Giving Compass' Take:

• The Learning Accelerator discusses the importance of evidence-based practices in philanthropy, specifically as it relates to blended learning.

• What are we doing to advance more strategic initiatives, as described in this piece? How can we apply the success stories to other areas in nonprofit work?

• Here's how blended learning can benefit students in juvenile jails.

At The Learning Accelerator, we recently refreshed our Blended and Personalized Learning at Work website in anticipation of attending this year’s iNACOL Symposium as a team. Both of these activities consumed all of our cognitive resources over the past several weeks, and they also got me thinking about the influence funders have over the direction, dissemination, and adoption of research, especially when educational innovations are involved.

The role of funders is directly addressed in our Measurement Agenda for Blended Learning, which specifically outlines the ways in which funders can support the generation of new evidence, the dissemination of what we know, the development of relevant competence in skills related to understanding effective practice, and the implementation of knowledge, skills, and abilities to inform new measurement and future practice.

There are a couple of key examples of funders that currently own this role and take the time and effort to support necessary activities:

Bror Saxberg. In his new role at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Bror’s work centers on making what he calls the "Learning Engineering" pipeline more robust — something that we describe in our measurement agenda as unifying the research and implementation cycles.

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Over a couple of years, this group focused on three strands of work: knowledge management, dissemination, and capacity building. All three of these areas are also represented in our Measurement Agenda as "learning," "dissemination," and "competence."

There is a growing movement afoot to firmly ground our blended learning instructional practice in evidence. This is the only way we can be sure that we are doing what’s best for students.

Read the full article about philanthropy and measurements by Saro Mohammed at The Learning Accelerator.