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WWC Intervention Report	                                                          U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION


What Works Clearinghouse
 Adolescent Literacy	                                                                                    November 2011


Student Team Reading                                                                         Report Contents


and Writing
                                                                                Overview 	                          p. 1

                                                                                Program Information 	               p.2

                                                                                Research Summary 	                  p. 4
Program Description1
                                                                                Effectiveness Summary	              p. 5
     Student team reading and writing2 refers to two cooperative learn-
     ing programs for secondary students included in this intervention         References	                        p. 7
     report: (1) Student Team Reading and Writing and (2) Student Team         Research Details for Each Study	   p. 8
     Reading. The Student Team Reading and Writing program (Stevens,
                                                                               Outcomes Measures for
     2003) is an integrated approach to reading and language arts for
                                                                                  Each Domain 	                 p. 12
     early adolescents. The program incorporates (1) cooperative learn-
     ing classroom processes; (2) a literature anthology for high-interest     Findings Included in the Rating
                                                                                  for Each Outcome Domain 	     p. 13
     reading material; (3) explicit instruction in reading comprehension;
     (4) integrated reading, writing, and language arts instruction; and (5)   Rating Criteria	                 p. 15
     a writing process approach to language arts. Student Team Reading
                                                                               Endnotes 	                       p. 16
     (Stevens, 1989; Stevens & Durkin, 1992) comprises the reading part
     of Student Team Reading and Writing and consists of two principal         Glossary of Terms	               p. 17
     elements: (1) literature-related activities (including partner reading,
     treasure hunts, word mastery, story retelling, story-related writing,
     and quizzes) and (2) direct instruction in reading comprehension strategies (such as identifying main ideas and
     themes, drawing conclusions, making predictions, and understanding figurative language). The writing part of the
     Student Team Reading and Writing program includes selection-related writing. As part of the two programs that
     are the focus of this report, students work in heterogeneous learning teams, and activities are designed to follow
     a regular cycle that involves teacher presentation, team practice, independent practice, peer pre-assessment,
     and individual assessments that form the basis for team scores. The cooperative learning teams used in the pro-
     grams are intended to engage students in academic interactions.

Research3
     Two studies of student team reading and writing that fall within the scope of the Adolescent Literacy review protocol
     meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards with reservations. The two studies included more than
     5,200 adolescent learners from grades 6 through 8 in urban middle schools in the eastern United States. Based on
     these two studies, the WWC considers the extent of evidence for student team reading and writing on adolescent
     learners to be medium to large for the comprehension domain and small for the general literacy achievement domain.
     The two studies that meet WWC evidence standards with reservations did not examine the effectiveness of student
     team reading and writing on adolescent learners in the alphabetics and reading fluency domains.

Effectiveness
     Student team reading and writing was found to have potentially positive effects on comprehension and no discern-
     ible effects on general literacy achievement for adolescent learners.




Student Team Reading and Writing   November 2011                                                                    Page 1
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Table 1. Summary of findings4
                                                           Improvement index (percentile points)
                                                                                                   Number of   Number of     Extent of
 Outcome domain             Rating of effectiveness            Average              Range           studies     students     evidence
 Alphabetics                            na                        na                  na              na          na             na
 Reading fluency                        na                        na                  na              na          na             na
 Comprehension              Potentially positive effects          +7               –1 to +13          2          5,209     Medium to large
 General literacy             No discernible effects              +8               0 to +16           1          3,986         Small
 achievement
na = not applicable

Program Information
Background
       Robert Stevens developed Student Team Reading and Student Team Reading and Writing in 1989 and 1992,
       respectively.

       Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading developer: Robert Stevens. Address:
       The Pennsylvania State University, 202 CEDAR Building, University Park, PA 16802. Email: rjs15@psu.edu.
       Web: http://www.ed.psu.edu/educ/espse/edpsych/people/robert-stevens. Telephone: 814-863-2417.

Program details
       According to the developers, the program was originally developed and used in urban classrooms and since then
       has been implemented with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. This review includes one study each of
       Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading programs.

       The Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading programs use a literature anthology as the basis
       for the reading material. Teachers introduce narratives from the literature anthology with discussions of relevant
       background knowledge, genre, and vocabulary. Students work in cooperative learning teams of four to five as they
       read and receive rewards for working well both as an individual and as a group member. Through the use of litera-
       ture, students learn about different genres of writing and become more familiar with famous, well-published authors
       (e.g., O. Henry, Langston Hughes) whom they could choose to read more extensively on their own.

       Typical activities include the following:

       1.	Partner Reading. Students first read silently, then take turns reading orally with a partner.
       2.	Treasure Hunts. Questions guide student reading, requiring them to search and think to generate text-supported
          answers.
       3.	Word Mastery. Students practice saying new vocabulary words with their partners. They then use those words in
          story-related writing. (Story-related writing is part of the Student Team Reading and Writing program).
       4.	Story Retelling. Students summarize stories in their own words.
       5.	Story-Related Writing. Students write in responses to prompts about their reading. This activity is part of the
          Student Team Reading and Writing program.
       6.	Extension Activities. Students complete cross-curricular research, fine arts, dramatics, and media activities as
          they explore themes in the stories/books.
       7.	Tests. Students take tests on comprehension, word meaning, and word pronunciation.




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       8.	Explicit Instruction of Comprehension Strategies. Teachers model and guide students in the use of comprehen-
          sion strategies.

Cost
       Cost information associated with the Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading programs is
       available from the developer.




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Research Summary
     Four studies reviewed by the WWC Adolescent Literacy Topic Area       Table 2. Scope of reviewed research
     investigated the effects of student team reading and writing on
                                                                            Grade                    6, 7, 8
     adolescent learners. Two studies (Stevens, 2003; Stevens & Durkin,
                                                                            Delivery method          Small group
     1992) are quasi-experimental designs that meet WWC evidence
                                                                            Program type             Practice
     standards with reservations. The remaining two studies do not meet
     either WWC eligibility screens or evidence standards. (See refer-      Studies reviewed         4
     ences beginning on page 7 for citations for all four studies.)         Meets WWC standards      0 studies
                                                                            Meets WWC standards
                                                                                                     2 studies
                                                                             with reservations

Summary of studies meeting WWC evidence standards without reservations
     No studies of Student Team Reading and Writing meet WWC evidence standards without reservations.

Summary of studies meeting WWC evidence standards with reservations
     Stevens (2003) conducted a quasi-experiment that examined the effects of the Student Team Reading and Writing
     curriculum on students in grades 6 through 8 attending five middle schools in a large urban school district in the
     eastern United States. The investigator matched two treatment schools with three comparison schools on students’
     ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and academic achievement in reading and language arts. The WWC based
     its effectiveness ratings on findings from comparisons of 1,798 students in two schools who received Student Team
     Reading and Writing and 2,188 comparison group students in three schools who received regular instruction. The
     study reported students’ outcomes after nine months of program implementation.

     Stevens and Durkin (1992) conducted a quasi-experiment that examined the effects of the Student Team Read-
     ing curriculum on students in grade 6 attending six middle schools in an urban school district in Maryland. Twenty
     experimental classes were matched on California Achievement Test reading scores with 34 comparison classes.
     The WWC based its effectiveness ratings on findings from comparisons of 455 students in three schools who
     received Student Team Reading and 768 comparison group students in three schools who received regular instruc-
     tion. The study reported students’ outcomes after nine months of program implementation.




