Researcher: Use of Research

Learning team leader effectively guides educators in unpacking appropriate educational research linked to data.
Made by Teaching Matters

About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Learning team leader will purposefully plan a meeting focused on educational research selected based on student and/or teacher data and relevant to the work of the team, effectively lead the meeting using specific protocols or guidelines, and follow up with the team members to ensure collective execution of next steps.

Method Components


Prepare for the meeting:

  • determine the purpose and intended outcome of the meeting
  • plan agenda/select appropriate protocol
  • select a relevant research-based article based on evidence
  • identify what protocols or guidelines will be used to facilitate the team meeting
  • notify Teaching Matters coach about when he/she expects to lead the meeting, or plan to videotape the meeting.


Lead a team meeting:

  • lead discussion of material:
    • connect research to practice (state or guide understanding of explicit connection)
    • end with concrete and appropriate next steps
  • ensure that identified protocols or guidelines are observed during the team meeting
  • document key learnings and next steps

Meeting will be observed by a Teaching Matters coach or videotaped and submitted electronically (using Look-Fors).

Follow up

Ensure team members follow through on actions determined in meeting.

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • “What Research Says about Collaborative Inquiry.” Educational Leadership 66.4 (2008): 87-88. Web.
  • Fleischman, Steve. “Research Matters / Moving to Evidence-Based Professional Practice.” Educational Leadership: Improving Professional Practice: Moving to Evidence-Based Professional Practice. N.p., n.d. Web. 29 Apr. 2016.
  • Easton, Lois Brown. Powerful Designs for Professional Learning. Oxford, OH: National Staff Development Council, 2004. Print.
  • “Building Capacity to Transform Literacy Learning.” Literacy in Learning Exchange. N.p., n.d. Web. 08 Mar. 2016.
  • DuFour, Richard, and Robert J. Marzano. Leaders of Learning: How District, School, and Classroom Leaders Improve Student Achievement. Bloomington, IN: Solution Tree, 2012. Print.


  • Learning Team Leader Guide: How to Lead for Impact: A guide to support learning team leaders in facilitating effective professional learning communities.
  • Text-Based Seminar Protocol: A protocol to facilitate a discussion about selected research.
  • Four A’s Protocol: A protocol to examine research together during a meeting and discuss assumptions, agreements, arguments, and aspirations.
  • Final Word Protocol: A protocol for discussing research with a group in which each member is given the opportunity to share their understanding and perspective.
  • Evidence-based Practices Resource Guide: A tool with several evidence-based practices linked to bodies of research.
  • PLC Ongoing Action Plan: A tool to record meeting agendas, notes, and team goals, in order to support the process of continuous improvement.

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn this micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3, and a “yes” for each of the criteria assessed in Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(300-word limit for this section)

  1. Please describe your team:
    • What is the composition of your team? (Teachers’ grade level(s), subject area(s), etc.)
    • How often does your team meet?
    • Please identify yourself in the video submitted (i.e., person in red shirt).
  1. Describe the selected research material:
    • Describe the rationale for choosing the article and the particular protocol: How does the article align with evidence considered prior to the meeting (such as student work/data, teacher reflection, or peer observation)? What makes this protocol an appropriate choice?
    • What material did you provide to your team before the meeting?
  1. Provide context for this meeting:
    • How does today’s meeting relate to the ongoing work of your team? For example, was it one meeting within a cycle of inquiry? A deeper look at issues raised at a previous meeting? Please elaborate on how this meeting connects to your team’s work in general.

Part 2. Evidence/artifacts

Please submit the following evidence/artifacts:

  1. A video showing you leading a team meeting focused on the discussion of the research material. Please submit no more than 10 minutes of video, either by choosing a portion of the meeting or by clipping together relevant segments that align to the scoring criteria.
  2. The written agenda that structured the team meeting, including time for all necessary steps.
  3. The article that was the focus of the meeting.
  4. A written summary of the key learnings identified during the meeting and the next steps the team has decided to take to apply key learnings from the article. This can take the form of a set of notes articulated after the meeting, or it can be the team’s authentic documentation of their findings and next steps during the meeting on an agenda document such as the PLC Ongoing Action Plan (See link below).

    PLC Ongoing Action Plan

Items 2 and 3 can be submitted as separate documents, or combined into one document.

Part 3. Reflection

Submit a written reflection of the experience of leading the meeting and the outcomes, answering the following questions (150-350 words):

  1. How successful was your team in linking research to practice? How do you know? What remains challenging?
  2. What will be your next steps as a learning team leader to ensure that that the team actively applies key learnings from the article?

Except where otherwise noted, this work is licensed under:
Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0)


Download to access the requirements and scoring guide for this micro-credential.
How to prepare for and earn this micro-credential - in a downloadable PDF document

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