|Title:||Classwide Fraction Intervention With Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies to Support Learning Acceleration|
|Principal Investigator:||Smith, Toni||Awardee:||American Institutes for Research (AIR)|
|Program:||Leveraging Evidence to Accelerate Recovery Nationwide Network [Program Details]|
|Award Period:||2 years (09/01/2022 – 08/31/2024)||Award Amount:||$999,933|
|Type:||Adaptation for Scaling||Award Number:||R305N220008|
Co-Principal Investigators: Fuchs, Lynn; Rickles, Jordan; Griffin, Melinda; Garrett, Rachel
Related Network Teams: This project is part of the Leveraging Evidence to Accelerate Recovery Nationwide (LEARN) Network, which focuses on adapting and preparing to scale existing, evidence-based products that have the potential to accelerate students' learning relative to pre-pandemic rates of growth for the many learners enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12, postsecondary education, or adult education programs whose learning was affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The LEARN Network includes the following projects — Modifying an Evidence-Based Peer-Mediated Reading Program to Differentiate Instruction and Accelerate Learning Among Underrepresented Groups: Implementing PALS in the Rio Grande Valley (R305N220010), LEARN Network Lead (R305N220012), Scaling Targeted Reading Instruction (TRI) to Serve Students Impacted by COVID-19: Digital Implementation of an Effective Intervention (R305N220013), and Adapting STARI to Accelerate Student Reading Achievement in Middle Grades (R305N220025).
A Research Network involves several teams of researchers who are working together to address a critical education problem or issue. The objective is to encourage information sharing, build new knowledge, and assist policymakers and practitioners to strengthen education policies and programs and improve student education outcomes. The LEARN Network will focus on adapting and scaling up existing, evidence-based products that have the potential to accelerate students' learning for the many learners enrolled in kindergarten through grade 12.
Purpose: The purpose of this project is to adapt, evaluate, and prepare to scale CFI+PALS, a product for fifth grade students that combines Classwide Fraction Intervention (CFI) with Math Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS). COVID-19 learning loss has impacted students in high-poverty elementary schools, particularly in math. To accelerate math learning, teachers in these schools need innovative, evidence-based methods that incorporate a dual focus on grade-level content and content from earlier grades that students have not fully mastered. CFI is an evidence-based program for improving fractions performance, which addresses the call to accelerate learning by helping learners achieve grade-level standards. PALS is an evidence-based classroom program with an adaptive decision framework for assigning PALS partners and math topics that span Grades 2-6 to support teachers' peer-mediated instructional differentiation. CFI and PALS, with their structured peer-to-peer guided rehearsal and structured math conversations, also help build students' social networks. The project's three aims are to (1) adapt CFI+PALS to improve its scalability while maintaining its impact on student outcomes; (2) assess the adapted CFI+PALS product's potential to accelerate learning via a quasi-experimental study; and (3) conduct market analyses and interviews with practitioners outside of study schools in preparation for scaling CFI+PALS.
Project Activities: In Year 1, the network team will implement CFI+PALS and will use formative input from teachers and students and formative assessments of student progress to (1) optimize the timing and methods for combining CFI and PALS, (2) refine the decision framework for assigning PALS's instructional differentiation topics in ways that optimize support for student success on CFI's fraction content, and (3) modify the PALS decision tool for assigning pairs and topics so the tool relies on formative assessments already available in schools, eliminating the need for teachers to collect more assessment data. In Year 2, the team will make minor adjustments based on implementation with a larger set of end-users, and will conduct a quasi-experimental study to assess the adapted CFI+PALS product's potential to promote acceleration and recovery of student learning, relative to pre-pandemic growth rates. In spring of Year 2, the team will conduct market analyses and interview key stakeholders to prepare to scale the product.
Products & Dissemination: Products will include (1) a CFI+PALS manual that explains how to implement CFI and PALS in coordinated fashion, the contextual features needed to implement CFI+PALS, and the PALS decision tool that relies on available assessments for instructional differentiation; (2) peer-reviewed publications that describe the evidence of CFI+PALS's potential to accelerate math learning relative to pre-pandemic rates of growth; and (3) and a plan for scaling. The manual and project findings will be disseminated to a diverse audience, prioritizing policymakers and practitioners, through websites, social media, research briefs, conferences, and journal articles.
Setting: Participating schools include urban and suburban Title I schools in Maryland.
Population/Sample: In Year 1, four fifth grade teachers across two schools and their students will participate in the research. In Year 2, 40 fifth grade teachers and their students (20 schools, with two fifth grade classrooms per school) will participate. At least 50% of students within the participating schools are scoring below proficient on state math assessments. The research team will also interview district and school administrators as well as stakeholders external to the study districts.
Product: Classwide Fraction Intervention (CFI) + Math Peer-Assisted Learning Strategies (PALS). CFI is an evidence-based program for improving fraction performance. It addresses theneed to accelerate learning by helping learners achieve grade-level standards. PALS is an evidence-based classroom program with an adaptive decision framework to assign PALS partners and topics. It supports teachers' peer-mediated instructional differentiation on a broad set of math topics, addressing the increased need for instructional differentiation to support student learning on content covered in prior grades. Both CFI and PALS rely on structured peer-guided rehearsal and math conversations, which address the need to build social networks.
Project Activities: The project activities are designed to meet three aims: (1) design three adaptations to CFI and PALS and implement adapted, combined CFI+PALS to ensure its scalability and effects on student learning, (2) assess CFI+PALS's potential to accelerate learning via a quasi-experimental study, and (3) prepare to scale CFI+PALS. To address Aim 1, the team will collect formative input from teachers, students, and other stakeholders and formative assessments of student progress to iteratively design adaptations: (1) optimizing the design, timing, and pacing of the combined program, (2) refining the decision framework for assigning PALS's instructional differentiation topics to optimize support for student success with CFI's fraction content, and (3) modifying the PALS decision framework to rely on already-available assessments to drive instructional differentiation. To address Aim 2, the team will conduct a quasi-experimental study with 10 Cohort 2 schools and a comparison group of similar schools in the same districts. To address Aim 3, the team will interview stakeholders in districts outside the study districts and conduct a market analysis to develop a plan for scaling CFI+PALS.
Cost Analysis: The network team will collect and summarize cost per student and cost-effectiveness data., They will estimate costs for startup versus maintenance, and quantify costs based on rates of growth on district interim assessment relative to pre-pandemic rates of growth.