Student Achievement (student + achievement)

Distribution by Scientific Domains

Selected Abstracts

A Framework for Evaluating and Planning Assessments Intended to Improve Student Achievement

Paul D. Nichols
Assessments labeled as formative have been offered as a means to improve student achievement. But labels can be a powerful way to miscommunicate. For an assessment use to be appropriately labeled "formative," both empirical evidence and reasoned arguments must be offered to support the claim that improvements in student achievement can be linked to the use of assessment information. Our goal in this article is to support the construction of such an argument by offering a framework within which to consider evidence-based claims that assessment information can be used to improve student achievement. We describe this framework and then illustrate its use with an example of one-on-one tutoring. Finally, we explore the framework's implications for understanding when the use of assessment information is likely to improve student achievement and for advising test developers on how to develop assessments that are intended to offer information that can be used to improve student achievement. [source]

Celebrating Student Achievement: Award-Winning Papers 2001,05

Alayne Unterberger
This article presents an overview of the history, background, and content of the 13 winning papers from the NAPA Student Achievement Awards from 2001,05. The award, begun in 2001, has expanded from one to three prizes that include monetary remuneration, an award at the AAA meetings, and publication. NAPA began the award to support and encourage students to undertake applied and practicing anthropology projects. We discuss the evolution of the award, how NAPA members are involved, and present conclusions about the paper topics and .ndings. Papers can be thought of as illustrative of solid examples of practicing and applied work, regardless of the fact that they were written when the authors were students. [source]

Relationship of Student Undergraduate Achievement and Personality Characteristics in a Total Web-Based Environment: An Empirical Study

Marc J. Schniederjans
ABSTRACT Web-based education is a popular format for the delivery of college courses. Research has shown that it may not be the best form of education for all students. Today, many students (and student advisors) face a choice in course delivery format (i.e., Web-based or more traditional classroom courses). This research study examines the relationship between student personality characteristics and their achievement scores as a means of identifying predictors of academic success in an undergraduate business program using Web-based education. The results of the study show that four basic personality characteristics are highly correlated to student achievement in Web-based courses. Use of these personality characteristics as variables in a regression model is shown to be a highly accurate predictive tool to aid students in the decision as to whether to take a particular Web-based course format or a more traditional classroom course. [source]

Structuring the Classroom for Performance: Cooperative Learning with Instructor-Assigned Teams*

Gary D. Koppenhaver
ABSTRACT The main concern is a longstanding one in classroom instruction,the determinants of effective team performance. The paper explicitly examines the effect of teacher-controlled factors on the use and functioning of student teams. From a sample of 500 undergraduate students, data are obtained on aptitude, diversity, instability, motivation, personality style, size, and performance. The regression results suggest that team motivation and instability, which are both partly controlled by the instructor, are particularly important in determining a team's performance. An implication is that instructor decisions about team make-up and incentives can have a significant impact on student achievement. [source]

The Impact of Vertical Scaling Decisions on Growth Interpretations

Derek C. Briggs
Most growth models implicitly assume that test scores have been vertically scaled. What may not be widely appreciated are the different choices that must be made when creating a vertical score scale. In this paper empirical patterns of growth in student achievement are compared as a function of different approaches to creating a vertical scale. Longitudinal item-level data from a standardized reading test are analyzed for two cohorts of students between Grades 3 and 6 and Grades 4 and 7 for the entire state of Colorado from 2003 to 2006. Eight different vertical scales were established on the basis of choices made for three key variables: Item Response Theory modeling approach, linking approach, and ability estimation approach. It is shown that interpretations of empirical growth patterns appear to depend upon the extent to which a vertical scale has been effectively "stretched" or "compressed" by the psychometric decisions made to establish it. While all of the vertical scales considered show patterns of decelerating growth across grade levels, there is little evidence of scale shrinkage. [source]

A Framework for Evaluating and Planning Assessments Intended to Improve Student Achievement

