Date of Award

2011

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

First Advisor

Jane King

Abstract

The purpose of this mixed methods collective case study was to determine the use of formative assessment data generated by the web-based program Study Island in the planning and implementation of instruction. The study utilized quantitative data collected through teacher surveys then triangulated qualitative teacher focus group and individual teacher interview data in order to establish statistical themes for narrative analysis. The research focused on data generated by the Study Island program at three rural middle schools, Grades 6 through 8, located in the western region of North Carolina.

The need for data to help teachers determine the next steps for instruction drove the implementation of Study Island in the school system in which the study was being conducted. Data compiled from the National Assessment of Educational Progress and from the North Carolina end-of-grade tests showed that there were still schools that did not have all students functioning at grade level. This data, in addition to concerns expressed by the administration of the schools in the study about teacher use of the data justified the purpose of this study.

The increased focus on using data to drive instructional decision making led to the addition of several types of computer-assisted instruction, including the web-based program Study Island, in the three schools studied. The results from the study led the researcher to conclude that although teachers did not have a positive or negative perception of use of Study Island and the data generated by the Study Island program overall, they had a positive perception of use when it came to using the program with students. The researcher's recommendation was for the district to pursue training with regards to the use of the Study Island program, the use of the data generated by the Study Island program, and formative assessment.