WP Example-DreamBox.pdf - Finding What Works in Learning A Rubric for Analyzing Research Studies of Curricular Programs Tim Hudson PhD | Vice President

WP Example-DreamBox.pdf - Finding What Works in Learning A...

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Research hype and headlines Y ou want what’s best for your students, and you’re always looking out for curricular resources that are proven to work. Let’s say you come across a research report about either a print- based curriculum or a digital program that touts its positive impact on student achievement. For the sake of argument, imagine the headline is something like, Acme’s Algebra 2 Program Quadruples Growth for 11th Graders. That headline sounds pretty amazing. And if you’re an elementary educator or administrator who is interested in ELA resources, you may have seen similar headlines for various ELA programs. As EdWeek’s EdTech Researcher opinion writer Justin Reich notes on multiple occasions, it’s essential to look beyond the headlines of any research study. Naturally, you want to better understand the claims being made as well as how it was determined that the program impacted learning for all students (and if not all students, which students specifically). You not only want more information, but you also want to know how to thoroughly investigate the research, ask probing questions, and access the fine print about how a program “improves scores” or “doubles growth.” But you’re not sure where or how to start. Finding What Works in Learning: A Rubric for Analyzing Research Studies of Curricular Programs Tim Hudson, PhD | Vice President of Learning at DreamBox Learning These ratings can help you determine the extent to which the impact reported reflects an unbiased, accurate analysis of the curricular program. LEARNING 1
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My goal with this paper is to not only help you get started, but to also help you meaningfully and successfully review educational research. Therefore, let’s imagine that as a first step to digging into a study, you go ahead and click on the headline to read the glowing press release. For example, here’s a fictitious press release for the imaginary Acme Algebra 2 headline mentioned above: Acme’s Algebra 2 program quadruples growth for 11th graders In a recent study conducted by the University of Antarctica, Acme’s online Algebra 2 math program was found to significantly improve end-of-course Algebra 2 scores for eleventh-grade students. The scores of eleventh-grade students who used Acme’s program were an average of 4 percent higher than baseline scores, while the scores of students who didn’t use Acme’s program were only 1 percent higher than the baseline. “We’re very excited to have external validation that students who used our Algebra 2 program grew at a rate four times greater than those who didn’t,” said the CEO of Acme Education, Inc. Researchers from Antarctica’s most prestigious university examined high schools where at least half of the students in Algebra 2 classes successfully completed 75 percent of the Acme Algebra 2 curriculum during the 2014–15 school year. Researchers found 12 schools in the region that fit these criteria, for a total of 984 eleventh-grade Algebra 2 students. For use as a
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  • SandraH.Pelfrey

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