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IES Contract

Title: Delivering and Demystifying Data for Literacy Leaders to Transform Reading Outcomes at Scale
Center: NCER Year: 2021
Principal Investigator: Siegal, Sarah Awardee: Learning Ovations
Program: Small Business Innovation Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (05/01/2021 – 04/30/2023) Award Amount: $900,000
Type: Phase II Development Award Number: 91990021C0041

Project Website:

Video Demonstration of the Phase I Prototype:

Purpose: The research team  will develop a data dashboard to present data driven insights on student literacy outcomes to district administrators, school leaders, and educators. The components of the project will be integrated within an existing platform developed though prior IES funding that supports individualized literacy instruction, the Assessment-to-instruction, or A2i. Differentiated instruction is a key to children becoming proficient readers and often requires a systems-level solution.  When data are easier to access and understand, the pathway to a differentiated learning environment for children becomes more navigable.

Project Activities:  In Phase I in 2020, the project team developed a web-based dashboard for school leaders that presents personalized results for each student. The prototype migrates data from different sources and uses a data engine to curate recommendations for individual and groups of students.  At the end of Phase I, the researchers conducted a pilot study with 10 school leaders. Results demonstrated the prototype successfully generated reports at the school, classroom, and individual level and captured how much time school leaders spent with the prototype. Results also demonstrated that all school leaders who used the prototype believe it provided useful information to inform decision making.

In Phase II, the team will fully develop a user-friendly data dashboard that presents actionable reports, generates notifications, and that is designed to foster collaboration across users at multiple levels, including educators, school leaders, and district administrators.  Once development is complete, the researchers will assess the usability and feasibility, fidelity of implementation, and the promise of the dashboard to identify whether usage patterns correlate to improvements on student reading outcomes. The study will employ a quasi-experimental one-group pretest-posttest to evaluate survey responses from administrators before and after the dashboards are implemented. The team will employ researcher developer measures to capture whether administrators are able to gain actionable insights from data and recommendations generated by the A2i, and how often administrators engaged in key data-driven behaviors over a given time interval. The research will also track teacher usage of the platform before and after the new dashboards are implemented, evaluating time-spent on different subpages of the platform and the direction of site-to-site transitions. Finally, the researchers will compare student outcomes across cohorts to explore whether changes in usage patterns by administrators and educators are related to improvements in student growth trajectories. Researchers will gather cost information using the "ingredients method" and will include all expenditures on things such as personnel, facilities, equipment, materials, and training.

Product:  Through previous projects supported by IES, ED/IES SBIR, and other sources, the project team developed A2i, an intervention to support students in Kindergarten to grade 3 to read at or above grade level. In A2i, students take web-delivered assessments throughout the school year which track progress across literacy skills, including vocabulary, decoding, word reading, spelling, sentence and paragraph writing, comprehension, and inferencing. This project will develop a dashboard for users of the A2i at different levels of the education system, including district personnel, school level administrators, and educators, to support the feasible delivery, navigation, and sharing of data and reports. The project will develop and integrate an active notification system into the dashboards for just-in-time email reminders or "push notifications," guidance on next steps, and automated updates to support users in understanding data through actionable next steps displayed on the dashboards.

Related IES Projects: Commercializing the Effective K-3 Assessment to Instruction (A2i) Intervention to Reduce Cost and to Scale Access to the Benefit of More Students (EDIES14C0026); Child Instruction Interactions in Early Reading: Examining Causal Effects of Individualized Instruction (R305H040013); Child-Instruction Interactions in Reading: Examining Causal Effects of Individualized Instruction in Second and Third Grade (R305B070074); Exploring Effective Reading Comprehension Instruction: Classroom Practice, Teacher, and Student Characteristics (R305A160399)