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Effectiveness Summary
     The WWC review of interventions for Adolescent Literacy addresses student outcomes in four domains: alphabet-
     ics, reading fluency, comprehension, and general literacy achievement. The two studies that influence the findings
     in this report cover two domains: alphabetics and general literacy achievement. The findings below present the
     authors’ estimates and WWC-calculated estimates of the size and statistical significance of the effects of student
     team reading and writing on adolescent learners. For a more detailed description of the rating of effectiveness and
     extent of evidence criteria, see Appendix D.

Summary of effectiveness for the comprehension domain
     Two studies reported findings in the comprehension domain.

     Stevens (2003) reported statistically significant positive effects of Student Team Reading and Writing on the Read-
     ing Comprehension and Vocabulary subtests of the California Achievement Test (CAT) for students in grades 6
     through 8. According to WWC calculations, the effects were not statistically significant (when adjusted for cluster-
     ing), but the average effect across the two measures was large enough to be considered substantively important
     according to WWC criteria (i.e., an effect size of at least 0.25).5
     Stevens and Durkin (1992) found a statistically significant positive effect of Student Team Reading on the Reading
     Comprehension subtest of the CAT for students in grade 6, but they did not find statistically significant effects on the
     CAT Vocabulary subtest. The WWC-calculated effects were not statistically significant, and the average effect across
     the two measures was not large enough to be considered substantively important according to WWC criteria.

     Thus, for the comprehension domain, one study showed substantively important positive effects and one study
     showed indeterminate effects, with a medium to large extent of evidence.


Table 3. Rating of effectiveness and extent of evidence for the comprehension domain
Rating of effectiveness                Criteria met
Potentially positive effects           The review of student team reading and writing had one study showing substantively important positive effects
  Evidence of a positive effect with   and one study showing indeterminate effects.
  no overriding contrary evidence
Extent of evidence                     Criteria met
Medium to large                        The review of student team reading and writing was based on two studies which included 11 schools and 5,209
                                       students.


Summary of effectiveness for the general literacy achievement domain
     One study reported findings in the general literacy achievement domain.

     Stevens (2003) found a statistically significant positive effect of Student Team Reading and Writing on the CAT Lan-
     guage Expression subtest for students in grades 6 through 8 but did not find statistically significant effects on the
     CAT Language Mechanics subtest. According to WWC calculations, the effect on the Language Expression subtest
     was not statistically significant (when adjusted for clustering), and the average effect across the two measures was
     not large enough to be considered substantively important according to WWC criteria.

     Thus, for the general literacy achievement domain, one study showed indeterminate effects, with a small extent
     of evidence.




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Table 4. Rating of effectiveness and extent of evidence for the general literacy achievement domain
Rating of effectiveness                Criteria met
No discernible effects                 The review of Student Team Reading and Writing had one study showing indeterminate effects.
  No affirmative evidence of effects
Extent of evidence                     Criteria met
Small                                  The review of Student Team Reading and Writing was based on one study that included five schools and 3,986
                                       students.




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References
Studies that meet WWC evidence standards with reservations
     Stevens, R. J. (2003). Student team reading and writing: A cooperative learning approach to middle school literacy
          instruction. Educational Research and Evaluation, 9(2), 137–160.
     	    Additional sources:
          Stevens, R. J. (2006). Integrated reading and language arts instruction. RMLE Online: Research in Middle
                Level Education, 30(3), 1–12.
          Stevens, R. J., & Durkin, S. (1992). Using student team reading and student team writing in middle schools:
                Two evaluations. Part II. Student team reading and student team writing: An evaluation of a middle school
                reading and writing program (pp. 1–11). Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for
                Disadvantaged Students.
     Stevens, R. J., & Durkin, S. (1992). Using student team reading and student team writing in middle schools: Two
          evaluations. Part I. Student team reading: A cooperative learning approach to middle school reading instruc-
          tion (pp. 1–10). Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students.

Studes that are ineligible for review using the Adolescent Literacy Evidence Review Protocol
     Mac Iver, D. J., & Plank, S. B. (1996). The talent development middle school. Creating a motivational climate con-
          ducive to talent development in middle schools: Implementation and effects of Student Team Reading (Report
          No. 4). Baltimore, MD: Howard University and Johns Hopkins University Center for Research on the Education
          of Students Placed At Risk. The study is ineligible for review because it does not include an outcome within a
          domain specified in the protocol.
     Slavin, R. E., Cheung, A., Groff, C., & Lake, C. (2008). Effective reading programs for middle and high schools:
          A best-evidence synthesis. Reading Research Quarterly, 43(3), 290–322. The study is ineligible for review
          because it is not a primary analysis of the effectiveness of an intervention, such as a meta-analysis or
          research literature review.




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Appendix A.1: Research details for Stevens (2003)
Stevens, R. J. (2003). Student team reading and writing: A cooperative learning approach to middle
    school literacy instruction. Educational Research and Evaluation, 9(2), 137–160.


Table A1. Summary of findings	                                       Meets WWC evidence standards with reservations
                                                                                          Study findings
                                                                    Average improvement index
Outcome domain                            Sample size                   (percentile points)           Statistically significant
Comprehension                        5 schools/3,986 students                  +11                               No
General literacy achievement         5 schools/3,986 students                  +8                                No


             Setting      The study took place in five middle schools in the Baltimore City Public School System. The
                          study school population was predominantly minority students (approximately 80%), and
                          approximately 67% of students in the study schools received free or reduced-price lunch.

     Study sample         This study is a quasi-experiment conducted in five urban middle schools. Two treatment
                          schools volunteered to implement the intervention, and three schools, matched on academic
                          achievement in reading and language arts on the California Achievement Test, served as
                          comparison schools. The author also matched the schools on ethnicity and socioeconomic
                          background. Participants were sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students. The study’s
                          analytic sample included 1,798 students in 72 treatment classrooms and 2,188 students in 88
                          comparison classrooms.

       Intervention       The study reported students’ outcomes after nine months of Student Team Reading and Writ-
             group        ing implementation. The intervention components included (1) cooperative learning classroom
                          processes; (2) a literature anthology for high-interest reading material; (3) explicit instruction
                          in reading comprehension; (4) integrated reading, writing, and language arts instruction; and
                          (5) a writing process approach to language arts. The reading part of the program consisted of
                          three elements: (1) literature-related activities, (2) direct instruction in reading comprehension
                          strategies, and (3) selection-related writing. In all of these activities, students worked in hetero-
                          geneous learning teams. All activities followed a regular cycle that involved teacher presenta-
                          tion, team practice, independent practice, peer pre-assessment, and individual accountability.
                          Cooperative learning teams were used in instructional activities on a daily basis.

       Comparison         The teachers in the comparison schools used traditional instructional methods. Students
           group          went to different teachers for reading and English. The reading teachers used a basal reading
                          series and related materials (e.g., workbooks). The English teachers used an English literature
                          anthology for their literature component and an English grammar textbook for the language
                          arts component. The comparison teachers did not use cooperative learning processes in their
                          instructional activities.




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    Outcomes and        For both the pretest and posttest, students took the California Achievement Test (CAT). Four
    measurement         subtests were used in the study: (1) Reading Vocabulary, (2) Reading Comprehension, (3) Lan-
                        guage Mechanics, and (4) Language Expression. The pretests were given the spring before the
                        study began; the posttests were given the following May near the end of the study. For a more
                        detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.

       Support for      The teachers in the treatment schools were trained in Student Team Reading and Writing dur-
   implementation       ing their summer vacation for five half-day (three-hour) sessions during one week. The training
                        consisted of an explanation of the processes and the rationale behind them. During the train-
                        ing, teachers participated in a simulation of major components of the program. The teachers
                        also were given a detailed manual that described each of the components. During the first
                        three months of implementation, the researchers observed and gave feedback to the teachers
                        as they implemented the program. They also met with teachers during and after school, often
                        attending meetings of the reading and language arts department. At these meetings, teachers’
                        questions and problems were discussed in order to resolve any problems they were having
                        and to use their feedback to improve the program.




