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IES Grant

Title: Embedded Classroom Multimedia: Improving Implementation Quality and Student Achievement in a Cooperative Writing Program
Center: NCER Year: 2005
Principal Investigator: Madden, Nancy A. Awardee: Success for All Foundation
Program: Teaching, Teachers, and the Education Workforce      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years Award Amount: $1,498,045
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305M050086

In this study, the researchers proposed to develop and pilot test a professional development program to help teachers improve students' writing methods. The goal was to ensure that teachers could transfer what they learned from the professional development to the classroom. The proposed professional development included training that includes how to use multimedia content embedded in classroom instruction, teacher's learning communities, well-structured manuals and materials, cooperative learning, and metacognitive writing strategies.

Structured Abstract


Setting: Approximately 2 to 3 schools (10 classrooms) will participate in the initial pilot study, and 15 Title I schools (45 classes) will participate in the formal year-long impact evaluations, including schools in Connecticut, Georgia, New Jersey, and Florida.

Sample: Approximately 45 grade 4 and 5 teachers will be recruited along with nearly 2300 students from high-poverty Title I schools. More than 40 percent of the students are anticipated to be eligible for free and reduced-price lunch.

Intervention: The Success for All Foundation Writing Program called, Writing Wings, will serve as the basis for a professional development, cooperative writing program, using well-structured writing teams, instruction in common writing genres, metacognitive skills, and mechanics skills, and emphasizing teacher's learning communities and multimedia modeling of effective strategies.

Research Design and Methods: This study will be completed using a development phase followed by a randomized quasi-experiment of potential efficacy. In phase 1, single units (3 to 4 week duration) of the program will be evaluated by measuring student outcomes and rating quality of implementation by teachers. Information obtained during this phase will be used to modify each unit and the overall strategy. In phase 2, schools will be matched on factors including free lunch counts, prior achievement, and ethnicity and randomly assigned to each of the three experimental conditions (intervention + multimedia, intervention, practice-as-usual). There will be at least 2 grade 4 or 5 teachers per school and teachers will be offered all materials at no cost and receive a small stipend for participation. Teachers will administer writing achievement pre- and posttests to their students, with proctoring by project staff. At the end of the study, all teachers will receive all training and materials, equalizing motivation to participate.

Control Condition: There will be a comparison and control condition: (1) Comparison - professional development for the experimental treatment without multimedia clips, (2) Control - district's current professional development for a writing program using a traditional writing textbook (practice-as-usual).

Key Measures: In phase 1, writing prompts to the units introduced will be administered as pre-and posttests, and scored holistically using the same procedures as used in the Stanford Writing Assessment (3rd edition). In phase 2, students will take the Stanford Writing Assessment (3rd ed.), trainers will rate implementation quality, and teachers will be administered questionnaires regarding practices and perceptions of programs.

Data Analytic Strategy: The primary analyses will include teacher implementation quality and perceptions and student writing achievement outcomes. In phase 1, preliminary unit-by-unit evaluation data will be analyzed using Analyses of Covariance (ANCOVA) with pretests as covariates. In phase 2, the question of potential efficacy will be answered using multivariate analyses of covariance (MANCOVA) with pretests as covariates and Huber-White corrections for clustering.

Products and Publications

ERIC Citations: Find available citations in ERIC for this award here.

Select Publications


Slavin, R.E., Madden, N.A., Chambers, B., and Haxby, B. (2009). Two Million Children: Success for All.(2nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Journal articles

Madden, N.A., Slavin, R.E., Logan, M., and Cheung, A. (2011). Effects of Cooperative Writing with Embedded Multimedia: A Randomized Experiment. Effective Education, 3(1): 1–9.

* This project was submitted to and funded under Teacher Quality: Reading and Writing in FY 2005.