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IES Grant

Title: Effectiveness Replication of the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) Instructional Model for Writing in the General Curriculum
Center: NCER Year: 2022
Principal Investigator: Hooper, Stephen Awardee: University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Program: Research Grants Focused on Systematic Replication      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years (07/01/2022 - 06/30/2027) Award Amount: $4,495,075
Type: Replication Effectiveness Award Number: R305R220020

Co-Principal Investigator: Costa, Lara-Jeane

Purpose: The purpose of this systematic replication is to evaluate the effectiveness of the Self-Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) Instructional Model under routine classroom conditions in the general curriculum. SRSD instruction is a structured, disciplined approach for teaching all students specific strategies for writing compositions. Building on previous research showing strong effects for the SRSD model in middle school populations, this study will address the gaps in the SRSD literature by: 1) providing large-scale evidence for the use of this instructional approach with middle school students; 2) examining the conditions under which SRSD may prove most successful; and 3) promoting sustainability of practice. The research team will aim to replicate findings from a previous IES efficacy trial on student-level moderators (R305A120145) and teacher ratings of executive functions.  Through fidelity, implementation, and teacher data, the research team will aim for a deeper empirical understanding of factors that are essential for SRSD success in the general curriculum.

Project Activities: This study will occur in two contexts: 1) Practice-Based Professional Development (PBPD) for literacy coaches and teachers, and 2) teachers' implementation of SRSD in their classrooms under routine conditions. The independent research team will use a large-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the impact the SRSD intervention for 6th grade middle-school students on student writing outcomes.

Products: The research team will produce information on the effectiveness of SRSD for improving writing outcomes under routine classroom conditions. The study also will provide information on the cost-effectiveness of the implementation of the SRSD model. Utilizing a number of communication resources, including a Practice Disseminator, the researchers will disseminate information via peer-reviewed journals, scholarly conferences, professional conferences, and schools.

Structured Abstract

Setting: This project will take place in targeted urban, suburban, and rural middle schools that represent a diverse student sociodemographic population across North Carolina and possibly Virginia.

Sample: The final sample will include 280 English Language Arts (ELA) teachers and 28,000 sixth-grade students. Students will be sampled from 70 schools in 1-2 states. This sample of students will be representative of this region's population in the United States.

Intervention: SRSD instruction is a structured, disciplined approach for teaching all students specific strategies for writing compositions. Students learn meta-cognitive strategies and procedures for self-regulation to better understand and regulate the writing process. They also learn to set goals, self-monitor, self-instruct, and self-reinforce to support self-regulation of strategy use. PBPD for SRSD is an established PD paradigm used to train teachers in implementing SRSD for persuasive writing. This project also will include Literacy Coaches in order to facilitate implementation and sustainability. The PD will include three days of training for teachers and literacy coaches. In addition to the PD Instructor, Literacy coaches will support teachers' implementation of the SRSD through observations, coaching, and feedback.

Research Design and Methods: The research team will use a stratified cluster-randomization pre-post design to compare the treatment (SRSD) to the control (BAU) conditions. Schools will be randomized to SRSD and BAU conditions in a 1:1 ratio. Key design elements in the present study include an evaluation conducted by researchers who are neutral with respect to the development, distribution, and financial interests in the proposed SRSD writing intervention and independent from the PD. Schools will selected in Year 1, and students and teachers enrolled over Years 2 through 4. The research team will assess student outcomes prior-to and post treatment. The team will independently assess the fidelity of the PBPD for SRSD during the 3- day training as well as the fidelity of implementation of the treatment and control conditions.

Control Condition: Schools in the control condition will use business-as-usual curriculum and professional development typically provided by their local district.

Key Measures: Outcome measures will include five scores of writing strategy use (Focus and Meaning, Organization, Content and Development, Language Use and Style, Mechanics and Conventions) using various measures including the Wechsler Individualized Achievement Test IV Essay Composition.  Student-level moderators [SPED status, ELL status, Behavior Rating Inventory of Executive Function 2 Screening Form, age, sex, school attendance) and teacher-level moderators [years of experience, specialization, highest degree, Teachers' Sense of Efficacy Scale-Short, Acceptability of Adaptations Scale (attitude towards teaching writing), Professional Learning Communities Assessment-Revised, Evidence Based Writing Practices questionnaire (prior knowledge of SRSD model)] are included.  Mediators include fidelity of implementation for SRSD in Writing using frequency of use as a primary variable of interest.

Data Analytic Strategy: The research team will use a multilevel design to address research questions about implementation of the SRSD instructional model in the sixth grade and its impacts on students' writing outcomes.

Cost Analysis: The researchers will use the ingredients method of cost analysis in order to fully document the economic cost of implementing SRSD in resource utilization or opportunity cost terms. They will gather data on the amount and characteristics of personnel, facilities, materials, and other resources required to produce the measured effect to capture what is needed to replicate implementation in other settings. The team will conduct the cost-effectiveness analysis during Year 5.

Related IES Projects: Cross-Sectional Examination of Writing Quality in Elementary School Students: An Exploration of an Empirical Based Model of Writing Factors Across Grades 1 to 5 (R305A190405); An Examination of Response to Intervention in the Early Writing Skills of At-Risk Preschoolers (R305A170529); Written Language Problems in Middle School Students: A Randomized Trial of the Self- Regulated Strategy Development (SRSD) Model Using a Tier 2 Intervention (R305A120145); Attention, Memory, and Executive Functions in Written Language Expression in Elementary School Children (R305H060042)