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Appendix A.2: Research details for Stevens & Durkin (1992)
Stevens, R. J., & Durkin, S. (1992). Using student team reading and student team writing in middle
    schools: Two evaluations. Part I. Student team reading: A cooperative learning approach to middle
    school reading instruction (pp. 1–10). Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Effective Schooling
    for Disadvantaged Students.

Table A2. Summary of findings                                      Meets WWC evidence standards with reservations
                                                                                        Study findings
                                                                 Average improvement index
Outcome domain                           Sample size                 (percentile points)            Statistically significant
Comprehension                       6 schools/1,223 students                 +2                                No




            Setting     The study took place in six middle schools in an urban school district in Maryland. The student
                        populations in the schools ranged from 27% to 99% minority (median of 74.5%) and from
                        38% to 77% received free or reduced-price lunch (median of 57.5%).

     Study sample       This study is a quasi-experiment conducted in six urban middle schools during the 1989–90
                        academic year. Classes in the three treatment schools were matched with classes in the three
                        comparison schools on California Achievement Test (CAT) total reading pretest scores. Par-
                        ticipants were sixth-grade students. The study’s analytic sample included 455 students in 20
                        treatment classrooms and 768 students in 34 comparison classrooms.

       Intervention     In the intervention schools, Student Team Reading was implemented for one full academic
             group      year and included two major components: (1) literature-based activities (including partner
                        reading, treasure hunts, word mastery, story retelling, story-related writing, and quizzes)
                        and (2) explicit instruction in comprehension strategies (such as identifying main ideas and
                        themes, drawing conclusions, making predictions, and understanding figurative language).
                        The program used a combination of teacher-directed instruction and cooperative learning in
                        heterogeneous teams. Teams were given rewards and recognition based on performance and
                        improvement of each team member.

       Comparison       Comparison group teachers used traditional methods and curriculum materials. In reading,
           group        they often used basal series and focused instruction on isolated skills. Students read silently
                        and aloud (with one student reading while the rest of the class follows along). Most seatwork
                        time was spent on independent class work completing worksheet activities and practicing
                        reading skills; at times, students read silently; at other times, they read orally in turns. Students
                        typically did little to no extended writing that was related to reading activities.

     Outcomes and       For both the pretest and posttest, students took the CAT. Two CAT subtests were used in the
     measurement        study: Reading Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension. The fifth-grade scores were used as
                        the pretest data; the sixth-grade scores were used as the posttest data. For a more detailed
                        description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B.




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       Support for      Intervention group teachers took part in three half-day training sessions that included how to
   implementation       implement the classroom processes and the rationale behind the processes. During the train-
                        ing session, trainers acted as the “teachers,” and the teachers acted as the students. Teachers
                        also received a detailed manual of the Student Team Reading program, curriculum materials,
                        and textbooks. During the school year, teachers also received coaching and took part in peri-
                        odic after-school meetings to provide feedback/discuss implementation questions. Teachers
                        were monitored by Student Team Reading staff four times a week over a six-week period.




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Appendix B: Outcome measures for each domain
Comprehension
Vocabulary development construct
California Achievement Test           The California Achievement Test is a norm- and criterion-referenced annual test. The Vocabulary subtest
(CAT) Vocabulary subtest              contains 20 items measuring same-meaning, opposite-meaning words; multi-meaning words; words in context
                                      (selecting the appropriate word to complete the sentence); and the meaning of affixes (as cited in Stevens,
                                      2003; Stevens & Durkin, 1992).
Reading comprehension construct
California Achievement Test           The California Achievement Test is a norm- and criterion-referenced annual test. The Reading Comprehension
(CAT) Reading Comprehension subtest   subtest is administered to grades 1 through 12 and focuses on students’ use of reading comprehension strate-
                                      gies. Students read a multiple-paragraph passage and then answer (factual and summarization) questions about
                                      the passage. Passages reflect a wide range of narrative, expository, contemporary, and traditional texts. The test
                                      measures information recall, meaning construction, form analysis, and meaning evaluation of different selections
                                      (as cited in Stevens, 2003; Stevens & Durkin, 1992).
General literacy achievement
California Achievement Test           The Language Mechanics and Language Expression subtests of the California Achievement Test work together
(CAT) Language Mechanics subtest      to measure a broad range of language and writing skills, including the ability to apply standard usage and writing
                                      conventions and to develop effective sentences and paragraphs. The Language Mechanics subtest contains 20
                                      items that measure skills in the mechanics of capitalization and punctuation. Editing skills are measured in the
                                      context of passages presented in various formats (for grades 4–12). Students read sentences and passages and
                                      identify errors (or report “no errors”) that occur in the passage (as cited in Stevens, 2003).
California Achievement Test           The Language Mechanics and Language Expression subtests of the California Achievement Test work together
(CAT) Language Expression subtest     to measure a broad range of language and writing skills, including the ability to apply standard usage and writing
                                      conventions and to develop effective sentences and paragraphs. The Language Expression subtest contains
                                      20 items that measure skills in language usage and sentence structure. The items measure skills in the use of
                                      various parts of speech, formation and organization of sentences and paragraphs, and writing for clarity (for
                                      grades 4–12). Language Expression questions ask students to read a passage and identify appropriate phrases
                                      or words to fit particular parts of the passage (as cited in Stevens, 2003).




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Appendix C.1: Findings included in the rating for the comprehension domain
                                                                                       Mean
                                                                                (standard deviation)                              WWC calculations
                                          Study           Sample           Intervention        Comparison               Mean            Effect       Improvement
 Outcome measure                         sample            size               group              group               difference          size           index               p-value
 Stevens, 2003a
 CAT Reading Vocabulary                   Grades          5/3,986                0.17              –0.16                0.33             0.33               +13             < 0.05
                                           6–8                                  (0.71)             (0.72)
 CAT Reading Comprehension                Grades          5/3,986               0.12               –0.13                0.25             0.25               +10             < 0.05
                                           6–8                                 (0.66)              (0.73)
 Average for comprehension (Stevens, 2003)                                                                                               0.29               +11             Not sig
 Stevens & Durkin, 1992b
 CAT Reading Vocabulary                  Grade 6          6/1,223              18.20               18.30                –0.10           –0.02               –1              > 0.05
                                                                               (5.40)              (5.60)
 CAT Reading Comprehension               Grade 6          6/1,223              24.30               23.20                 1.10            0.14               +6              < 0.05
                                                                               (7.30)              (8.10)
 Average for comprehension (Stevens & Durkin, 1992)                                                                                      0.06               +2              Not sig
 Domain average for comprehension across all studies                                                                                     0.18               +7                 na

Table Notes: Positive results for mean difference, effect size, and improvement index favor the intervention group; negative results favor the comparison group. The effect size
is a standardized measure of the effect of an intervention on student outcomes, representing the change (measured in standard deviations) in an average student’s outcome
that can be expected if that student is given the intervention. The improvement index is an alternate presentation of the effect size, reflecting the change in an average student’s
percentile rank that can be expected if the student is given the intervention. The WWC-computed average effect size is a simple average rounded to two decimal places; the aver-
age improvement index is calculated from the average effect size. The statistical significance of a study’s domain average was determined by the WWC. Not sig = not statistically
significant. na = not applicable. CAT = California Achievement Test.
a ForStevens (2003), corrections for clustering and multiple comparisons were needed and resulted in significance levels that differ from those in the original study. The p-values
presented here were reported in the original study. The intervention and comparison group values are adjusted z-scores when the pretest was used as an adjustment.
b
  For Stevens and Durkin (1992), corrections for clustering and multiple comparisons were needed and resulted in significance levels that differ from those in the original study. The
p-values presented here were reported in the original study. The WWC calculated the program group mean using a difference-in-differences approach (see WWC Handbook) by adding
the impact of the program (i.e., difference in mean gains between the intervention and control groups) to the unadjusted control group posttest means.




