Using Research to Inform Teaching

Educators use academic research to inform their teaching.
Made by Jacobs Institute for Innovation in Learning at USD
Earn Graduate Credit
Graduate-level credit is available for this micro-credential. You can apply for credit through one of our university partners after successfully completing the micro-credential.
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About this Micro-credential

Key Method

Educators access peer-reviewed research and determine whether it is legitimate and relevant in informing their teaching.

Method Components

Educators access scholarly publications on areas that may inform their teaching. The following websites are recommended:

Curated Websites

Research Databases

  • Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC),
  • Google Scholar,
  • JSTOR,

Educators determine whether the research is applicable by asking four questions

  • What are they trying to learn?
  • What is the study design?
  • How was the data in the study collected and analyzed?
  • What steps did researchers take to ensure quality?

Research & Resources

Supporting Research

  • Preparing Our Children: Math and Science Education in the National Interest. Publication no. NSB 99-31. Arlington, VA: National Science Foundation, 1999.

    Like other professionals, teachers need support networks in various forms--Internet bulletin boards, websites, in-person professional development experiences, university faculty mentors, etc.--to refine their knowledge and skills. Technical assistance by those who understand classroom settings and have the confidence of teachers is essential. In short, “getting the word out” only begins a process of using knowledge to inform ongoing teacher preparation and education practice.
  • Stanovich, Paula J., and Keith E. Stanovich. Using Research and Reason in Education: How Teachers Can Use Scientifically Based Research To Make Curricular & Instructional Decisions. 2003,

    Standards- and assessment-based educational reforms seek to obligate schools and teachers to supply evidence that their instructional methods are effective. However, findings suggest research-based evidence that the instructional methods being used by teachers lead to student achievement.


  • Advancing Accessible, Relevant Educational Research,

    For research on digital learning to be effective, it needs to be more accessible and relevant. One way this is achieved is by publishing research results in open-access journals and through publishing methods like blogs that link to the longer work. Organizations such as Footnote and Digital Promise are working to communicate findings in a clear and concise manner, and researchers can do so, too.

Submission Requirements

Submission Guidelines & Evaluation Criteria

To earn this micro-credential, you must receive a passing evaluation for Parts 1 and 3 and an Exemplary score for Part 2.

Part 1. Overview questions

(300-word limit for each response)

  • How has research informed your instruction in the past? Please cite one specific example.
  • How effective or ineffective was the inclusion of research into your planning process? Please cite one specific example.

Part 2. Work examples/artifacts

Submit PDFs or links to three scholarly sources on a topic related to your needs for improved learning and teaching with explanations of how you determined the sources were legitimate.

Also submit artifacts/evidence (such as links to writing, audio, images, video, or other products) that were created while using the research you selected to inform your instruction, including such items as:

  • A video of instruction based on the research
  • A lesson plan with explanations of how it was informed by the research

Part 3. Reflection

(300-word limit)

  • Please describe why you chose to research your selected topic, how you determined your research sources were legitimate, and how the research will inform your practice.

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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