From iSi to A2i to Learning Ovations: Taking Research to Practice

From iSi to A2i to Learning Ovations: Taking Research to Practice

First Author: Sarah Siegal -- Learning Ovations, Inc.
Additional authors/chairs: 
Jay Connor; Amanda Jacobs; Nick Voegeli; Zareen Kasad; Carol Connor; Alia Gates; Hanna Elmore; DISCUSSANT Frederick Morrison
Keywords: Early Literacy, Education, Grants, Early intervention
Abstract / Summary: 

During this panel, Literacy Outcomes Specialists from the Learning Ovations team will lead the audience through the process involved in taking the iSi intervention research and creating the A2i Professional Support System. A2i system provides teachers with data to differentiate literacy instruction by recommending the exact amount & type of instruction students need to meet their individual learning goals. The main purpose is to summarize the path we have followed to take rigorous scientific research out into schools at scale, as highlighted by three main stages: Research & Effectiveness, Implementation Science, and Practice at Scale. The method section will detail the processes and choices made in each stage, leading up to a successful application and implementation of an EIR grant. Results for students, teachers and schools implementing A2i will be reports via our cumulative literacy assessment results as well as the qualitative findings. Conclusions and take-ways will be delivered in an open panel discussion and question session.

Our goal is to summarize the path we have followed to take rigorous scientific research and get it into schools across three stages:
Research & Effectiveness
Implementation Science
Practice at Scale

Details on the processes and choices made in each stage, leading up to a successful application and implementation of an EIR grant will be reviewed.
Research & Effectiveness:
- Research Methodology
- Findings & Potential for Impact
Implementation Science:
- Business Implications- Market Environment and Pain Points- Technology Implications
Practice at Scale:
- Hiring for successful implementation
- Creation of school A2i Support model
- Iterative Design in year 1 & 2
- Organizational Structure- Sales/Growth

- Report on current results
- Qualitative Research & Lessons Learned

To conclude we will lead a Panel Discussion & FAQ

Symposium Papers: 

United2Read Implementation Study

First Author/Chair:Zareen Kasad -- Digital Promise

Digital Promise is supporting United2Read, an expansion-level Education Innovation and Research (EIR) grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education. United2Read aims to improve K–3 students’ literacy skills and close the achievement gap using the Assessment-to-Instruction (A2i) Professional Support System, a tool to help educators differentiate their literacy instruction to meet the individual students’ needs.

Schools participating in the grant receive the A2i tool, developed by Learning Ovations, in addition to coaching and other supports from Learning Ovations’ Literacy Outcomes Specialists (LOSs). The schools receive support from their assigned LOS either in-person or through a combination of in-person and virtual (hybrid) support. Each school also designates a staff member as Literacy Champion (LC) to facilitate A2i implementation.

In the 2018–19 school year, Digital Promise interviewed teachers, LCs, LOSs, school leaders, and district leaders about the implementation of A2i in 21 schools to inform Learning Ovations in refining their support for educators and effectively scaling A2i to more schools and educators.

Learning Ovations 2018-19 Annual Outcomes Report

First Author/Chair:Amanda Jacobs -- Learning Ovations
Additional authors/chairs: 
Sarah Siegal; Jay Connor

We are very encouraged to share the results of our just completed year of partnering with school districts across the country to create "transformative change" (to quote Anaheim Superintendent, Chris Downing) in reading outcomes. I will share the significant progress made towards reading outcomes thus far. In short, within our schools across the country, 80% of our first grade teams met or exceeded the growth rates seen in the A2i What Works Clearinghouse seven randomized control research studies. In fact, 60% of our students met or exceeded making 9 months of growth over the 9-month long school year. Across all students, the average kindergarten reading-level growth was 9 months, and the average first grade growth was 12 months. I believe these results point, however, to a more fundamental and tectonic shift. Under the aegis of the EIR funding from the Department of Education, we have been able to work with a broad diversity of districts (single school rural, large urban, suburban), students (over 20,000 to- date representing all points on the demographic spectrum -- 81% of Learning Ovations’ schools have 50%+ or more students who qualify for free or reduced lunch, and 25% of Learning Ovations’ schools are 50%+ or more ELL), teacher practices (the majority were on the early steps of moving from whole group to a more individualized classroom practice), and materials (a significant number of core curriculums, assessment protocols, supplements, etc.). The need to meet our schools where they were and align all of this diversity into an optimal practice to deliver outcomes, gave us a unique perspective into the k-3 reading space in America.

A Longitudinal Cluster-Randomized Controlled Study on the Accumulating Effects of Individualized Literacy Instruction on Students' Reading From First Through Third Grade

First Author/Chair:Fred Morrison -- University of Michigan
Additional authors/chairs: 
Carol Connor

Using a longitudinal cluster-randomized controlled design, we examined whether students’ reading outcomes differed when they received 1, 2, or 3 years of individualized reading instruction from first through third grade, compared with a treated control group. More than 45% of students came from families living in poverty. Following students, we randomly assigned their teachers each year to deliver individualized reading instruction or a treated control condition intervention focused on mathematics. Students who received individualized reading instruction in all three grades showed the strongest reading skills by the end of third grade compared with those who received fewer years of such instruction. There was inconsistent evidence supporting a sustained first-grade treatment effect: Individualized instruction in first grade was necessary but not sufficient for stronger third-grade reading outcomes. These effects were achieved by regular classroom teachers who received professional development, which indicates that policies that support the use of evidence-based reading instruction and teacher training can yield increased student achievement.

United2Read EIR Narrative

First Author/Chair:Jay Connor -- Learning Ovations
Additional authors/chairs: 
Carol Connor; Nick Voegeli

Digital Promise, Learning Ovations, University of California – Irvine, and MDRC have been awarded a U.S. Department of Education five-year Education Innovation and Research (EIR) expansion grant to improve literacy outcomes using the proven-effective A2i Professional Support System. The United2Read project partners will bring Learning Ovations’ “A2i” technology professional support system to students and teachers nationwide with the goal of improving literacy skills and closing the achievement gap.

The A in A2i

First Author/Chair:Sarah Siegal -- Learning Ovations
Additional authors/chairs: 
Ann Shulte

The “A” in A2i stands for “assessment.” In the A2i system, the assessment tools are specifically designed to determine the amount of code-focused and meaning-focused instruction that will maximize students’ reading comprehension gains. Although many reading assessments are designed to be useful in guiding instruction, A2i is the only system where basing instruction on the results from the assessment process has been shown to improve reading outcomes in multiple randomized controlled trials. Randomized, controlled trials are considered the “gold standard” of scientific evidence.