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Appendix C.2: Findings included in the rating for the general literacy achievement domain
                                                                                       Mean
                                                                                (standard deviation)                              WWC calculations
                                          Study           Sample           Intervention        Comparison               Mean            Effect       Improvement
 Outcome measure                         sample            size               group              group               difference          size           index               p-value
 Stevens, 2003a
 CAT Language Mechanics                   Grades          5/3,986               0.00                0.00                0.00             0.00                0              > 0.05
                                           6–8                                 (0.73)              (0.75)
 CAT Language Expression                  Grades          5/3,986                0.19              –0.19                0.38             0.38               +15             < 0.05
                                           6–8                                  (0.72)             (0.73)
 Domain average for general literacy achievement (Stevens, 2003)                                                                         0.19               +8              Not sig
Table Notes: Positive results for mean difference, effect size, and improvement index favor the intervention group; negative results favor the comparison group. The effect size
is a standardized measure of the effect of an intervention on student outcomes, representing the change (measured in standard deviations) in an average student’s outcome
that can be expected if that student is given the intervention. The improvement index is an alternate presentation of the effect size, reflecting the change in an average student’s
percentile rank that can be expected if the student is given the intervention. The WWC-computed average effect size is a simple average rounded to two decimal places; the aver-
age improvement index is calculated from the average effect size. The statistical significance of a study’s domain average was determined by the WWC. Not sig = not statistically
significant. CAT= California Achievement Test.
a ForStevens (2003), corrections for clustering and multiple comparisons were needed and resulted in significance levels that differ from those in the original study. The p-values
presented here were reported in the original study. The intervention and comparison group values are adjusted z-scores when the pretest was used as an adjustment.




Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011                                                                                                                               Page 14
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Appendix D.1: Criteria used to determine the rating of a study
Study rating                   Criteria
Meets evidence standards       A study that provides strong evidence for an intervention’s effectiveness, such as a well-implemented RCT.
Meets evidence standards       A study that provides weaker evidence for an intervention’s effectiveness, such as a QED or an RCT with high
with reservations              attrition that has established equivalence of the analytic samples.



Appendix D.2: Criteria used to determine the rating of effectiveness for an intervention
Rating of effectiveness        Criteria
Positive effects               Two or more studies show statistically significant positive effects, at least one of which met WWC evidence standards
                               for a strong design, AND
                               No studies show statistically significant or substantively important negative effects.
Potentially positive effects   At least one study shows a statistically significant or substantively important positive effect, AND
                               No studies show a statistically significant or substantively important negative effect AND fewer or the same number
                               of studies show indeterminate effects than show statistically significant or substantively important positive effects.
Mixed effects                  At least one study shows a statistically significant or substantively important positive effect AND at least one study
                               shows a statistically significant or substantively important negative effect, but no more such studies than the number
                               showing a statistically significant or substantively important positive effect, OR
                               At least one study shows a statistically significant or substantively important effect AND more studies show an
                               indeterminate effect than show a statistically significant or substantively important effect.
Potentially negative effects   One study shows a statistically significant or substantively important negative effect and no studies show a statisti-
                               cally significant or substantively important positive effect, OR
                               Two or more studies show statistically significant or substantively important negative effects, at least one study
                               shows a statistically significant or substantively important positive effect, and more studies show statistically
                               significant or substantively important negative effects than show statistically significant or substantively important
                               positive effects.
Negative effects               Two or more studies show statistically significant negative effects, at least one of which met WWC evidence
                               standards for a strong design, AND
                               No studies show statistically significant or substantively important positive effects.
No discernible effects         None of the studies shows a statistically significant or substantively important effect, either positive or negative.



Appendix D.3: Criteria used to determine the extent of evidence for an intervention
Extent of evidence             Criteria
Medium to large                The domain includes more than one study, AND
                               The domain includes more than one school, AND
                               The domain findings are based on a total sample size of at least 350 students, OR, assuming 25 students in a class,
                               a total of at least 14 classrooms across studies.
Small                          The domain includes only one study, OR
                               The domain includes only one school, OR
                               The domain findings are based on a total sample size of fewer than 350 students, AND, assuming 25 students in a
                               class, a total of fewer than 14 classrooms across studies.




Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011                                                                                                  Page 15
WWC Intervention Report


Endnotes
1The descriptive information for this program was obtained from publicly available sources: Stevens, 1989, 2003; Stevens and Durkin,
1992. The WWC requests developers to review the program description sections for accuracy from their perspective. The program
description was provided to the developer in February 2011. Further verification of the accuracy of the descriptive information for this
program is beyond the scope of this review. The literature search reflects documents publicly available by August 2011.
2This review focuses on Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading, but it uses the general (lowercase) term stu-
dent team reading and writing to encompass both programs.
3The studies in this report were reviewed using WWC Evidence Standards, Version 2.0, as described in the Adolescent Literacy review
protocol Version 2.0. The evidence presented in this report is based on available research. Findings and conclusions may change as
new research becomes available.
4 For criteria used in the determination of the rating of effectiveness and extent of evidence, see Appendix D. These improvement

index numbers show the average and range of student-level improvement indices for all findings across the studies.
5   The WWC computes an average effect size as a simple average of the effect sizes across all individual findings within the study domain.

Recommended Citation
        U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, What Works Clearinghouse. (2011, November).
             Adolescent Literacy intervention report: Student team reading and writing. Retrieved from http://whatworks.ed.gov.




Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011                                                                                    Page 16
WWC Intervention Report


Glossary of terms
                   Attrition Attrition occurs when an outcome variable is not available for all participants initially
                              assigned to the intervention and comparison groups. The WWC considers the total attrition
                              rate and the difference in attrition rates across groups within a study.

  Clustering adjustment If treatment assignment is made at a cluster level and the analysis is conducted at the student
                              level, the WWC will adjust the statistical significance to account for this mismatch, if necessary.

      Confounding factor A confounding factor is a component of a study that is completely aligned with one of the
                              study conditions, making it impossible to separate how much of the observed effect was
                              due to the intervention and how much was due to the factor.

                    Design The design of a study is the method by which intervention and comparison groups were assigned.
                   Domain A domain is a group of closely related outcomes.
                Effect size The effect size is a standardized measure of the magnitude of an effect that is comparable
                              across studies and outcomes.

                 Eligibility A study is eligible for review if it falls within the scope of the review protocol and uses a
                              causal design (RCT or QED).

              Equivalence A demonstration that the analysis sample groups are similar on observed characteristics
                              defined in the review area protocol.

       Extent of evidence An indication of how much evidence supports the findings. The criteria for the extent of
                              evidence levels are given in Appendix D.3.

      Improvement index Along a percentile distribution of students, the improvement index represents the gain or
                              loss of the average student due to the intervention. As the average student starts at the
                              50th percentile, the measure ranges from –50 to +50.