Paul D. Nichols
Assessments labeled as formative have been offered as a means to improve student achievement. But labels can be a powerful way to miscommunicate. For an assessment use to be appropriately labeled "formative," both empirical evidence and reasoned arguments must be offered to support the claim that improvements in student achievement can be linked to the use of assessment information. Our goal in this article is to support the construction of such an argument by offering a framework within which to consider evidence-based claims that assessment information can be used to improve student achievement. We describe this framework and then illustrate its use with an example of one-on-one tutoring. Finally, we explore the framework's implications for understanding when the use of assessment information is likely to improve student achievement and for advising test developers on how to develop assessments that are intended to offer information that can be used to improve student achievement. [source]

Faculty development for problem-based learning

Elizabeth A. Farmer
Changing to a problem-based learning (PBL) curriculum represents a substantial challenge because many faculty members are unfamiliar with the process. Faculty development is a crucial component of successful curriculum change to PBL. This paper describes a logical process for designing and implementing a comprehensive faculty development programme at three main stages of change: curriculum transition, curriculum implementation and curriculum advancement. The components of each stage are discussed with reference to the literature and practice. Future advances in faculty development include harnessing the potential of complex adaptive systems theory in understanding and facilitating the change process, and incorporating the results of research, which illuminates the relationships of the PBL tutorial process to student achievement. There is a continuing need for rigorous outcome-based research and programme evaluation to define the best components and strategies for faculty development. [source]

The Sensitivity of Value-Added Teacher Effect Estimates to Different Mathematics Achievement Measures

J. R. Lockwood
Using longitudinal data from a cohort of middle school students from a large school district, we estimate separate "value-added" teacher effects for two subscales of a mathematics assessment under a variety of statistical models varying in form and degree of control for student background characteristics. We find that the variation in estimated effects resulting from the different mathematics achievement measures is large relative to variation resulting from choices about model specification, and that the variation within teachers across achievement measures is larger than the variation across teachers. These results suggest that conclusions about individual teachers' performance based on value-added models can be sensitive to the ways in which student achievement is measured. [source]

Status versus growth: The distributional effects of school accountability policies

Helen F. Ladd
Although the federal No Child Left Behind program judges the effectiveness of schools based on their students' achievement status, many policy analysts argue that schools should be measured, instead, by their students' achievement growth. Using a 10-year student-level panel data set from North Carolina, we examine how school-specific pressure associated with status and growth approaches to school accountability affect student achievement at different points in the prior-year achievement distribution. Achievement gains for students below the proficiency cut point emerge in schools failing either type of accountability standard, with the effects clearer for math than for reading. In contrast to prior research highlighting the possibility of educational triage, we find little or no evidence that failing schools in North Carolina ignore the students far below proficiency under either approach. Importantly, we find that the status, but not the growth, approach reduces the reading achievement of higher performing students. Our analysis suggests that the distributional effects of accountability pressure depend not only on the type of pressure for which schools are held accountable (status or growth), but also the tested subject. 2010 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. [source]

A strategic response to class size reduction: Combination classes and student achievement in California

David Sims
The California class size reduction program provided schools with cash rewards for K,3 classes of 20 or fewer students. I show how program rules made it possible for schools to save money by using mixed-grade classes to meet class size reduction obligations while maintaining larger average class sizes. I also show that this smoothing of students across grades is associated with a significant test score gap for certain second and third grade students. My estimates suggest that class size reduction may lead to lower test scores for students placed in combination classes. Alternative explanations of teacher experience and credentialing changes cannot explain the test score pattern. This result spotlights both the underappreciated role of age heterogeneity in classroom learning and the difficulty of replicating the success of policy experiments in statewide reform. 2008 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. [source]

Does merit pay reward good teachers?

Evidence from a randomized experiment
A common criticism of merit-pay plans is that they fail to systematically target rewards to the most effective teachers. This study presents new evidence on this issue by evaluating data from Tennessee's Career Ladder Evaluation System and the Project STAR class-size experiment. Because the students and teachers participating in the experiment were randomly assigned, inferences about the relative quality of teachers certified by the career ladder should be unbiased. The results indicate that Tennessee's career ladder had mixed success in rewarding teachers who increased student achievement. Assignment to career-ladder teachers increased mathematics scores by roughly 3 percentile points but generally had smaller and statistically insignificant effects on reading scores. 2004 by the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. [source]

How and when does complex reasoning occur?

