From Research to Practice: Supporting Teachers' Efforts to Individualize Literacy Instruction using A2i Technology

From Research to Practice: Supporting Teachers' Efforts to Individualize Literacy Instruction using A2i Technology

First Author: Carol McDonald Connor -- University of California Irvine
Additional authors/chairs: 
Nicole Sparapani; Henry May; Taffeta Wood; Barry Fishman; Frederick J. Morrison
Keywords: Literacy, Individual Differences, Teacher training, Technology, Assessment
Abstract / Summary: 

Purpose: Individual child differences and child-by-instruction interaction effects on children’s early literacy development indicate that individualizing the literacy instruction we provide to children is more effective than more whole-class one-size-fits-all models found in many classrooms. Here we present results for the re-development and testing of Assessment-to-Instruction (A2i) software, which was specifically designed to support teachers’ efforts to use assessment results to individualize kindergarten-3rd grade literacy instruction (ISI). We will present the results of new design and efficacy studies and how A2i was re-designed to move from a research tool to a scalable technology that can be widely used.
Method: From 2013-2015, principals, coaches, and teachers at 3 schools participated in iterative design studies to re-develop A2i, create online adaptive assessments, and fine-tune ISI professional development (PD) protocols and materials. We are now conducting a randomized controlled trial (RCT, 32 teachers, 864 students). All schools were high-poverty Title 1 schools and racially and ethnically diverse. We administered a battery of language and literacy assessments, as well as the online adaptive assessments developed and integrated into A2i.
Results: Design studies yielded products that incorporated principals’, literacy coaches, and teachers’ feedback, which were feasible, scalable, and had the potential to improve instruction. Results for the RCT are not yet available but will be available in time for the presentation.
Discussion and implications: Moving from research to practice is challenging. The successful re-design of A2i from a research tool to one that can be used widely in schools elucidates these challenges as well as the benefits. We will discuss implications for researcher-school partnerships, challenges of scaling up evidence-based practices, and maintaining treatment effects as responsibility for implementation falls to schools.