Rachael Bower

Director/PI, Internet Scout Research Group, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Rachael directs Internet Scout Research Group, a grant funded research and development center at the UW-Madison. She has been Principle Investigator on a variety of federal and philanthropic awards, including Scout’s ATE Central project, which acts as an information hub for the ATE community providing an online portal of resources, tools, and services that support and promote the work of ATE grantees. Rachael has spent most of her career in academia, with a brief foray into the world of start-ups, and brings a deep understanding of issues related to educational digital projects, sustainability, and grant stewardship to her work at Scout and ATE.

Blog: Creation, Dissemination, and Accessibility of ATE-Funded Resources

Posted on July 15, 2015 by , in Blog (, )
Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.
Kendra Bouda,
Metadata and Information Specialist – Internet Scout Research Group
University of Wisconsin-Madison
Rachael Bower,
Director/PI – Internet Scout Research Group
University of Wisconsin-Madison

As most ATE community members are aware, the National Science Foundation requires that all grant applicants provide a one- to two-page data management plan describing how the grantee’s proposal will meet NSF guidelines on the dissemination of grant-funded work. In 2014, NSF added a new requirement to the ATE solicitation mandating that newly funded grantees archive their deliverables with ATE Central.

We were curious to find out more about the materials created within the ATE community. So, when EvaluATE approached us about including questions related to data management planning and archiving in their annual survey of ATE grantees, we jumped at the chance. We had an interest in discovering not only what resources have been created, but also how those resources are disseminated to larger audiences. Additionally, we hoped to discover whether grantees are actively making their materials web accessible to users with disabilities—a practice that ensures access by the broadest possible audience.

The survey responses highlight that the most widely created materials include (not surprisingly) curriculum and professional development materials, with newsletters and journal articles taking up the rear. Other materials created by the ATE community include videos, white papers and reports, data sets, and webinars.

However, although grantees are creating a lot of valuable resources, they may not be sharing them widely and, in some cases, may be unsure of how best to make them available after funding ends. The graphs below illustrate the available of these materials, both currently and after grant funding ends.

Bouda Chart

Data from the annual survey shows that 65 percent of respondents are aware of accessibility standards—specifically Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act; however, 35 percent are not. Forty-eight percent of respondents indicated that some or most of their materials are accessible, while another 22 percent reported that all materials generated by their project or center adhere to accessibility standards. Happily, only 1 percent of respondents reported that their materials do not adhere to standards; however, 29 percent are unsure whether their materials adhere to those standards or not.

For more information about accessibility, visit the official Section 508 site, the World Wide Web Consortium’s (W3C) Accessibility section or the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0 area of W3C.

Many of us struggle with issues related to sustaining our resources, which is part of the reason we are all asked by NSF to create a data management plan. To help PIs plan for long-term access, ATE Central offers an assortment of free services. Specifically, ATE Central supports data management planning efforts, provides sustainability training, and archives materials created by ATE projects and centers, ensuring access to these materials beyond the life of the project or center that created them.

For more about ATE Central, check out our suite of tools, services, and publications or visit our website. If you have questions or comments, contact us at info@atecentral.net.

Webinar: ATE Evaluation 101 (2013)

Posted on September 18, 2013 by , , , in Webinars ()

Presenter(s): Elaine Craft, Krystin Martens, Lori Wingate, Rachael Bower
Date(s): September 18, 2013
Recording: http://youtu.be/0hbD2XYwGAg

In this webinar, participants will learn about the role of evaluation in ATE projects and get practical guidance on administrative/managerial aspects of evaluation. Evaluation may be foreign territory for those new to grant funding, so this webinar is intended to provide new ATE PIs and project staff with the information they need to get their evaluations off on the right track. EvaluATE’s director, Lori Wingate, will cover the basics of ATE evaluation, especially its main purposes and uses (including to whom and how to report findings). ATE veteran Elaine Craft will focus on project management-related issues around evaluation, with emphasis on working with college faculty and administrators (especially the “data people”) and developing explicit plans and agreements with external evaluators. Rachael Bower of ATE Central will acquaint participants with helpful resources for developing and implementing strategies for outreach, dissemination, and sustainability.

Slide PDF
Handout PDF

Webinar: Evaluation: A Key Ingredient for a Successful ATE Proposal

Posted on August 21, 2013 by , , , in Webinars ()

Presenter(s): Connie Della-Piana, Krystin Martens, Lori Wingate, Rachael Bower
Date(s): August 21, 2013
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Recording: http://youtu.be/CK-nM-CEr6I

Evaluation is more than a requirement for ATE proposals, it’s an essential ingredient for increasing the coherence and competitiveness of your submission. Developing your proposal with an evaluative perspective can help you avoid common proposal pitfalls, such as writing goals that are either too lofty or too simplistic or failing to demonstrate a logical relationship between your activities and your intended outcomes. In this webinar, we’ll share our recipe for a strong ATE proposal that includes all the necessary and important evaluative ingredients. Veteran ATE and NSF personnel will provide additional insights on how to enhance your proposal.

Slide PDF
Evaluation Planning Checklist for NSF-ATE Proposals