Definitions & Fidelity

Operational Definitions

Knowing the program components is a good start. The next step is to express each core program component in terms that can be taught, learned, done in practice, and assessed in practice. Engagement, for example, is fundamental to interactive innovations. What does this mean for teachers? What should they say and do to ensure the engagement of all students? What should be done to promote equitable benefits of the practice/program being implemented?

Practice profiles describe the core program components that allow an evidence-based program or practice to be teachable, learnable, and doable in practice, and promote consistency across educators at the classroom, building, and district levels.

Practical Fidelity Assessment

How well are educators saying and doing those things that are in keeping with the program components and with the intentions behind the evidence-based program or practice? Are the intended outcomes being realized? An effective fidelity assessment provides evidence that the program is being used as intended and is resulting in the desired outcomes.

Look for these features in your fidelity assessment:

  • The fidelity assessment relates to the program philosophy, values, principles and program components specified in the Practice Profiles
  • The fidelity assessment is practical and can be done repeatedly in the context of typical educational systems
  • There is evidence that the program is effective when used as intended
  • The fidelity assessment is highly correlated with intended outcomes for students

Activity: Usable Innovation
Is My Program or Practice Usable?

In order for a program or practice to be usable, it must be defined with sufficient enough detail to be implemented with fidelity, measured in use, and replicated across multiple settings. With your team, consider a current practice or program and work through the tasks provided to determine if the program or practice is usable.

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