Grant Competition (findings for Enhanced Units (EU))
Meets WWC standards without reservations
because it is a cluster randomized controlled trial with low cluster-level attrition and individual-level non-response.
This review may not reflect the full body of research evidence for this intervention.
Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.
Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.
English language learners
Other or unknown: 100%
Rural, Suburban, Town, Urban
| Native American
| Other or unknown
| Pacific Islander
| Two or more races
| Not Hispanic or Latino
Eligible for Free and Reduced Price Lunch
| Free or reduced price lunch (FRPL)
| No FRPL
The study was conducted in 18 biology classes and 12 U.S. History classes in five high schools in three school districts in Virginia and California during the 2017-2018 school year. The schools were chosen from school districts that used data from the Strategic Instructional Network (SIM). Each of them had previously purchased SIM materials, had teachers trained in the use of some of the SIM routines and strategies; had a certified SIM trainer available; and identified a staff ‘champion’ for the study. One school was in a rural setting, one was in a town, two were in suburban settings, and one was in an urban setting. There were 13 teachers (7 biology and 6 U.S. History). To be eligible, teachers must have been teaching biology in grades 9-12 or U.S. history in grade 11. The school districts selected were chosen based on a convenience sample.
School-level data for the five participating schools, drawn from publicly available 2017-2018 NCES data, are reported by the authors. About 8 percent of students were English language learners (based on district data). Approximately 12 percent of students had an IEP (based on district data). One-third (33%) of students were low socioeconomic status. Over half (52%) of students were White, with 17 percent Asian, 12 percent Hispanic, 12 percent Black, 5 percent multiracial or did not respond, 0.5 percent Pacific Islander, and 0.2 percent American Indian/Native Alaskan.
Enhanced Units is an intervention that aims to integrate research-based content enhancement routines with technological enhancements to improve student content learning and higher order reasoning, especially for students with disabilities or other learning challenges. It combines multiple research-based routines and technology (specifically a Google application called ‘Co-organize your learning’ or CORGI).
There are two key components to the intervention: 1) teachers receive sufficient support to implement the intervention, and 2) teachers increase their implementation of, adherence to, and quality of intervention instructional practices. These two components are intended to influence teacher classroom use of Strategic Instruction Model (SIM) instructional practices, which should then increase student collaboration and critical thinking in U.S. History and biology, which would in turn increase achievement on biology and U.S. History assessments, especially among special education students.
The comparison condition was business as usual.
Support for implementation
Participating teachers were trained in implementing the intervention and received coaching throughout the school year. Professional development included three days of in-person professional development, which were divided into three sessions per school district. Each school district conducted the professional development independent of the other districts. At least 8 hours of coaching from SIM professional developers were providing throughout the year as ongoing coaching. Participating teachers implemented one practice intervention unit and two units that were included as study interventions. The EU professional development was observed in one school district by study researchers. Teachers completed daily implementation logs to record their use of the various EU routines in their daily instruction. Teachers also answered questions about whether routines had been used, intentionally or unintentionally, in the business as usual classrooms.