Research & Evidence

The Instructional Look Fors were developed based on existing research and literature. The literature referenced included experimental studies along with theoretical writing and content developed for practitioners. Explore the full research summaries here.

In order to indicate the available research and evidence associated with each Look For, each reference was ranked according to its level of academic rigor based on the following system:

  • RANK 3 – Peer-Reviewed Literature

  • RANK 2 – Organization & Government Works

  • RANK 1 – Thought Leadership

In order to represent the quantity and quality of associated research with each Look For, the rankings were summed up to determine the scaled scores, represented in this distribution:

This graph represents the distribution of research scaled scores across the 26 look fors. Cognitive lift has 29; higher order thinking has 24; essential knowledge has 17; social emotional habits has 43; appropriate challenge has 31; learner driven has 24; additional supports has 27; demonstrations of learning has 14; goal orientation has 86, which is the largest quantity; awareness of progress has 53; growth mindset has 28; academic urgency has 36; personal relevance has 16; academic relatedness has 23; real world authenticity has 12; cultural relevance has 19; positive interdependence and individual accountability both have 8, which is the lowest quantity; interpersonal skills has 17; promotive interactions has 11; group processing has 27; belonging has 38; joy has 16; equitable engagement has 30; connectedness has 52; upholding norms has 25

Caution: The scaled scores only represent the availability of research and evidence for each Look For; they are not indications of importance, effectiveness, or quality. The scaled scores SHOULD NOT BE USED TO INFER the prioritization or impact of each Look For.

Personalizing Learning for Educators: Measuring What Works

This research report examines the experiences of learners in a remote environment, investigating data collected on personalized learning following the shift to remote-only learning as a result of COVID-19 school closures. Researchers ascertained which learner and learning facilitator actions occurred most frequently in the context of personalized, remote learning and how these actions appeared across content levels. The report also provides implications and suggestions for district leadership to best prepare for future remote learning scenarios with a focus on learner support and relationships, technology support, home learning environment support, and sustaining momentum for learning over time. Download the executive summary or read the full report online; an accessible version of this report is also available for downloading.

This initial analysis of the impact of personalized professional learning on learner growth at LUSD addresses three primary research questions: (1) How did engaging in professional learning affect learner achievement?, (2) Which combinations of professional learning emerged in terms of type and dose?, and (3) Which combinations had the greatest effect on learner outcomes? The initial data confirm the need for multiple types of high-quality professional learning, the need for breadth and depth of those opportunities, and that there is no single pathway for all learners. Download the executive summary or read the full report online; an accessible version of this report is also available for downloading.

This interim research brief examines the keystone of LUSD’s Adult Learning Curriculum, known as Instructional Look Fors. The brief begins to explore if the Instructional Look Fors are a sound way of understanding the relationship between professional learning and learner achievement at LUSD. The initial data indicate that the majority of Instructional Look Fors are a measurable, reliable, and valid way for LUSD to understand the behaviors that are happening in learning environments and the relationships between professional learning, those behaviors, and learner outcomes. Download the executive summary or read the full report online; an accessible version of this report is also available for downloading.

This research brief examines learning facilitators’ participation in two professional learning opportunities offered in partnership with external providers BetterLesson and PBLWorks in Grant Years 1 and 2 (2017-2019). Results from the two cohorts generally showed a positive relationship between participation and learners’ growth or achievement in four core content areas. This increased learning is perhaps due to educator actions aligned with LUSD’s Adult Learning Curriculum Instructional Look Fors. The Instructional Look For results from the PBLWorks observations mirror those from prior analyses focused on Guided Reading professional learning opportunities. Find the full report online; an accessible version of this report is also available for downloading.

This executive summary highlights key findings from research conducted by TLA to understand if learning facilitators’ participation in LUSD's Guided Reading Learning Academies and Micro-Credentials professional development helps ensure all learners read at content level. Early results from the 2018-19 Academic Year show a positive relationship between learning facilitators’ participation in Guided Reading professional learning and learners’ reading growth. Certification is also a potentially powerful mechanism for converting professional learning experiences into visible instructional and achievement-related changes in the classrooms. The full report can be found online; an accessible version of this report is also available for downloading.


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