Evaluation & Learning Research Center (ELRC)

Overview of Services

The mission of the Evaluation and Learning Research Center (ELRC) is to enhance learning by conducting original research and evaluation that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of education.  The Center supports research, education and engagement projects through our expertise in educational theory, research methodology, evaluation and project management.  We partner with both those at Purdue University,including other centers and institutes and those outside the university to enhance accountability and reputation.


Because every project is different, ELRC uses a personalized approach to collaboration.  We start with a conversation early in proposal development to understand the scale and scope of the project, the goals and objectives, and the needs.  ELRC staff are experienced in program (or external) evaluation that examines the effectiveness and efficiency of a program or project. Drawing on a portfolio of tools, ELRC staff work with partners to identify appropriate research and evaluation models (i.e. theory driven, outcomes or activity approaches) and develop logical research and evaluation frameworks that guide proposal development and project implementation.  ELRC collaboration fosters successful projects at all stages from project inception through completion, including contributing to scholarly publications.ELRC staff bring expertise in the full range of educational research studies (foundational, early-stage or exploratory, design and development) and studies that assess the impact of educational interventions and strategies (efficacy, effectiveness, and scale-up).


Our professional staff provide expertise in:educational research and theory, research and evaluation design and methodology, front-end, formative, summative, and program evaluation, evaluation frameworks.


Wilella Burgess | Director | Vision, strategic planning, internal and external partnership development, project ideation and initiation, research, evaluation, and center management.
Loran Carleton Parker | Associate Director, Senior Evaluation and Research Associate | Formal and informal education research design theoretical frameworks for educational research, evaluation, project ideation and development

Location and hours of operation

Hours Location


100 N University Street
West Lafayette, IN. 47907

Links and Resources

Evaluation and Learning Research Center


Name Role Phone Email Location
Wilella Burgess
BRNG 6108A
Loran Carleton Parker
Associate Drector and Senior Evaluation and Research Associate
BRNG 4133B
Weiling Li
Research and Evaluation Specialist
BRNG 6108A
Lindley McDavid
Evaluation and Research Associate
BRNG 4133
Ann Bessenbacher
Research Associate and Data Scientist
BRNG 4133A
Lisa Kirkham
Research Associate
BRNG 4133
Laura Warner
Administrative Assistant
BRNG 6108A