Empirically driven development of a learning progression focused on complex reasoning about biodiversity
Abstract In order to compete in a global economy, students are going to need resources and curricula focusing on critical thinking and reasoning in science. Despite awareness for the need for complex reasoning, American students perform poorly relative to peers on international standardized tests measuring complex thinking in science. Research focusing on learning progressions is one effort to provide more coherent science curricular sequences and assessments that can be focused on complex thinking about focal science topics. This article describes an empirically driven, five-step process to develop a 3-year learning progression focusing on complex thinking about biodiversity. Our efforts resulted in empirical results and work products including: (1) a revised definition of learning progressions, (2) empirically driven, 3-year progressions for complex thinking about biodiversity, (3) an application of statistical approaches for the analysis of learning progression products, (4) Hierarchical Linear Modeling results demonstrating significant student achievement on complex thinking about biodiversity, and (5) Growth Model results demonstrating strengths and weaknesses of the first version of our curricular units. The empirical studies present information to inform both curriculum and assessment development. For curriculum development, the role of learning progressions as templates for the development of organized sequences of curricular units focused on complex science is discussed. For assessment development, learning progression-guided assessments provide a greater range and amount of information that can more reliably discriminate between students of differing abilities than a contrasting standardized assessment measure that was also focused on biodiversity content. 2009 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 46: 610,631, 2009 [source]

A meta-analysis of national research: Effects of teaching strategies on student achievement in science in the United States

Carolyn M. Schroeder
This project consisted of a meta-analysis of U.S. research published from 1980 to 2004 on the effect of specific science teaching strategies on student achievement. The six phases of the project included study acquisition, study coding, determination of intercoder objectivity, establishing criteria for inclusion of studies, computation of effect sizes for statistical analysis, and conducting the analyses. Studies were required to have been carried out in the United States, been experimental or quasi-experimental, and must have included effect size or the statistics necessary to calculate effect size. Sixty-one studies met the criteria for inclusion in the meta-analysis. The following eight categories of teaching strategies were revealed during analysis of the studies (effect sizes in parentheses): Questioning Strategies (0.74); Manipulation Strategies (0.57); Enhanced Material Strategies (0.29); Assessment Strategies (0.51); Inquiry Strategies (0.65); Enhanced Context Strategies (1.48); Instructional Technology (IT) Strategies (0.48); and Collaborative Learning Strategies (0.95). All these effect sizes were judged to be significant. Regression analysis revealed that internal validity was influenced by Publication Type, Type of Study, and Test Type. External validity was not influenced by Publication Year, Grade Level, Test Content, or Treatment Categories. The major implication of this research is that we have generated empirical evidence supporting the effectiveness of alternative teaching strategies in science. 2007 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 44: 1436,1460, 2007 [source]

Design, validation, and use of an evaluation instrument for monitoring systemic reform

Kathryn Scantlebury
Over the past decade, state and national policymakers have promoted systemic reform as a way to achieve high-quality science education for all students. However, few instruments are available to measure changes in key dimensions relevant to systemic reform such as teaching practices, student attitudes, or home and peer support. Furthermore, Rasch methods of analysis are needed to permit valid comparison of different cohorts of students during different years of a reform effort. This article describes the design, development, validation, and use of an instrument that measures student attitudes and several environment dimensions (standards-based teaching, home support, and peer support) using a three-step process that incorporated expert opinion, factor analysis, and item response theory. The instrument was validated with over 8,000 science and mathematics students, taught by more than 1,000 teachers in over 200 schools as part of a comprehensive assessment of the effectiveness of Ohio's systemic reform initiative. When the new four-factor, 20-item questionnaire was used to explore the relative influence of the class, home, and peer environment on student achievement and attitudes, findings were remarkably consistent across 3 years and different units and methods of analysis. All three environments accounted for unique variance in student attitudes, but only the environment of the class accounted for unique variance in student achievement. However, the class environment (standards-based teaching practices) was the strongest independent predictor of both achievement and attitude, and appreciable amounts of the total variance in attitudes were common to the three environments. 2001 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 38: 646,662, 2001 [source]

Impact of item-writing flaws in multiple-choice questions on student achievement in high-stakes nursing assessments

