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Evaluation Studies of the National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance

Impact Study of Feedback for Teachers Based on Classroom Videos

Contractor: Mathematica Policy Research, Inc.; WestEd; Decision Information Resources; Clowder Consulting; Pemberton Research; IRIS Connect; Educopia

Background/Research Questions:

Title II, Part A of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act provides funding to improve the quality and effectiveness of educators. Research has consistently found that novice teachers perform at a level substantially lower than their more experienced colleagues. To help improve teacher preparation and professional development, we need to understand which teaching experiences and practices are most likely to improve teachers' effectiveness, particularly early in their career. We also need to know which strategies improve the effectiveness of teachers with lower performance in the classroom.

This evaluation will provide individualized coaching to novice (first-year) and early career (second-, third-, and fourth-year) teachers based on videos of their classroom practices. Emerging research suggests that such supports may be an effective strategy for improving teachers' instruction and their students' achievement. Several recent small-scale studies of feedback based on teacher evaluation systems or video-based coaching have found positive effects on student achievement. This study is designed to inform the effectiveness of this approach on a larger scale. In addition, this study has the potential to inform teacher preparation and professional development practice more generally. The study will address the following:

  • What is the impact on teaching practices and student achievement of providing novice teachers with written feedback and one-on-one coaching using multiple videos of their classroom practices?
  • What is the impact on teaching practices and student achievement of providing novice teachers with written feedback for self-reflection using multiple videos of their classroom practices?
  • What is the impact on teaching practices and student achievement of providing teachers early in their career (years 2–4) with written feedback and one-on-one coaching using multiple videos of their classroom practices?

Design:

The study team will recruit approximately 500 teachers from 10 districts across the country to participate; 300 of the teachers will be novice teachers and 200 will be early career teachers.

In 2017–18, novice teachers will be randomly assigned to receive either: (1) written feedback for self reflection, (2) written feedback plus one-on-one coaching, or (3) the usual professional development provided by the district (the control group). In 2018–19, early career teachers will be randomly assigned to receive either: (1) written feedback plus one-on-one coaching, or (2) the district's usual professional development. Some novice teachers who participated in 2017–18 will be randomly chosen to continue participating in the study in 2018–19.

Data collection includes information on fidelity of implementation of the coaching and early feedback, a teacher survey focusing on their preparation and professional development experiences, a test of teacher's knowledge of teaching practices, and an assessment of teacher beliefs and attitudes. In addition, classroom observations will be conducted in early fall 2017, spring 2018, fall 2018, and spring 2019 to provide pre- and post-treatment information about teachers' practices. Extant state math and ELA assessment data will be collected for both school years. In addition to estimating the overall impact of the interventions, the study team will estimate impacts for various subgroups and conduct correlational analyses to inform teacher preparation and professional development practices.

Cost/Duration: $18,367,939 (September 2016–July 2022)

Current Status: Study refinement, provider competition, and district recruitment activities are underway.