The writing performance of many school-aged children is consistently below levels necessary to produce positive outcomes. Early intervention frameworks are designed to help remedy this problem before it becomes more severe, but a key feature of early intervention frameworks—the use of data for targeting interventions—has not been sufficiently researched. This study examined the role of data from curriculum-based assessment for instructional design (CBA-ID) for targeting interventions in early writing.
Participants included 147 first grade students from a larger study conducted in the Southeastern United States. Each student was identified as struggling in early literacy using measures of beginning reading. Students were placed into a supplementary writing intervention with tiers of support that were more (4 times per week for 45 min) or less (2 times per week for 30 min) intensive depending on screening scores. Students responded to early writing progress assessments during intervention. The resulting data were used to derive novel CBA-ID criteria and for longitudinal analyses that investigated students’ growth patterns. Additional analyses examined the importance of data from CBA-ID, intervention intensity, and other demographic factors for predicting growth patterns of students.
Results showed that the current CBA-ID criteria (i.e., 11-17 correct word sequences on an early writing measure) overlapped some, but not completely, with previous derivations of CBA-ID criteria (i.e., 8-14 correct word sequences). Results also suggested that students followed more than one type of growth pattern, and a solution with three separate patterns was identified based on empirical data and interpretability. The results from additional analyses suggested that CBA-ID data, in addition to gender, were significant predictors of growth pattern; but intervention intensity did not predict growth patterns.
The current results were contextualized within previous research, and implications for practice and theoretical models of writing development were discussed. Specifically, the results of the study were discussed in terms of their contribution to (1) the role of instructionally-relevant assessment data in targeting interventions within an early intervention framework, and (2) the understanding of how early writing skills develop independently and in concert. Lastly, limitations to the study and future directions for early intervention research were outlined.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2012. Major: Educational Psychology. Advisor: Matthew K. Burns. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 92 pages.
Parker, David Charles.
Examining the potential use of instructionally-relevant assessment data in early writing..
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