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Institute for Rural Education and Development

Measurement Science

Although measuring the results of conducted research is extremely important, many research efforts in rural education struggle to provide high-quality research analysis. With sound measurement methods in place, the institutes' researchers can frame research questions to focus on rurality.

Providing Measurement Support Across Research Cores

The Measurement Science Collaborative Research Core supports activities across the three primary research cores to ensure quality measurement, scoring and analysis. This core assists with developing new methodologies, constructing research designs and conducting analyses.

This team focuses on problems of measurement practice unique to rural environments, such as small subgroup sample size and construct invariance across settings. By working together, our interdisciplinary team can identify and leverage many of the strengths and protective factors inherent in rural schools and communities. These include the tight-knit nature of those communities, low student-teacher ratios in rural school and the potential of extreme benefit from introducing innovative technologies.

Project Significance

  • Sound measurement is essential to ensure quality data points are obtained and supports meaningful results for trustworthy decision-making.

  • Building off of these studies, methodological studies may be conducted to address measurement problems present in rural research.

Research Innovation 

While sound measurement is a crucial component of research, these activities are often lacking, especially in rural literature. By bringing a strong focus on proper measurement and analysis of the research being conducted, we can provide clear insights into how our efforts are impacrting rural students and build future research off of those results.

Measurements collected can also offer policymakers impactful results, possibly resulting in future policies and/or policy changes that could impact rural education. 

SC Impact

While this research improves many aspects of the rural education system in South Carolinaa high percentage of the state's schoolscertain areas will benefit greatly from this focus area and the institute's work at large. 

STEM Career Exposure

Through this research, rural teachers receive the insight and lesson plan ideas they need to carry out STEM content and career development programs. With more exposure to STEM education and career paths, South Carolina's large population of rural students will develop the skills needed to pursue successful STEM careers.

Workforce Development

The institute's project for middle and high school students will involve developing health science content and immersive virtual reality activities. Introducing rural students to health science career opportunities through virtual reality experiences will help develop a strong STEM workforce in South Carolina.

Developmental Skill Building

According to the 2020 Kindergarten Readiness Assessment, fewer than 1 in 4 students in South Carolina are ready for kindergarten. The institute's program for preschool students will create an integrated curriculum that promotes the development of the gross motor skills required with coding and robotics.

Teacher Support

The institute's creation of holistic educational programs and procedures that work effectively in rural school settings alleviates some of the burden on school teachers. Supporting rural teachers will help improve educational outcomes for the many rural students in South Carolina.


Notable Awards, Outcomes and Practical Uses for this Research 

  • Psychometric support of all core research areas
  • Rigorous studies with sound measures that offer policymakers impactful results
  • Creation of assessment tools, measurement instruments and the use of formalized models and statistical modeling for use in rural education research

Institute for Rural Education and Development

Challenge the conventional. Create the exceptional. No Limits.