Presentation Reflection – Implementation Science
Amanda Borosh: Using Implementation Science and Organizational Behavior Management to Support the Adoption, Implementation, and Sustainability of Evidence-based Practices in K-12 Education
Amanda Borosh has a background in special education with a Masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education, is a board certified behavior analyst, and is currently a doctoral student of Special Education at Purdue University. She has worked as a special educator for students with mild to moderate disabilities, worked with parents of special education students through early intervention, and has worked three years as a district wide behavior analyst for the Chicago public schools. Amanda became interested in researching how to use system wide changes to encourage performance and behavior changes, since just telling someone to do something doesn’t always translate to those changes. How do we get people to do the things we need them to do in the workplace and close the research-to-practice gap?
This presentation was focused on K-12 education, but the information is relevant to every field in learning and development. The research-to-practice gap is the difference between what is known to be effective in research and what is actually being implemented. Designers and facilitators might be using interventions that are not research-based, detrimental to effective learning, using old research, or using debunked research. Implementation Science is how we work towards closing this gap.
Implementation science is “the study of methods to promote the systematic uptake of research findings and other evidence-based practices into routine practice.” (Eccles & Mittman, 2006, p.1) This is how we close the research-to-practice gap. Implementation Science has four stages to successful implementation: Exploration, Installation, Partial Implementation, and finally Full Implementation. Each stage builds the confidence and competence of people using the desired research-based method, working towards continuous improvement. The stages have Competency, Organization, and Leadership drivers built in to help keep the plan moving forward with fidelity.
Amanda provided a video resource that outlined this topic in another way. What stood out to me most about this, is the idea of the system being a multiplication problem. Effective Practice x Effective Implementation x Enabling Contexts = Performance/Learning Goal. If we have 2/3 sections being followed we would have an equation like this: 1 x 0 x 1 = Learning Goal. The problem is, 1 x 0 x 1 = 0. There is no way to achieve that learning goal. Later in the video, it talks about percentages of each step. If an organization only has a portion of each stages needs, for example 65% of effective practice methods, 80% effective implementation, and 100% of enabling contexts, they are still not being effective. In the example I just provided, only at 52% effectiveness. I had never thought about how only meeting certain parts of each stage in a method could result in a huge decrease in effectiveness, even if there are stages with 100% completion.
This presentation reminded me about the importance of a system-wide initiative to really make performance/behavioral change happen. Amanda mentioned a project she just recently completed with a school district. They have seen improvements and positive feedback from participants of the system-wide program already. What was funny and insightful was that the entire school district had already had training on the program they designed, but it was not followed effectively. The one-and-done method does not work; learners need to have additional interventions and systematic support to achieve any measurable change in performance or behavior.
Eccles, M.P. and Mittman, B.S. (2006) Welcome to Implementation Science.
SISEP Videos. (2020, December 8). SISEP Video Series: Active Implementation Formula [Video]. YouTube. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQvmx1vvYJw