Dallas City of Learning (DCOL) Powered by Big Thought – Summer 2018
The Center on Research and Evaluation (CORE) at Southern Methodist University (SMU) is collaborating with Big Thought to conduct an ongoing formative, process, and outcomes evaluation of 3 key components of Dallas City of Learning (DCOL): (1) Big Thought Support Services for DCOL Partners, (2) DCOL Programs, and (3) Participant Outcomes. The purpose of this preliminary report is to provide an initial description of all data collected during summer 2018. Initial descriptions of data and findings are presented aggregately by source and, in some cases, by individual program(s). A more comprehensive report of summer 2018 is expected in March 2019. This upcoming report will focus on answering the 10 evaluation questions and will include relational analyses of the associations between Big Thought supports, DCOL programs, and participant outcomes.
Several data sources were compiled, cleaned, merged and coded to create comprehensive and matched data files ready for analysis. The areas of focus were Big Thought Supports to DCOL partners, participating organizations and programs, DCOL events, program staff and leadership at partner organizations, and the students and families engaging in DCOL programming. Data sources include scheduled program and enrollment & dosage data from the DCOL platform, partner surveys, staff surveys, parent and caregiver surveys, partner meetings and trainings, and site observations. Additional data sources are not included in this report but applicable to the March 2019 report, including extant data from Dallas ISD.
The quality of the DCOL data continues to be very strong, with notable improvements over summer 2017. The March 2019 report will describe specific changes in data over the two summers. The DCOL system continues to provide increasingly ample sample size and process indicators allowing for cross-validation of data sources and refined inferential analyses.