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ERIC Number: ED563059
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2013
Pages: 11
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 10
Do Interim Assessments Influence Instructional Practice in Year One? Evidence from Indiana Elementary School Teachers
Chojnacki, Gregory; Eno, Jared; Liu, Feng; Meyers, Coby; Konstantopoulos, Spyros; Miller, Shazia; van der Ploeg, Arie
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
Recent work that has examined the impact of what are variously called periodic, interim, benchmark, or diagnostic assessments, typically administered three or four times during a school year, has produced mixed findings. For instance, one study reported small significant effects in mathematics in grades 3-8, but not in reading (Carlson et al., 2011). Other research however, has reported significant effects on both mathematics and reading (Slavin et al., 2011). Finally, a very recent study found no effects on reading achievement in grades 4-5 (Cordray et al., 2012). This study compares instructional practices of teachers in schools that were randomly assigned to receive an interim assessment tool with those of teachers in schools that did not receive the tool. Using rich data collected at 16 time points during the school year, the authors study teachers' self-reported instructional practices to determine whether teachers with access to an interim assessment tool alter each of three facets of instructional practice--scope and sequence of content coverage, instructional level, and instructional grouping--more than those without the tool. The research questions are: (1) Do teachers with access to the interim assessment change the scope and sequence of content, and/or vary instructional difficulty level and grouping methods more than those without? (2) Do variations in these teacher practices respond to variations in student Acuity performance? Researchers employ treatment vs. control comparisons to explore whether teachers with the interim assessment intervention engage in expected instructional practices more than those without it. Results are reported from rich data on teacher instructional practices generated at sixteen intervals by teachers with and without access to a specific interim assessment tool. Estimates provide no strong evidence that teachers change the instructional practices measured here in response to Acuity performance data. One possible reason for these findings is that Acuity is not a unique intervention, and a significant number of control teachers reported using other interim assessment tools. Another possible explanation for these results is that the relatively small sample of teachers completing checklists harms the study's power. Finally, these results pertain to the first year of the intervention, when teachers are likely still learning how to use the assessment tool and integrate it into their instructional practice. Future research should explore the hypothesis that impacts on teacher practice grow over time as teachers learn to use the assessment tool. Tables and figures are appended.
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 2; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education; Grade 5; Intermediate Grades; Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Indiana
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: R305E090005