    Multiple comparison When a study includes multiple outcomes or comparison groups, the WWC will adjust the
             adjustment statistical significance to account for the multiple comparisons, if necessary.
     Quasi-experimental A quasi-experimental design (QED) is a research design in which subjects are assigned to
           design (QED) treatment and comparison groups through a process that is not random.
 Randomized controlled A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is an experiment in which investigators randomly assign
            trial (RCT) eligible participants into treatment and comparison groups.
 Rating of effectiveness The WWC rates the effects of an intervention in each domain based on the quality
                              of the research design and the magnitude, statistical significance, and consistency
                              in findings. The criteria for the ratings of effectiveness are given in Appendix D.2.

      Standard deviation The standard deviation across all students in a group shows how dispersed the outcomes are.
                              A measure with a small standard deviation would indicate that participants had more similar
                              outcomes than a measure with a large standard deviation.

  Statistical significance Statistical significance is the probability that the difference between groups is a result of chance
                              rather than a real difference between the groups. The WWC labels a finding statistically significant
                              if the likelihood that the difference is due to chance is less than 5% (p < 0.05).

Substantively important A substantively important finding is one that has an effect size of 0.25 or greater, regardless
                              of statistical significance.

                       Please see the WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook (version 2.0) for additional details.


Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011                                                                             Page 17

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WWC Report on Student Team Reading and Writing Programs