Marie Tarrant
Context, Multiple-choice questions (MCQs) are frequently used to assess students in health science disciplines. However, few educators have formal instruction in writing MCQs and MCQ items often have item-writing flaws. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of item-writing flaws on student achievement in high-stakes assessments in a nursing programme in an English-language university in Hong Kong. Methods, From a larger sample, we selected 10 summative test papers that were administered to undergraduate nursing students in 1 nursing department. All test items were reviewed for item-writing flaws by a 4-person consensus panel. Items were classified as ,flawed' if they contained , 1 flaw. Items not containing item-writing violations were classified as ,standard'. For each paper, 2 separate scales were computed: a total scale which reflected the characteristics of the assessment as administered and a standard scale which reflected the characteristics of a hypothetical assessment including only unflawed items. Results, The proportion of flawed items on the 10 test papers ranged from 28,75%; 47.3% of all items were flawed. Fewer examinees passed the standard scale than the total scale (748 [90.6%] versus 779 [94.3%]). Conversely, the proportion of examinees obtaining a score , 80% was higher on the standard scale than the total scale (173 [20.9%] versus 120 [14.5%]). Conclusions, Flawed MCQ items were common in high-stakes nursing assessments but did not disadvantage borderline students, as has been previously demonstrated. Conversely, high-achieving students were more likely than borderline students to be penalised by flawed items. [source]

Concurrent Enrollment in Arizona: Encouraging Success in High School

Donald Puyear
This chapter presents a brief history of concurrent enrollment initiatives and then gives an overview of activity in Arizona, including research on student achievement, as well as tracking studies. In spite of growth in the number of programs and successes in student achievement, not everyone in the state understands and appreciates the benefits of the program; the final section of this chapter describes some of the realities of politics and necessary compromises. [source]

Evaluative thinking and action in the classroom

Meta Nelson
This case study of one middle school focuses on improving teachers' skills in datadriven decision making through analysis of student work and their own professional practice. The expectation that schools will make adequate yearly progress has pushed evaluation practice down to the teacher level, where teachers are asked to analyze and disaggregate standardized test scores to facilitate instructional decision making that will lead to increased student achievement. The authors analyze this change in relation to No Child Left Behind and to the literature on evaluation capacity building within schools. Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Using instructional logs to identify quality in educational settings

Brian Rowan
When attempting to identify educational settings that are most effective in improving student achievement, classroom process (that is, the way in which a teacher interacts with his or her students) is a key feature of interest. Unfortunately, high-quality assessment of the student-teacher interaction occurs all too infrequently, despite the critical role that understanding and measuring such processes can play in school improvement. This article discusses the strengths and weaknesses of two common approaches to studying these processes,direct classroom observation and annual surveys of teachers,and then describes the ways in which instructional logs can be used to overcome some of the limitations of these two approaches when gathering data on curriculum content and coverage. Classroom observations are expensive, require extensive training of raters to ensure consistency in the observations, and because of their expense generally cannot be conducted frequently enough to enable the researcher to generalize observational findings to the entire school year or illuminate the patterns of instructional change that occur across the school year. Annual surveys are less expensive but often suffer from self-report bias and the bias that occurs when teachers are asked to retrospectively report on their activities over the course of a single year. Instructional logs offer a valid, reliable, and relatively cost-effective alternative for collecting detailed information about classroom practice and can overcome some of the limitations of both observations and annual surveys. [source]

Systemic efforts in Georgia to improve education leadership

Deb Page
Research points to links between school and school district leadership and student achievement. Local and national education reform has created rising expectations for student performance. Education leadership is both complex and high stakes. Key stakeholders in Georgia have developed a solution to improve factors in the work, workplace, and workers in education leadership using human performance technology standards and practices blended from business and education to improve education leadership in Georgia and beyond. [source]

Academic enablers and student achievement: Implications for assessment and intervention services in the schools

James Clyde DiPerna
Academic enablers have been defined as attitudes and behaviors that facilitate students' participation in, and benefit from, academic instruction in the classroom (J.C. DiPerna & S.N. Elliott, 2000). The purpose of this article is to provide practitioners with an overview of specific academic enablers (motivation, study skills, engagement, and social skills) and their relationships with academic achievement. In addition, a practical framework is provided for considering academic enablers within assessment and intervention practices in the schools. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Psychol Schs 43: 7,17, 2006. [source]

How and Why Has Teacher Quality Changed in Australia?

