Two of the topics searched most frequently by statewide longitudinal data system (SLDS) program leaders and data managers visiting the SLDS Grant Program's technical assistance website are data governance and research agendas. To help meet the demand for timely resources on these topics, QIP worked with the Education Data Technical Assistance Program (EDTAP) to compile resources from the program into easily navigable online toolkits.
The Data Governance Toolkit focuses on how organizations (or groups of organizations) make decisions about their information assets. In some states, many agencies contribute to an SLDS that integrates data from early childhood, K12, postsecondary education, and the workforce. In this situation, the agencies need a data governance program to coordinate the responsibilities of all the stakeholders. Data governance also is important for single large agencies, such as state education agencies. The Data Governance Toolkit provides an overview of what data governance is, a description of the organizational structure and documentation recommended for an effective data governance program, and links to additional resources.
“QIP created web pages for each toolkit within the SLDS website. . . . All of the graphics, icons, and buttons were designed by QIP.”
The Research Agenda Toolkit introduces the purpose of a research agenda, outlines steps for creating and managing a research agenda, and provides links to additional resources. Developing a research agenda helps states ensure the continued and widespread use of an SLDS. It helps states communicate priorities for SLDS data use and engage researchers in answering education policy questions.
To create these toolkits, QIP reviewed existing EDTAP resources on each topic. These resources included publications and videos previously created by QIP and relevant documentation submitted by state SLDS programs to the SLDS Public Domain Clearinghouse. Pulling key content from across these resources, QIP created an outline of the structure and focus of each page of the toolkits. Both toolkits include the following features: a landing page, a page with an overview of the topic, detailed content pages, and a page featuring related EDTAP resources.
Subject matter experts (SMEs) reviewed the outlines and offered feedback. QIP revised the outlines accordingly and then drafted the full text and layout for each page. This first draft was sent to the SMEs for their feedback, and QIP completed another revision. Once the SMEs approved the draft content, QIP created web pages for each toolkit within the SLDS website. The pages were coded using HTML and CSS. All the graphics, icons, and buttons were designed by QIP using Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop. Additionally, QIP added navigation sidebars on each page to allow users to see at a glance the pages within each toolkit and jump straight to the pages of greatest interest. Once the final web pages were approved by the SMEs, prominent links were added to the SLDS home page.
The Data Governance Toolkit and Research Agenda Toolkit will be updated as new EDTAP products on each topic become available. With QIP's assistance, EDTAP plans to create toolkits for additional SLDS topics, as well.