|Title:||Web-mediated Literacy Coaching for High-quality Reading Comprehension Instruction|
|Principal Investigator:||Matsumura, Lindsay Clare||Awardee:||University of Pittsburgh|
|Program:||Effective Instruction [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||3 years (7/1/2014 – 6/30/2017)||Award Amount:||$1,499,723|
|Type:||Development and Innovation||Award Number:||R305A140384|
Co-Principal Investigator: Richard Correnti, Donna DiPrima Bickel, Jason Downer
Purpose: Reading comprehension is critical to academic success, employment in the modern workplace, and to lifelong learning. Large numbers of students, however, are unable to read beyond a basic level of understanding. Recent studies indicate that comprehensive literacy-coaching interventions that combine formal learning opportunities for teachers (e.g., coursework) with individual coaching to support teachers’ implementation of new instructional strategies can successfully increase the quality of literacy instruction and student achievement. However, scalable applications of such interventions are limited. In this project, researchers will develop and study a web-based comprehensive literacy-coaching intervention designed to increase the quality of reading comprehension instruction for 4th- and 5th-grade. Researchers will build on a previous IES-funded Efficacy project in which an online course and in-person literacy coaching were found to lead to improved student reading achievement. Researchers propose to update the online course to align with the Common Core State Standards, develop a web-mediated version of the individual in-person coaching, and develop supports for teachers to use the technology as intended.
Project Activities: In the first two years of the project, researchers will work with literacy experts, online coaching experts, and two cohorts of 4th- and 5th-grade teachers to develop the first iterations of the intervention. In Year 3, researchers will conduct a small-scale randomized controlled trial with 50 teachers randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition to evaluate the potential intervention effect on teacher knowledge, teaching practice, and student reading comprehension.
Products: The products of this project will be a fully developed web-based comprehensive literacy-coaching intervention designed to support reading comprehension instruction in the upper elementary grades. Peer reviewed publications will also be produced.STRUCTURED ABSTRACT
Setting: Participating schools are located in two urban school districts serving primarily low-income and minority students in Louisiana and Pennsylvania.
Sample: Initial development will occur with 10 teachers in Year 1 and 18 teachers in Year 2. In Year 3, study participants will include 50 teachers and approximately 1,000 4th- and 5th-graders.
Throughout the project, researchers will sample from both districts. One district serves a predominantly low income (75% qualifying for free/reduced-price lunch) and ethnic minority (69%) student population; 14% of the student population has special education status. The other district serves a predominantly low income (80% qualifying for free/reduced-price lunch) and half African American and half White student population.
Intervention: The intervention will include an online course focused on increasing teachers’ ability to facilitate rigorous and interactive text discussions (8-weeks, approximately 32-hours total) and individual web-mediated coaching to help teachers implement the course content in their practice (7 monthly cycles). Via modeling, guided practice (scaffolding), fading, and coaching, the intervention will focus on the following teacher skills: (a) questioning text ideas and probing underlying meaning, (b) facilitating student discussion and argumentation, (c) choosing texts according to alignment with the Common Core State Standards and potential student interest, (d) managing lesson focus and pace based on key parts of the text, and (e) addressing unfamiliar vocabulary.
Research Design and Methods: Throughout the project, researchers will sample from both districts, allowing for troubleshooting both locally and remotely and minimization of reliance a specific curriculum or local context. In the first two years of the project, researchers will work with literacy experts, online coaching experts, and two test cohorts of 4th- and 5th-grade teachers to develop the first iterations of the intervention. Researchers will monitor teacher participation in the online activities, observe teachers, and conduct multiple teacher interviews to learn about the feasibility and usability of the intervention. Researchers will analyze surveys and course assignments to investigate change in teachers’ knowledge for teaching reading comprehension and mastery of the course content. Videotaped text discussions and coach reports will be analyzed to investigate how teachers implement the intervention in their practice. Qualitative and quantitative analytic techniques will be used to identify patterns in the data and relationships between intervention components, teacher reports, course assignments, coach reports and classroom text discussion quality. This information will be used to inform revision to the intervention.
In Year 3, researchers will conduct a small-scale randomized controlled trial with 50 teachers randomly assigned to the intervention or control condition. Baseline measures of teaching and teacher knowledge will be collected prior to the online course in the fall and will consist of videotaped text discussions, 2 weeks of logging on comprehension activities in Language Arts, and a teacher knowledge survey. Post-test measures will be collected in the spring and will include a similar battery of data, including videotaped text discussions, logs, a post-test survey, and teachers’ course assignments. The post-test survey also will include questions pertaining to the usability and feasibility of the intervention.
Control Condition: In the control condition, teachers will receive business-as-usual professional development.
Key Measures: Teacher knowledge and instructional quality will be assessed using the Content Knowledge for Teaching-Reading (CKT-R 4-6), a researcher-developed rubric for coding teacher assignments, teacher surveys of their literacy instruction, a revised version of the Instructional Quality Assessment (IQA), and teacher online daily surveys of their literacy teaching practice (instructional logs). Student achievement will be assessed on the state accountability test (PARCC) and a performance assessment of student response-to-text skills. Usability and feasibility will be assessed using online monitoring logs, time diaries, coach logs, semi structured cognitive interviews with teachers, and teacher surveys about the intervention. Fidelity of implementation will be assessed through the online system (i.e., to monitor teacher participation in the intervention activities), through teacher reports of how much they valued their course and coaching experiences as well as their own perceived motivation to change, and through analyses of the content of the coaching interactions.
Data Analytic Strategy: Researchers will use multi-level multivariate modeling to investigate the potential effect of the intervention on teacher knowledge and instruction, so that the potential intervention effects on different teaching constructs can be estimated simultaneously while accounting for nesting by classroom. Potential intervention effects on students’ achievement will be analyzed using a 2-level model, accounting for students nested by teachers.