Publications & Resources

Principles for Scaling Up: Choosing, Measuring Effects, and Promoting the Widespread Use of Educational Innovation

Jul 2004

Eva L. Baker

The goal of scaling up of educational innovation is to produce robust, effective, replicable outcomes. This report addresses requirements to support scale-up of scientifically vetted innovation (or new ideas that are built on the findings of quality research and development). In this report, a number of issues are considered: the context of evidence of effectiveness, definitions of scaling up, how to measure implementation and effects, and areas in need of continuing work, from the research point of view. The analyses grow in part from long-ago research training and in part recent R&D efforts. Recommendations are compressed into principles to guide action, elaborated with rationale and discussion, and then illustrated by a running example of CRESST’s Model-Based Assessment program. The principles are:

Principle 1: Understand the Appropriateness of the Evidence for the Innovation.

Principle 2: Document the Scientific Evidence in Support of the Design of the Intervention.

Principle 3: Embrace Design and Development.

Principle 4: Measure a Broad Range of Variables in Formative Evaluation.

Principle 5: Design the Best Study Possible.

Principle 6: Support Flexibility and Local Innovation. The ultimate goal is the articulation of usable principles for scaling up and a contribution to the definition of the slippery concept of scaling up.

Principle 7: Minimums for Scalability and Sustainability.

Baker, E. L. (2004). Principles for scaling up: Choosing, measuring effects, and promoting the widespread use of educational innovation (CSE Report 634). Los Angeles: University of California, Los Angeles, National Center for Research on Evaluation, Standards, and Student Testing (CRESST).