Center for Education Research and Evaluation

Learn about the mission, approach, and resources of the Center for Education Research and Evaluation (CERE).

Mission

The mission of CERE is to support and empower learners, educators, leaders, and scholars to succeed in their educational and professional endeavors at Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons, College of Dental Medicine, and NewYork Presbyterian Hospital. We achieve this through collaboration, consultation, and coaching in program development and evaluation, educational and evaluation research and scholarship, curriculum and instructional design, learner assessment and evaluation design, educator development, and counseling about long-term learning and studying strategies. We utilizing evidence-based practices from the literature, professional expertise of CERE staff members, perspectives of our colleagues and peers, and evaluation data, to inform continuous quality improvement processes in these areas. All of the efforts we are involved in are geared toward enhancing the learning environment and enhancing learning outcomes.

Education Program Development and Evaluation

Our program development and evaluation efforts document the quality, utility, feasibility, effectiveness, and overall worth of educational endeavors, and in doing so, provide a tool for program and learner improvement. Program and process evaluation entails a systematic approach to planning, conducting, monitoring, modifying, and analyzing a program or program component. Important foci include design, implementation, efficiency, cost-effectiveness and accountability, sustainability, and outcomes. Because evaluation is multifaceted, we encourage and support the use of both quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods to engage in inquiry. These include formal course evaluations, surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews. We combine these internal perspectives with evidence-based best practices to guide these processes. We also prepare data sets, reports, and other materials, as requested, in support of institutional accreditation, including for the Liaison Committee on Medical Education, Commission on Dental Accreditation, and Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, as well as the Clinical and Translational Research and Science Award UL1 grant application.

Education and Evaluation Research and Scholarship

Our research and scholarship efforts focus on supporting faculty, administrators, residents, and students in their investigations of a broad range of topics such as curriculum development, teaching methods, assessment methods, learning, cognition, and program development and evaluation. Our support often takes the form of one-on-one consultations to train, mentor, and motivate. Areas of expertise include scholarly project aims, literature reviews, conceptual framework utilization, study design development, data collection/instrument design, quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods data analysis, statistical procedures, development of scholarly products and dissemination of results. Broadly we would like to advance the field of health sciences education and evaluation by active engagement in communities of practice at the local, regional, and national levels.

Educator Development and Curricular Design

Our educator development and curricular design efforts mostly occur through CERE leadership or participation in curriculum governance committees and one-on-one consultations with faculty as these committees and individuals strive to continuously improve their curricula and instruction using data derived from program evaluation and learner assessment activities. We advocate for instructional design based on evidence-based state-of-the art methods with the intent to promote innovation and excellence. We also help to support various learning communities with education missions. We can also provide workshops and training sessions related to areas of our education and evaluation expertise.

Learner Assessment and Evaluation

Our learner assessment efforts emphasize methods to efficiently and effectively measure the actual accomplishments of learners - as individuals or as groups. We believe educational assessment must begin with a statement of the expectations of the learner, typically characterized as knowledge, skills, and attitudes within a domain of practice. We assist faculty to systematically assess learning by helping them write effective learning objectives; develop and utilize useful, reliable, and valid assessments methods; and analyze and report results that provide evidence of learning and direction for continuous improvement. We also help educators to think about how assessment systems can be structured to inspire long-term learning and give learners important formative feedback, as well as how grading and evaluation systems can be used for this goal.

Advising in Learning and Studying Strategies

Our efforts to promote effective learning and studying strategies include meeting with individual learners who experience academic difficulties, to discuss how to use evidence-based learning strategies during the studying process. Assistance is also provided for board-exam preparation, test-taking skills, and remediating failed exams. We also compile providing online guidelines and resources for all students.

Contact Us

Center for Education Research and Evaluation is located at:

100 Haven Avenue, Tower 3
Room L3A-01, New York, NY 10032

Email: CERE@columbia.edu