associate at SEDL. She provides both analytic technical assistance and research support on the REL Southwest.
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