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IES Grant

Title: IEP Quality Improvement: Research and Development of Web-based Decision Support
Center: NCSER Year: 2006
Principal Investigator: Shriner, James Awardee: University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
Program: Systems, Policy, and Finance      [Program Details]
Award Period: 8/15/2006 to 8/14/2009 Award Amount: $1,465,699
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324J060002

Funded under the Individualized Education Programs topic prior to the establishment of the Systemic Interventions and Policies for Special Education topic.

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to develop and test a Web-based IEP Tutorial and decision-making support system (Tutorial) that will be linked to the Illinois State Board of Education's (ISBE) electronic IEP archiving system. The overall aim is to use the developed web-based informational and decision making resources to allow IEP teams to craft better quality IEPs that function to support higher standards-based achievement.

Project Activities: The researchers are developing and testing a Web-based IEP Tutorial and decision-making support system in approximately 16 schools in Illinois. The intervention will support preparation of IEPs by providing guided decision making protocols and multiple exemplars of evidence-based program options for IEP teams. Teachers of students with reading difficulty will be recruited and a "static cohort" model will be employed by initiating the intervention with the class entering 6th grade. As part of the intervention research, an evaluation tool—the IEP Quality Scale—will also be developed. This evaluation tool will inform Tutorial refinement and allow for quantifiable judgments of all IEP elements.

Products: The expected outcomes from this study include:

  1. A Web-based IEP Tutorial and decision-making support system for use by IEP teams,
  2. The IEP Quality Scale to objectively evaluate components of an IEP with accompanying procedure manual,
  3. Professional and Parent resources to support the Web-based Decision system, fidelity of IEP implementation, and case-reporting and consultation, and
  4. Published reports or presentations on the results of the potential efficacy of the Web-based IEP Tutorial and decision-making support system on the fidelity of IEP implementation.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Middle schools throughout Illinois that did not meet Adequately Yearly Progress (AYP) solely because of the performance by the subgroup of students with IEPs.

Population: Approximately 30–36 teachers of students with reading difficulties will participate. In addition, outcome data will be collected on approximately 320 6th grade students with reading difficulties. The researchers' preliminary examination of potential sites indicates that these students will most likely have specific learning disabilities and/or emotional disturbance.

Intervention: The tutorial will supplement iePoint, guide users through a decision-making process that connects all portions of the IEP, and provide multiple exemplars of evidence-based program options for teachers and IEP teams. More specifically, schools implementing the Tutorial will be able to access a secure website where content and links relevant to the quality enhancement of IEPs, literacy, and other access skills will be posted. Additional guidance will be provided to teachers and IEP teams on questions to be considered before the articulation of annual goals. Ongoing feedback and support for decision making during and after the IEP is developed will also be available. The final component of the Tutorial involves a year-end summary and analysis for each student participating as part of the Tutorial intervention.

Research Design and Methods: The program of research will occur in two stages. During Stage 1, a quasi-experimental design will be implemented with four schools in order to develop and pilot test the Tutorial and observe and interview its users. During Stage 2, a randomized experimental design, with schools being randomly assigned to either the control or Tutorial intervention group, will be implemented with 16 middle schools and approximately 30–36 teachers and 320 students to determine the potential efficacy of the Tutorial as compared to the control condition.

Control Condition: The control group will be a "business as usual" control group and include teachers of students with reading difficulties and 6th grade students with reading difficulties in schools that did not make AYP solely because of the performance by the subgroup of students with IEPs. The control group will receive Tutorial materials after the study has been completed.

Key Measures: Student outcome measures will emphasize academic performance assessed by standards-referenced constructed probes administrated six times per year and the Illinois state assessment. In addition, student self report data and data related to teacher implementation and parent perception of the instructional experiences of their child will be gathered.

Data Analytic Strategy: Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) will be used to evaluate the potential efficacy of the Tutorial and estimate student growth trajectories over time.

Products and Publications

Book chapter

Shriner, J.G., and Thurlow, M.L. (2012). Curriculum-Based Measurement, Progress Monitoring, and State Assessments. In C. Espin, K. McMaster, S. Rose, and M. Wayman (Eds.), A Measure of Success: How Curriculum-Based Measurement has Influenced Education and Learning (pp. 247–260). Minneapolis, MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Yell, M.L., Crockett, J., Shriner, J., & Rozalski, M. (in press). Free appropriate public education. In J. M. Kauffman. D. P. Hallahan. & B. Pullen (Eds.). Handbook of Special Education. Philadelphia, PA: Taylor & Francis/Routledge.

Book chapter, edition specified

Shriner, J.G., Plotner, A., and Rose, C.A. (2010). Development of Individual Education Programs for Students With Emotional or Behavioral Disorders: Coordination With Transition Plans. In D. Cheney (Ed.), Transition of Secondary Students With Emotional or Behavioral Disorders: Current Approaches for Positive Outcomes (2nd ed., pp. 171–214). Champaign, IL: Research Press.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Shriner, J.G., Carty, S.J., Rose, C.A., Shogren, K.A., Kim, M., and Trach, J.S. (2013). Effects of Using a Web-Based IEP Decision Making Tutorial. Journal of Special Education, 47(3): 175–185. doi:10.1177/0022466912453940