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IES Grant

Title: An Efficacy Study of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI): Teacher Development and Student Outcomes
Center: NCSER Year: 2017
Principal Investigator: Wolbers, Kimberly Awardee: University of Tennessee
Program: Reading, Writing, and Language Development      [Program Details]
Award Period: 4 years (8/1/2017-7/31/2021) Award Amount: $3,298,243
Goal: Efficacy and Replication Award Number: R324A170086
Description:

Co-Principal Investigators:  Hannah Dostal (University of Connecticut); Steve Graham (Arizona State University); Thomas Allen (Gallaudet University)

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to investigate the efficacy of the Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) professional development (PD) program for improving the knowledge and instructional practices of teachers and the writing and language outcomes for students in third through sixth grade who are deaf or hard of hearing (D/HH). The language experiences of children who are D/HH are extremely diverse and directly influence their writing. There is a need to identify effective programs for building teacher capacity to provide evidence-based literacy instruction that is tailored to the unique needs of students who are D/HH. This project seeks to fill this gap by evaluating the efficacy of the SIWI PD program for improving teacher knowledge and practices and subsequent writing and language outcomes for students who are D/HH.

Products:  The products of this project will include evidence of the efficacy of the SIWI PD program for improving the knowledge and instructional practices of teachers and the writing and language outcomes of students who are D/HH, and evidence of the effects of multiple years of experience teaching SIWI on student outcomes. Products will also include peer-reviewed publications and presentations.

Structured Abstract

Setting: This study will take place in self-contained classes and pull-out settings in public schools and in schools for the deaf across the United States. American Sign Language-English Bilingual, Listening and Spoken Language, and Total Communication programs will be included.

Sample:  This project will include approximately 45 teachers and 180 students (approximately 4 per class) who are D/HH in third through sixth grade. 

Intervention: The SIWI PD program is an intensive, sustained program designed to develop pedagogical content knowledge among teachers of students who are D/HH. The year-long PD includes summer institutes, a fall workshop, and online coaching. The summer institute for first year participants introduces teachers to the core principles of SIWI and instructional materials. In addition, teachers who have implemented SIWI for one or more years participate in two advanced summer institutes. The institute for second year participants covers advanced concepts related to planning, implementation, and data analysis. The institute for third year participants is an online session to develop teachers as peer mentors. The fall workshopis provided to first year participants only 1 to 2 months after beginning implementation of the writing instruction. Online coaching is provided to teachers as they implement SIWI with their students. SIWI is an approach to writing instruction that incorporates cognitive strategy instruction for writing processes, apprenticeship through interactive and guided writing instruction, and strategies for responding to the specific language needs of students who are D/HH (e.g., clarifying language, building metalinguistic knowledge for American Sign Language and/or English, English enrichment). The intervention is not a scripted curriculum; it is a set of guiding principles, which allows for flexible implementation with diverse students in various educational contexts.

Research Design and Methods: The researchers will conduct a randomized controlled trial to determine the efficacy of the SIWI PD program for improving teacher and student outcomes. Teachers will be randomly assigned to the SIWI PD program or the business-as-usual control group.  The researchers will investigate the efficacy of the SIWI PD program for improving teachers' knowledge of writing instruction, use of evidence-based writing instruction, and efficacy in teaching writing, as well as improving writing and language outcomes for students who are D/HH. Student and teacher data will be collected at baseline and following the intervention for all three cohorts of teachers to determine the efficacy of the SIWI PD program for improving teacher and student outcomes. The researchers will also collect data on teacher and student outcomes (from current students) and fidelity of teachers' implementation of SIWI in follow-up years (i.e., 3 years of follow-up data will be collected for Cohort 1, 2 years of follow-up data will be collected from Cohort 2, and 1 year of follow-up data will be collected from Cohort 3) to test the hypothesis that teachers who receive 3 years of the SIWI PD program will demonstrate greater fidelity of implementing SIWI and greater improvements in student outcomes.  

Control Condition:  The business-as-usual control condition will receive their typical PD activities and implement their typical writing instruction.

Key Measures: Teacher outcomes will include knowledge of writing instruction as measured by the Levels of Use of the Innovation, use of evidence-based writing instructional practices as assessed by the Survey of Evidence-based Practices, and efficacy in teaching writing as measured by the Teacher Efficacy Scale for Writing. Student outcome measures will include the Woodcock Johnson Test of Achievement IV broad written language cluster and writing samples. The researchers will score student writing samples using primary trait rubrics, and analyze language accuracy and complexity using the Structural Analysis of Written Language.

Data Analytic Strategy: The researchers will measure the efficacy of the intervention using an individual growth model, which will estimate treatment effects for teachers over the course of multiple years of SIWI professional development. To evaluate impacts on student outcomes, the researchers will use multilevel modeling, which will account for the nesting of students within teachers. Teacher factors (i.e., knowledge, instructional practices, efficacy, fidelity of implementation, and years received the intervention) will also be examined as potential moderators of the intervention impact on student outcomes.

Related Projects: Development of Strategic and Interactive Writing Instruction (SIWI) for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students (R324A120085)


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