  • 1. WWC Intervention Report U.S. DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION What Works Clearinghouse Adolescent Literacy November 2011 Student Team Reading Report Contents and Writing Overview p. 1 Program Information p.2 Research Summary p. 4 Program Description1 Effectiveness Summary p. 5 Student team reading and writing2 refers to two cooperative learn- ing programs for secondary students included in this intervention References p. 7 report: (1) Student Team Reading and Writing and (2) Student Team Research Details for Each Study p. 8 Reading. The Student Team Reading and Writing program (Stevens, Outcomes Measures for 2003) is an integrated approach to reading and language arts for Each Domain p. 12 early adolescents. The program incorporates (1) cooperative learn- ing classroom processes; (2) a literature anthology for high-interest Findings Included in the Rating for Each Outcome Domain p. 13 reading material; (3) explicit instruction in reading comprehension; (4) integrated reading, writing, and language arts instruction; and (5) Rating Criteria p. 15 a writing process approach to language arts. Student Team Reading Endnotes p. 16 (Stevens, 1989; Stevens & Durkin, 1992) comprises the reading part of Student Team Reading and Writing and consists of two principal Glossary of Terms p. 17 elements: (1) literature-related activities (including partner reading, treasure hunts, word mastery, story retelling, story-related writing, and quizzes) and (2) direct instruction in reading comprehension strategies (such as identifying main ideas and themes, drawing conclusions, making predictions, and understanding figurative language). The writing part of the Student Team Reading and Writing program includes selection-related writing. As part of the two programs that are the focus of this report, students work in heterogeneous learning teams, and activities are designed to follow a regular cycle that involves teacher presentation, team practice, independent practice, peer pre-assessment, and individual assessments that form the basis for team scores. The cooperative learning teams used in the pro- grams are intended to engage students in academic interactions. Research3 Two studies of student team reading and writing that fall within the scope of the Adolescent Literacy review protocol meet What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) evidence standards with reservations. The two studies included more than 5,200 adolescent learners from grades 6 through 8 in urban middle schools in the eastern United States. Based on these two studies, the WWC considers the extent of evidence for student team reading and writing on adolescent learners to be medium to large for the comprehension domain and small for the general literacy achievement domain. The two studies that meet WWC evidence standards with reservations did not examine the effectiveness of student team reading and writing on adolescent learners in the alphabetics and reading fluency domains. Effectiveness Student team reading and writing was found to have potentially positive effects on comprehension and no discern- ible effects on general literacy achievement for adolescent learners. Student Team Reading and Writing November 2011 Page 1
  • 2. WWC Intervention Report Table 1. Summary of findings4 Improvement index (percentile points) Number of Number of Extent of Outcome domain Rating of effectiveness Average Range studies students evidence Alphabetics na na na na na na Reading fluency na na na na na na Comprehension Potentially positive effects +7 –1 to +13 2 5,209 Medium to large General literacy No discernible effects +8 0 to +16 1 3,986 Small achievement na = not applicable Program Information Background Robert Stevens developed Student Team Reading and Student Team Reading and Writing in 1989 and 1992, respectively. Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading developer: Robert Stevens. Address: The Pennsylvania State University, 202 CEDAR Building, University Park, PA 16802. Email: rjs15@psu.edu. Web: http://www.ed.psu.edu/educ/espse/edpsych/people/robert-stevens. Telephone: 814-863-2417. Program details According to the developers, the program was originally developed and used in urban classrooms and since then has been implemented with culturally and linguistically diverse populations. This review includes one study each of Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading programs. The Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading programs use a literature anthology as the basis for the reading material. Teachers introduce narratives from the literature anthology with discussions of relevant background knowledge, genre, and vocabulary. Students work in cooperative learning teams of four to five as they read and receive rewards for working well both as an individual and as a group member. Through the use of litera- ture, students learn about different genres of writing and become more familiar with famous, well-published authors (e.g., O. Henry, Langston Hughes) whom they could choose to read more extensively on their own. Typical activities include the following: 1. Partner Reading. Students first read silently, then take turns reading orally with a partner. 2. Treasure Hunts. Questions guide student reading, requiring them to search and think to generate text-supported answers. 3. Word Mastery. Students practice saying new vocabulary words with their partners. They then use those words in story-related writing. (Story-related writing is part of the Student Team Reading and Writing program). 4. Story Retelling. Students summarize stories in their own words. 5. Story-Related Writing. Students write in responses to prompts about their reading. This activity is part of the Student Team Reading and Writing program. 6. Extension Activities. Students complete cross-curricular research, fine arts, dramatics, and media activities as they explore themes in the stories/books. 7. Tests. Students take tests on comprehension, word meaning, and word pronunciation. Student Team Reading and Writing November 2011 Page 2
  • 3. WWC Intervention Report 8. Explicit Instruction of Comprehension Strategies. Teachers model and guide students in the use of comprehen- sion strategies. Cost Cost information associated with the Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading programs is available from the developer. Student Team Reading and Writing November 2011 Page 3
  • 4. WWC Intervention Report Research Summary Four studies reviewed by the WWC Adolescent Literacy Topic Area Table 2. Scope of reviewed research investigated the effects of student team reading and writing on Grade 6, 7, 8 adolescent learners. Two studies (Stevens, 2003; Stevens & Durkin, Delivery method Small group 1992) are quasi-experimental designs that meet WWC evidence Program type Practice standards with reservations. The remaining two studies do not meet either WWC eligibility screens or evidence standards. (See refer- Studies reviewed 4 ences beginning on page 7 for citations for all four studies.) Meets WWC standards 0 studies Meets WWC standards 2 studies with reservations Summary of studies meeting WWC evidence standards without reservations No studies of Student Team Reading and Writing meet WWC evidence standards without reservations. Summary of studies meeting WWC evidence standards with reservations Stevens (2003) conducted a quasi-experiment that examined the effects of the Student Team Reading and Writing curriculum on students in grades 6 through 8 attending five middle schools in a large urban school district in the eastern United States. The investigator matched two treatment schools with three comparison schools on students’ ethnicity, socioeconomic background, and academic achievement in reading and language arts. The WWC based its effectiveness ratings on findings from comparisons of 1,798 students in two schools who received Student Team Reading and Writing and 2,188 comparison group students in three schools who received regular instruction. The study reported students’ outcomes after nine months of program implementation. Stevens and Durkin (1992) conducted a quasi-experiment that examined the effects of the Student Team Read- ing curriculum on students in grade 6 attending six middle schools in an urban school district in Maryland. Twenty experimental classes were matched on California Achievement Test reading scores with 34 comparison classes. The WWC based its effectiveness ratings on findings from comparisons of 455 students in three schools who received Student Team Reading and 768 comparison group students in three schools who received regular instruc- tion. The study reported students’ outcomes after nine months of program implementation. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 4
  • 5. WWC Intervention Report Effectiveness Summary The WWC review of interventions for Adolescent Literacy addresses student outcomes in four domains: alphabet- ics, reading fluency, comprehension, and general literacy achievement. The two studies that influence the findings in this report cover two domains: alphabetics and general literacy achievement. The findings below present the authors’ estimates and WWC-calculated estimates of the size and statistical significance of the effects of student team reading and writing on adolescent learners. For a more detailed description of the rating of effectiveness and extent of evidence criteria, see Appendix D. Summary of effectiveness for the comprehension domain Two studies reported findings in the comprehension domain. Stevens (2003) reported statistically significant positive effects of Student Team Reading and Writing on the Read- ing Comprehension and Vocabulary subtests of the California Achievement Test (CAT) for students in grades 6 through 8. According to WWC calculations, the effects were not statistically significant (when adjusted for cluster- ing), but the average effect across the two measures was large enough to be considered substantively important according to WWC criteria (i.e., an effect size of at least 0.25).5 Stevens and Durkin (1992) found a statistically significant positive effect of Student Team Reading on the Reading Comprehension subtest of the CAT for students in grade 6, but they did not find statistically significant effects on the CAT Vocabulary subtest. The WWC-calculated effects were not statistically significant, and the average effect across the two measures was not large enough to be considered substantively important according to WWC criteria. Thus, for the comprehension domain, one study showed substantively important positive effects and one study showed indeterminate effects, with a medium to large extent of evidence. Table 3. Rating of effectiveness and extent of evidence for the comprehension domain Rating of effectiveness Criteria met Potentially positive effects The review of student team reading and writing had one study showing substantively important positive effects Evidence of a positive effect with and one study showing indeterminate effects. no overriding contrary evidence Extent of evidence Criteria met Medium to large The review of student team reading and writing was based on two studies which included 11 schools and 5,209 students. Summary of effectiveness for the general literacy achievement domain One study reported findings in the general literacy achievement domain. Stevens (2003) found a statistically significant positive effect of Student Team Reading and Writing on the CAT Lan- guage Expression subtest for students in grades 6 through 8 but did not find statistically significant effects on the CAT Language Mechanics subtest. According to WWC calculations, the effect on the Language Expression subtest was not statistically significant (when adjusted for clustering), and the average effect across the two measures was not large enough to be considered substantively important according to WWC criteria. Thus, for the general literacy achievement domain, one study showed indeterminate effects, with a small extent of evidence. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 5
  • 6. WWC Intervention Report Table 4. Rating of effectiveness and extent of evidence for the general literacy achievement domain Rating of effectiveness Criteria met No discernible effects The review of Student Team Reading and Writing had one study showing indeterminate effects. No affirmative evidence of effects Extent of evidence Criteria met Small The review of Student Team Reading and Writing was based on one study that included five schools and 3,986 students. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 6