Andrew Leigh
International research suggests that differences in teacher performance can explain a large portion of student achievement. Yet little is known about how the quality of the Australian teaching profession has changed over time. Using consistent data on the academic aptitude of new teachers, we compare those who have entered the teaching profession in Australia over the past two decades. We find that the aptitude of new teachers has fallen considerably. Between 1983 and 2003, the average percentile rank of those entering teacher education fell from 74 to 61, while the average rank of new teachers fell from 70 to 62. We find that two factors account for much of the decline: a fall in average teacher pay (relative to other occupations) and a rise in pay differentials in non-teaching occupations. [source]

The Construction of Black High-Achiever Identities in a Predominantly White High School

Dorinda J. Carter Andrews
In this article, I examine how black students construct their racial and achievement self-concepts in a predominantly white high school to enact a black achiever identity. By listening to these students talk about the importance of race and achievement to their lives, I came to understand how racialized the task of achieving was for them even though they often deracialized the characteristics of an achiever. I suggest that these students do not maintain school success by simply having a strong racial self-concept or a strong achievement self-concept; rather, they discuss achieving in the context of being black or African American. For these students, being a black or African American achiever in a predominantly white high school means embodying racial group pride as well as having a critical understanding of how race and racism operate to potentially constrain one's success. It also means viewing achievement as a human, raceless trait that can be acquired by anyone. In their descriptions of themselves as black achievers, these students resist hegemonic notions that academic success is white property and cannot be attained by them.,[self-concept, high achievers, black student achievement, achievement self-concept] [source]

Black Metropolis and Mental Life: Beyond the "Burden of ,Acting White' " Toward a Third Wave of Critical Racial Studies

A. A. Akom
In this article, I reflect on Signithia Fordham and John Ogbu's classic research on the "burden of ,acting White' " to develop a long overdue dialogue between Africana studies and critical white studies. It highlights the dialectical nature of Fordham and Ogbu's philosophy of race and critical race theory by locating the origins of the "burden of ,acting White' " in the work of W.E.B. Du Bois, who provides some of the intellectual foundations for this work. Following the work of F. W. Twine and C. Gallagher (2008), I then survey the field of critical whiteness studies and outline an emerging third wave in this interdisciplinary field. This new wave of research utilizes the following five elements that form its basic core: (1) the centrality of race and racism and their intersectionality with other forms of oppression; (2) challenging white supremacy, patriarchy, heteronormativity, and other dominant ideologies; (3) a critical reflexivity that addresses how various formulations of whiteness are situated in relation to contemporary formulations of Black/people of color identity formation, politics, and knowledge construction; (4) innovative research methodologies including asset-based research approaches; and, finally, (5) a racial elasticity that identifies the ways in which white racial power and pigmentocracy are continually reconstituting themselves in the color-blind era and beyond (see A. A. Akom 2008c).[oppositional identity, Black student achievement, youth development, acting white, Du Bois, critical whiteness studies, critical race theory, race, Black metropolis, double consciousness, twoness, hip-hop] [source]

The methodological nettle: ICT and student achievement

Vinesh Chandra
A major challenge for researchers and educators has been to discern the effect of ICT use on student learning outcomes. This paper maps the achievements in Year 10 Science of two cohorts of students over two years where students in the first year studied in a traditional environment while students in the second took part in a blended or e-learning environment. Using both quantitative and qualitative methods, the authors have shown that ICT, through an e-learning intervention, did improve student performance in terms of test scores. They have also shown that this improvement was not global with the results for previously high-performing female students tending to fall while the results for lower-achieving boys rose. There was also a seeming mismatch between some students' affective responses to the new environment and their test scores. This study shows the complexity of ICT-mediated environments through its identification and description of three core issues which beset the credibility of research in ICT in education. These are (1) ICT as an agent of learning, (b) site specificity, and (c) global improvement. [source]

Does Attending a Catholic School Make a Difference?

