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IES Grant

Title: Professional Development for Algebra Progress Monitoring
Center: NCSER Year: 2009
Principal Investigator: Foegen, Anne Awardee: Iowa State University
Program: Educators and School-Based Service Providers      [Program Details]
Award Period: 8/1/2009 through 07/31/2012 Award Amount: $1,483,333
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324A090295

Purpose: The purpose of this study is to develop a professional development program that will enable teachers of students with disabilities to better monitor students' learning in algebra. The aim of this project is to develop and pilot test an online professional development system that monitors progress in algebra, primarily for students with learning disabilities. The Professional Development for Algebra Progress Monitoring system will provide teachers with training and support for keeping track of students' progress.

Project Activities: The professional development intervention will be developed and pilot tested with four cohorts of teachers and two cohorts of administrators in high school settings. Data collected through teacher logs, observations, interviews, focus groups, and user data logs will be used to inform the development process, to determine whether the intervention is functioning as intended and to assess the promise of the program for improving teacher knowledge and skills in the area of algebra progress monitoring.

Products: The products of this project include the fully developed Professional Development for Algebra Progress Monitoring intervention, measures for fidelity of implementation, published papers, and presentations.

Setting: The research will take place in high schools in Iowa and South Carolina.

Population: Three cohorts of general education and special education teachers will participate in the development of the professional development program. An additional cohort of teachers will participate in the pilot testing of the full program. Two cohorts of administrators will use and provide feedback on the administrator tools for data management.

Intervention: The professional development system to be created will include online instructional modules that will train teachers to use three types of algebra progress monitoring measures. The system also will include online tools for scoring and data management to support teachers' scoring of the measures.

Research Design and Methods: The team will utilize a design research approach to develop, test, and refine the professional development system with user feedback data prior to another round of testing. The pilot test at the conclusion of the project will use a pre-test and post-test design to evaluate changes in teachers' knowledge of and skills for algebra progress monitoring. Students' algebra performance data will also be collected and analyzed to assess the promise of intervention for improving algebra outcomes.

Control Condition: There is no control condition.

Key Measures: Measures for the project include researcher developed assessments of teacher knowledge and skill using algebra progress monitoring, system user logs, teacher logs, and observations. The team will also be using the researcher developed algebra progress monitoring measures with students. Measures of implementation fidelity for the system will focus on teachers' knowledge and skills, the efficiency and accuracy of their use of the scoring and data management tools, and users' satisfaction.

Data Analytic Strategy: Qualitative techniques will be used to analyze data from users' logs, surveys, interviews, and focus groups to identify topics to inform revisions to the professional development system. Pilot test analyses of pre- and post-test data will include t-tests and qualitative summaries of users' logs, surveys, interviews, and focus groups.