  • 7. WWC Intervention Report References Studies that meet WWC evidence standards with reservations Stevens, R. J. (2003). Student team reading and writing: A cooperative learning approach to middle school literacy instruction. Educational Research and Evaluation, 9(2), 137–160. Additional sources: Stevens, R. J. (2006). Integrated reading and language arts instruction. RMLE Online: Research in Middle Level Education, 30(3), 1–12. Stevens, R. J., & Durkin, S. (1992). Using student team reading and student team writing in middle schools: Two evaluations. Part II. Student team reading and student team writing: An evaluation of a middle school reading and writing program (pp. 1–11). Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students. Stevens, R. J., & Durkin, S. (1992). Using student team reading and student team writing in middle schools: Two evaluations. Part I. Student team reading: A cooperative learning approach to middle school reading instruc- tion (pp. 1–10). Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students. Studes that are ineligible for review using the Adolescent Literacy Evidence Review Protocol Mac Iver, D. J., & Plank, S. B. (1996). The talent development middle school. Creating a motivational climate con- ducive to talent development in middle schools: Implementation and effects of Student Team Reading (Report No. 4). Baltimore, MD: Howard University and Johns Hopkins University Center for Research on the Education of Students Placed At Risk. The study is ineligible for review because it does not include an outcome within a domain specified in the protocol. Slavin, R. E., Cheung, A., Groff, C., & Lake, C. (2008). Effective reading programs for middle and high schools: A best-evidence synthesis. Reading Research Quarterly, 43(3), 290–322. The study is ineligible for review because it is not a primary analysis of the effectiveness of an intervention, such as a meta-analysis or research literature review. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 7
  • 8. WWC Intervention Report Appendix A.1: Research details for Stevens (2003) Stevens, R. J. (2003). Student team reading and writing: A cooperative learning approach to middle school literacy instruction. Educational Research and Evaluation, 9(2), 137–160. Table A1. Summary of findings Meets WWC evidence standards with reservations Study findings Average improvement index Outcome domain Sample size (percentile points) Statistically significant Comprehension 5 schools/3,986 students +11 No General literacy achievement 5 schools/3,986 students +8 No Setting The study took place in five middle schools in the Baltimore City Public School System. The study school population was predominantly minority students (approximately 80%), and approximately 67% of students in the study schools received free or reduced-price lunch. Study sample This study is a quasi-experiment conducted in five urban middle schools. Two treatment schools volunteered to implement the intervention, and three schools, matched on academic achievement in reading and language arts on the California Achievement Test, served as comparison schools. The author also matched the schools on ethnicity and socioeconomic background. Participants were sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-grade students. The study’s analytic sample included 1,798 students in 72 treatment classrooms and 2,188 students in 88 comparison classrooms. Intervention The study reported students’ outcomes after nine months of Student Team Reading and Writ- group ing implementation. The intervention components included (1) cooperative learning classroom processes; (2) a literature anthology for high-interest reading material; (3) explicit instruction in reading comprehension; (4) integrated reading, writing, and language arts instruction; and (5) a writing process approach to language arts. The reading part of the program consisted of three elements: (1) literature-related activities, (2) direct instruction in reading comprehension strategies, and (3) selection-related writing. In all of these activities, students worked in hetero- geneous learning teams. All activities followed a regular cycle that involved teacher presenta- tion, team practice, independent practice, peer pre-assessment, and individual accountability. Cooperative learning teams were used in instructional activities on a daily basis. Comparison The teachers in the comparison schools used traditional instructional methods. Students group went to different teachers for reading and English. The reading teachers used a basal reading series and related materials (e.g., workbooks). The English teachers used an English literature anthology for their literature component and an English grammar textbook for the language arts component. The comparison teachers did not use cooperative learning processes in their instructional activities. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 8
  • 9. WWC Intervention Report Outcomes and For both the pretest and posttest, students took the California Achievement Test (CAT). Four measurement subtests were used in the study: (1) Reading Vocabulary, (2) Reading Comprehension, (3) Lan- guage Mechanics, and (4) Language Expression. The pretests were given the spring before the study began; the posttests were given the following May near the end of the study. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B. Support for The teachers in the treatment schools were trained in Student Team Reading and Writing dur- implementation ing their summer vacation for five half-day (three-hour) sessions during one week. The training consisted of an explanation of the processes and the rationale behind them. During the train- ing, teachers participated in a simulation of major components of the program. The teachers also were given a detailed manual that described each of the components. During the first three months of implementation, the researchers observed and gave feedback to the teachers as they implemented the program. They also met with teachers during and after school, often attending meetings of the reading and language arts department. At these meetings, teachers’ questions and problems were discussed in order to resolve any problems they were having and to use their feedback to improve the program. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 9
  • 10. WWC Intervention Report Appendix A.2: Research details for Stevens & Durkin (1992) Stevens, R. J., & Durkin, S. (1992). Using student team reading and student team writing in middle schools: Two evaluations. Part I. Student team reading: A cooperative learning approach to middle school reading instruction (pp. 1–10). Baltimore, MD: Center for Research on Effective Schooling for Disadvantaged Students. Table A2. Summary of findings Meets WWC evidence standards with reservations Study findings Average improvement index Outcome domain Sample size (percentile points) Statistically significant Comprehension 6 schools/1,223 students +2 No Setting The study took place in six middle schools in an urban school district in Maryland. The student populations in the schools ranged from 27% to 99% minority (median of 74.5%) and from 38% to 77% received free or reduced-price lunch (median of 57.5%). Study sample This study is a quasi-experiment conducted in six urban middle schools during the 1989–90 academic year. Classes in the three treatment schools were matched with classes in the three comparison schools on California Achievement Test (CAT) total reading pretest scores. Par- ticipants were sixth-grade students. The study’s analytic sample included 455 students in 20 treatment classrooms and 768 students in 34 comparison classrooms. Intervention In the intervention schools, Student Team Reading was implemented for one full academic group year and included two major components: (1) literature-based activities (including partner reading, treasure hunts, word mastery, story retelling, story-related writing, and quizzes) and (2) explicit instruction in comprehension strategies (such as identifying main ideas and themes, drawing conclusions, making predictions, and understanding figurative language). The program used a combination of teacher-directed instruction and cooperative learning in heterogeneous teams. Teams were given rewards and recognition based on performance and improvement of each team member. Comparison Comparison group teachers used traditional methods and curriculum materials. In reading, group they often used basal series and focused instruction on isolated skills. Students read silently and aloud (with one student reading while the rest of the class follows along). Most seatwork time was spent on independent class work completing worksheet activities and practicing reading skills; at times, students read silently; at other times, they read orally in turns. Students typically did little to no extended writing that was related to reading activities. Outcomes and For both the pretest and posttest, students took the CAT. Two CAT subtests were used in the measurement study: Reading Vocabulary and Reading Comprehension. The fifth-grade scores were used as the pretest data; the sixth-grade scores were used as the posttest data. For a more detailed description of these outcome measures, see Appendix B. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 10
  • 11. WWC Intervention Report Support for Intervention group teachers took part in three half-day training sessions that included how to implementation implement the classroom processes and the rationale behind the processes. During the train- ing session, trainers acted as the “teachers,” and the teachers acted as the students. Teachers also received a detailed manual of the Student Team Reading program, curriculum materials, and textbooks. During the school year, teachers also received coaching and took part in peri- odic after-school meetings to provide feedback/discuss implementation questions. Teachers were monitored by Student Team Reading staff four times a week over a six-week period. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 11
  • 12. WWC Intervention Report Appendix B: Outcome measures for each domain Comprehension Vocabulary development construct California Achievement Test The California Achievement Test is a norm- and criterion-referenced annual test. The Vocabulary subtest (CAT) Vocabulary subtest contains 20 items measuring same-meaning, opposite-meaning words; multi-meaning words; words in context (selecting the appropriate word to complete the sentence); and the meaning of affixes (as cited in Stevens, 2003; Stevens & Durkin, 1992). Reading comprehension construct California Achievement Test The California Achievement Test is a norm- and criterion-referenced annual test. The Reading Comprehension (CAT) Reading Comprehension subtest subtest is administered to grades 1 through 12 and focuses on students’ use of reading comprehension strate- gies. Students read a multiple-paragraph passage and then answer (factual and summarization) questions about the passage. Passages reflect a wide range of narrative, expository, contemporary, and traditional texts. The test measures information recall, meaning construction, form analysis, and meaning evaluation of different selections (as cited in Stevens, 2003; Stevens & Durkin, 1992). General literacy achievement California Achievement Test The Language Mechanics and Language Expression subtests of the California Achievement Test work together (CAT) Language Mechanics subtest to measure a broad range of language and writing skills, including the ability to apply standard usage and writing conventions and to develop effective sentences and paragraphs. The Language Mechanics subtest contains 20 items that measure skills in the mechanics of capitalization and punctuation. Editing skills are measured in the context of passages presented in various formats (for grades 4–12). Students read sentences and passages and identify errors (or report “no errors”) that occur in the passage (as cited in Stevens, 2003). California Achievement Test The Language Mechanics and Language Expression subtests of the California Achievement Test work together (CAT) Language Expression subtest to measure a broad range of language and writing skills, including the ability to apply standard usage and writing conventions and to develop effective sentences and paragraphs. The Language Expression subtest contains 20 items that measure skills in language usage and sentence structure. The items measure skills in the use of various parts of speech, formation and organization of sentences and paragraphs, and writing for clarity (for grades 4–12). Language Expression questions ask students to read a passage and identify appropriate phrases or words to fit particular parts of the passage (as cited in Stevens, 2003). Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 12
