Successful evaluation of E4F

31 March 2017

Evidence for the Frontline (E4F) is an online platform designed to help bridge the divide between education research and classroom practice. Teachers post questions, which expert researchers then answer.

Over the course of the pilot 192 teachers in 32 schools posted 249 questions. The most common topics included developing independent thinking in pupils and pupil behaviour and engagement.

The National Foundation for Educational Research (NFER) conducted an evaluation of E4F to establish: whether the intervention is feasible to deliver; whether it has promise in terms of changing teacher attitudes and behaviour; and whether the service is suitable for evaluation in a randomised controlled trial (RCT).

The evaluation, published by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF), concluded that the majority of those who used E4F were positive about their experience, and were satisfied with the quality of answers provided. Senior leaders and teachers were most positive in reporting that E4F helped to improve their school’s approach to using research evidence.

Although there are signs that E4F is starting to make a difference to research engagement, the evaluators suggested it would not be suitable for an RCT measuring its impact on pupil outcomes, for two reasons. First, it is an intervention which needs to be flexible and responsive in the way that it operates. This makes it difficult to design an effective RCT. Second, it would be difficult to define a measure of pupil-level impact to capture the effect of the intervention across primary and secondary schools and a wide range of subjects.

You can read the full evaluation report on the EEF website, here.

Posted on 31 March 2017
Posted in: Evidence