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IES Grant

Title: Using Multimedia to Improve Middle School Science and Special Education Teachers' Use of Evidence-Based Vocabulary Practices, and the Impact of Vocabulary Performance of Students with Disabilities
Center: NCSER Year: 2013
Principal Investigator: Kennedy, Michael Awardee: University of Virginia
Program: Early Career Development and Mentoring      [Program Details]
Award Period: 7/1/2013-6/30/2017 Award Amount: $399,974
Type: Training Award Number: R324B130023

Mentors: Mary Brownell (University of Florida) and John Lloyd

Purpose: The Principal Investigator (PI) will further develop his skills in the use of multi-level modeling statistics and item response theory, the development of reliable and valid measures of teacher implementation and practices, and working with practitioners to design and implement professional development (PD) activities while conducting related research activities. Using a multimedia approach, the research project aims to develop and pilot test professional development processes to improve vocabulary instruction and use of curriculum-based measures (CBMs) by science and special education teachers, thereby improving vocabulary learning in science courses for students with disabilities.

Research Plan: The goals of the research project are to develop and pilot test PD materials and processes to augment middle school science and special education teachers' knowledge and skill in the delivery of evidence-based vocabulary instruction for students with disabilities. The PD activities include teachers' use of the following media-based tools: (a) Content Acquisition Podcasts (CAPs), which are short instructional vignettes; and (b) the teachers' production of their own videos practicing effective vocabulary instructional strategies and use of CBMs. The PI will follow a series of iterative steps in developing the materials, procedures, and CBMs with input from the practitioners, followed by a small-scale randomized controlled trial to pilot test the procedures. The PI will randomly assign middle school co-teacher dyads (science teacher and special education teacher) to the intervention or the control condition (standard practice PD). The PI will examine the extent to which: (a) teachers improve procedural knowledge of vocabulary instruction and CBMs after viewing CAPs alone; (b) teachers improve implementation of the evidence-based vocabulary practices and CBMs after viewing CAPs plus producing their own videos; and (c) these PD activities are associated with student achievement in middle school students with and without disabilities (with a focus on those with disabilities) compared to standard PD activities.

Career Plan: The mentors will meet with the PI annually during a 2-day retreat, as well as monthly via conference calls. Mentors will guide the PI on multi-level modeling, development of measures with strong technical attributes, and the design and conduct of experimental research studies. Additional training activities include meeting with experts in specific aspects of the research plan, and taking both intensive summer courses and traditional semester courses in hierarchical linear modeling and item response theory.


Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Kennedy, M.J., Rodgers, W.J., Romig, J.E., Lloyd, J.W., and Brownell, M.T. (2017). Effects of a Multimedia Professional Development Package on Inclusive Science Teachers' Vocabulary Instruction. Journal of Teacher Education, 68(2): 213–230. doi:10.1177/0022487116687554 Full text