Evidence From Italy
I21 Abstract This paper analyses whether attending a Catholic high school in Italy yields higher benefits in student achievement compared with enrolment at a public school. Because a measure of the success of a given high school might be how its students perform after leaving high school, our attention is focused on university participation and the risk of university dropout. We find that attending a Catholic school increases the likelihood of enrolling at university but has no effect on dropout behaviour. Additionally, our findings show that the source of the effectiveness of Catholic schools in boosting university participation does not lie in better resource availability, peer group influences or positive selection. [source]

Effect of bead and illustrations models on high school students' achievement in molecular genetics

Yosi Rotbain
Our main goal in this study was to explore whether the use of models in molecular genetics instruction in high school can contribute to students' understanding of concepts and processes in genetics. Three comparable groups of 11th and 12th graders participated: The control group (116 students) was taught in the traditional lecture format, while the others received instructions which integrated a bead model (71 students), or an illustration model (71 students). Similar instructions and the same guiding questions accompanied the two models. We used three instruments: a multiple-choice and an open-ended written questionnaire, as well as personal interviews. Five of the multiple-choice questions were also given to students before receiving their genetics instruction (pretest). We found that students who used one of the two types of models improved their knowledge in molecular genetics compared to the control group. However, the open-ended questions revealed that bead model activity was significantly more effective than illustration activity. On the basis of these findings we conclude that, though it is advisable to use a three-dimensional model, such as the bead model, engaging students in activities with illustrations can still improve their achievement in comparison to traditional instruction. 2006 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Res Sci Teach 43: 500,529, 2006 [source]

Children's self-regulated learning profile in language and mathematics: The role of task value beliefs

Panayiota Metallidou
This study explored the self-regulated learning (SRL) profile of upper elementary (fifth and sixth grade) school children who were differentiated in their task value beliefs (low and high) in language and mathematics. Students' SRL profile involved their teachers' ratings of achievement outcomes and SRL behaviors. The subscale of task value beliefs from the Motivational Self-Regulated Learning Questionnaire (MSLQ) was administered to the children, and their teachers completed a battery of scales and measurements concerning students' achievement and SRL behaviors. The results confirm previous evidence indicating that SRL involves high levels of motivation, metacognition, and strategic action. Furthermore, the results support the domain-specific character of task value beliefs. Differences in teachers' evaluations about the achievement outcomes and SRL behaviors regarding the two groups of students (low and high in task value beliefs) were found significant mostly in the domain of mathematics. Students with high value beliefs in mathematics were described as more cognitively, metacognitively, and motivationally competent learners as compared to students with lower value beliefs. The results suggest that future intervention studies should focus on strengthening task value beliefs in "threatening" school subjects, such as mathematics, from the elementary school years. 2010 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Mastery learning and assessment: Implications for students and teachers in an era of high-stakes testing

Barry J. Zimmerman
Federal efforts to improve American students' achievement through high-stakes testing have led to significant concerns about the fairness and effectiveness of standardized tests. We attribute these concerns to the use of summative tests to assess academic progress without the benefits of an effective formative model of assessment and instruction, such as mastery learning. Historically, mastery learning models emerged as a reaction to the misuse of psychometric models of assessment for instructional purposes. Differences between these models are discussed along with a more recent form of mastery assessment, curriculum-based measurement. Apprehensions about the summative testing requirements of No Child Left Behind are considered along with efforts to make these tests fairer, such as the inclusion of a growth provision. Finally, we identified a mastery learning intervention program in mathematics in a high school that achieved national recognition, and we interviewed participating teachers and students. They reported the positive academic and motivational outcomes expected of a mastery learning approach and a few concerns about drawbacks associated with high-stakes testing. 2008 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. [source]

Frameworks for Language Study at A Level

John Keen
Abstract This article argues that students of language study at A level need opportunities to build a broad foundation for exploring language experience, familiar issues and accessible concepts using practical activities and informal discussion if they are to develop their understanding of the more formal and systematic aspects of language theory. Teachers need familiarity with the staging points which correspond to different levels of students' understanding, and access to frameworks for language study which are sufficiently detailed to enable them to recognise growth points and build on students' achievements. [source]