  • 13. WWC Intervention Report Appendix C.1: Findings included in the rating for the comprehension domain Mean (standard deviation) WWC calculations Study Sample Intervention Comparison Mean Effect Improvement Outcome measure sample size group group difference size index p-value Stevens, 2003a CAT Reading Vocabulary Grades 5/3,986 0.17 –0.16 0.33 0.33 +13 < 0.05 6–8 (0.71) (0.72) CAT Reading Comprehension Grades 5/3,986 0.12 –0.13 0.25 0.25 +10 < 0.05 6–8 (0.66) (0.73) Average for comprehension (Stevens, 2003) 0.29 +11 Not sig Stevens & Durkin, 1992b CAT Reading Vocabulary Grade 6 6/1,223 18.20 18.30 –0.10 –0.02 –1 > 0.05 (5.40) (5.60) CAT Reading Comprehension Grade 6 6/1,223 24.30 23.20 1.10 0.14 +6 < 0.05 (7.30) (8.10) Average for comprehension (Stevens & Durkin, 1992) 0.06 +2 Not sig Domain average for comprehension across all studies 0.18 +7 na Table Notes: Positive results for mean difference, effect size, and improvement index favor the intervention group; negative results favor the comparison group. The effect size is a standardized measure of the effect of an intervention on student outcomes, representing the change (measured in standard deviations) in an average student’s outcome that can be expected if that student is given the intervention. The improvement index is an alternate presentation of the effect size, reflecting the change in an average student’s percentile rank that can be expected if the student is given the intervention. The WWC-computed average effect size is a simple average rounded to two decimal places; the aver- age improvement index is calculated from the average effect size. The statistical significance of a study’s domain average was determined by the WWC. Not sig = not statistically significant. na = not applicable. CAT = California Achievement Test. a ForStevens (2003), corrections for clustering and multiple comparisons were needed and resulted in significance levels that differ from those in the original study. The p-values presented here were reported in the original study. The intervention and comparison group values are adjusted z-scores when the pretest was used as an adjustment. b For Stevens and Durkin (1992), corrections for clustering and multiple comparisons were needed and resulted in significance levels that differ from those in the original study. The p-values presented here were reported in the original study. The WWC calculated the program group mean using a difference-in-differences approach (see WWC Handbook) by adding the impact of the program (i.e., difference in mean gains between the intervention and control groups) to the unadjusted control group posttest means. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 13
  • 14. WWC Intervention Report Appendix C.2: Findings included in the rating for the general literacy achievement domain Mean (standard deviation) WWC calculations Study Sample Intervention Comparison Mean Effect Improvement Outcome measure sample size group group difference size index p-value Stevens, 2003a CAT Language Mechanics Grades 5/3,986 0.00 0.00 0.00 0.00 0 > 0.05 6–8 (0.73) (0.75) CAT Language Expression Grades 5/3,986 0.19 –0.19 0.38 0.38 +15 < 0.05 6–8 (0.72) (0.73) Domain average for general literacy achievement (Stevens, 2003) 0.19 +8 Not sig Table Notes: Positive results for mean difference, effect size, and improvement index favor the intervention group; negative results favor the comparison group. The effect size is a standardized measure of the effect of an intervention on student outcomes, representing the change (measured in standard deviations) in an average student’s outcome that can be expected if that student is given the intervention. The improvement index is an alternate presentation of the effect size, reflecting the change in an average student’s percentile rank that can be expected if the student is given the intervention. The WWC-computed average effect size is a simple average rounded to two decimal places; the aver- age improvement index is calculated from the average effect size. The statistical significance of a study’s domain average was determined by the WWC. Not sig = not statistically significant. CAT= California Achievement Test. a ForStevens (2003), corrections for clustering and multiple comparisons were needed and resulted in significance levels that differ from those in the original study. The p-values presented here were reported in the original study. The intervention and comparison group values are adjusted z-scores when the pretest was used as an adjustment. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 14
  • 15. WWC Intervention Report Appendix D.1: Criteria used to determine the rating of a study Study rating Criteria Meets evidence standards A study that provides strong evidence for an intervention’s effectiveness, such as a well-implemented RCT. Meets evidence standards A study that provides weaker evidence for an intervention’s effectiveness, such as a QED or an RCT with high with reservations attrition that has established equivalence of the analytic samples. Appendix D.2: Criteria used to determine the rating of effectiveness for an intervention Rating of effectiveness Criteria Positive effects Two or more studies show statistically significant positive effects, at least one of which met WWC evidence standards for a strong design, AND No studies show statistically significant or substantively important negative effects. Potentially positive effects At least one study shows a statistically significant or substantively important positive effect, AND No studies show a statistically significant or substantively important negative effect AND fewer or the same number of studies show indeterminate effects than show statistically significant or substantively important positive effects. Mixed effects At least one study shows a statistically significant or substantively important positive effect AND at least one study shows a statistically significant or substantively important negative effect, but no more such studies than the number showing a statistically significant or substantively important positive effect, OR At least one study shows a statistically significant or substantively important effect AND more studies show an indeterminate effect than show a statistically significant or substantively important effect. Potentially negative effects One study shows a statistically significant or substantively important negative effect and no studies show a statisti- cally significant or substantively important positive effect, OR Two or more studies show statistically significant or substantively important negative effects, at least one study shows a statistically significant or substantively important positive effect, and more studies show statistically significant or substantively important negative effects than show statistically significant or substantively important positive effects. Negative effects Two or more studies show statistically significant negative effects, at least one of which met WWC evidence standards for a strong design, AND No studies show statistically significant or substantively important positive effects. No discernible effects None of the studies shows a statistically significant or substantively important effect, either positive or negative. Appendix D.3: Criteria used to determine the extent of evidence for an intervention Extent of evidence Criteria Medium to large The domain includes more than one study, AND The domain includes more than one school, AND The domain findings are based on a total sample size of at least 350 students, OR, assuming 25 students in a class, a total of at least 14 classrooms across studies. Small The domain includes only one study, OR The domain includes only one school, OR The domain findings are based on a total sample size of fewer than 350 students, AND, assuming 25 students in a class, a total of fewer than 14 classrooms across studies. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 15
  • 16. WWC Intervention Report Endnotes 1The descriptive information for this program was obtained from publicly available sources: Stevens, 1989, 2003; Stevens and Durkin, 1992. The WWC requests developers to review the program description sections for accuracy from their perspective. The program description was provided to the developer in February 2011. Further verification of the accuracy of the descriptive information for this program is beyond the scope of this review. The literature search reflects documents publicly available by August 2011. 2This review focuses on Student Team Reading and Writing and Student Team Reading, but it uses the general (lowercase) term stu- dent team reading and writing to encompass both programs. 3The studies in this report were reviewed using WWC Evidence Standards, Version 2.0, as described in the Adolescent Literacy review protocol Version 2.0. The evidence presented in this report is based on available research. Findings and conclusions may change as new research becomes available. 4 For criteria used in the determination of the rating of effectiveness and extent of evidence, see Appendix D. These improvement index numbers show the average and range of student-level improvement indices for all findings across the studies. 5 The WWC computes an average effect size as a simple average of the effect sizes across all individual findings within the study domain. Recommended Citation U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences, What Works Clearinghouse. (2011, November). Adolescent Literacy intervention report: Student team reading and writing. Retrieved from http://whatworks.ed.gov. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 16
  • 17. WWC Intervention Report Glossary of terms Attrition Attrition occurs when an outcome variable is not available for all participants initially assigned to the intervention and comparison groups. The WWC considers the total attrition rate and the difference in attrition rates across groups within a study. Clustering adjustment If treatment assignment is made at a cluster level and the analysis is conducted at the student level, the WWC will adjust the statistical significance to account for this mismatch, if necessary. Confounding factor A confounding factor is a component of a study that is completely aligned with one of the study conditions, making it impossible to separate how much of the observed effect was due to the intervention and how much was due to the factor. Design The design of a study is the method by which intervention and comparison groups were assigned. Domain A domain is a group of closely related outcomes. Effect size The effect size is a standardized measure of the magnitude of an effect that is comparable across studies and outcomes. Eligibility A study is eligible for review if it falls within the scope of the review protocol and uses a causal design (RCT or QED). Equivalence A demonstration that the analysis sample groups are similar on observed characteristics defined in the review area protocol. Extent of evidence An indication of how much evidence supports the findings. The criteria for the extent of evidence levels are given in Appendix D.3. Improvement index Along a percentile distribution of students, the improvement index represents the gain or loss of the average student due to the intervention. As the average student starts at the 50th percentile, the measure ranges from –50 to +50. Multiple comparison When a study includes multiple outcomes or comparison groups, the WWC will adjust the adjustment statistical significance to account for the multiple comparisons, if necessary. Quasi-experimental A quasi-experimental design (QED) is a research design in which subjects are assigned to design (QED) treatment and comparison groups through a process that is not random. Randomized controlled A randomized controlled trial (RCT) is an experiment in which investigators randomly assign trial (RCT) eligible participants into treatment and comparison groups. Rating of effectiveness The WWC rates the effects of an intervention in each domain based on the quality of the research design and the magnitude, statistical significance, and consistency in findings. The criteria for the ratings of effectiveness are given in Appendix D.2. Standard deviation The standard deviation across all students in a group shows how dispersed the outcomes are. A measure with a small standard deviation would indicate that participants had more similar outcomes than a measure with a large standard deviation. Statistical significance Statistical significance is the probability that the difference between groups is a result of chance rather than a real difference between the groups. The WWC labels a finding statistically significant if the likelihood that the difference is due to chance is less than 5% (p < 0.05). Substantively important A substantively important finding is one that has an effect size of 0.25 or greater, regardless of statistical significance. Please see the WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook (version 2.0) for additional details. Student Team Reading and Writing  November 2011 Page 17