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The IRIS Center’s Conceptual Framework

The IRIS Center’s conceptual framework is a visual representation of our interrelated initiatives for creating, improving, and disseminating IRIS resources and materials. The purpose of those resources and materials is to achieve the center’s long-term outcome: to increase the capacity of current and future educators to use evidence-based practices (EBPs) to improve results for all students, particularly struggling learners and those with disabilities.

Read on to learn more about each part of the process.

The development petal represents the comprehensive process through which IRIS resources are identified and produced. The identification and development of resources occurs through a comprehensive needs-assessment, production, review, and field-testing process to ensure that they are of high quality, useful, and relevant.

The dissemination petal represents the universal delivery of open education resources (OERs) to educators around the world and the subsequent targeted distribution of information about those OERs to increase consumer awareness and use.

The TA & Training petal represents the support provided to increase the capacity of teacher preparation programs to expand the range of EBPs in their course and program curricula; state education agencies (SEAs), local education agencies (LEAs), and other PD providers to select and deliver PD using OERs and to certify participants’ acquisition of knowledge and skills; and independent learners to enhance their knowledge and skills about EBPs.

The data-based decision-making core represents our Center’s commitment to using data from each process to make informed decisions about subsequent development, dissemination, and technical assistance (TA) through ongoing formative feedback loops.

The flower itself is enclosed within two frames or borders:

The collaboration border illustrates the support for development, dissemination, and TA through the mutual involvement of IRIS stakeholders (e.g., faculty, PD providers, educators) and entities (e.g., IRIS workgroups, OSEP-funded centers, independent non-profits).

The evaluation border exemplifies the assessment of development, dissemination, and TA through a formative and summative process designed to support continuous improvement of products and services, and provide data on their quality, usefulness, and relevance for faculty, professional development providers, and independent learners.

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