Camping, A., Graham, S., Ng, C., Atiken, A., Wilson, J., & Wdowin, J. (2019). Writing motivational incentives of middle school emergent bilingual students. Journal of Second Language Writing. Manuscript submitted for publication.
- Compares the motivational incentives for writing of middle school emergent bilingual students with their peers whose first language was English.
- While the writing motivational incentives of EL and REP students were similar, one or both of these groups of emergent bilingual students had statistically higher scores than Native English (NE) students on all but one of the motivational incentives for writing.
- NE students were more motivated than emergent bilingual students to write for better grades, and they also had higher
scores on the writing test. REP students scored higher on this test than EL students. While motivational incentives for writing predicted NE students’ writing performance, this was not the case for EL and REP students.
Chen, V., Olson, C. B., & Chung, H. Q. (2020). Understanding Proficiency: Analyzing the Characteristics of Secondary Students’ On-Demand Analytical Essay Writing. The Journal of Writing Assessment, 13(1).
- This study investigated the different characteristics of not-pass, adequate-pass, and strong-pass text-based, analytical essays written by middle and high school students.. Results revealed the use of relevant summary was an important difference between not-pass and adequate-pass essays where significantly more adequate-pass essays used summary in a purposeful rather than general way.
Collins, P., Tate, T., Warschauer, M. (2019). Technology as a lever for adolescent writing, Policy Insights from the Behavioral and Brain Sciences, (1)8. DOI: 10.1177/2372732219836440
- Most U.S. adolescents are failing to develop the writing skills critical for college and career readiness.
- Digital tools can play an important role in improving adolescents’ writing achievement when the focus of technology use is on writing instruction.
- Providing easy-to-use technology and technical support to teachers facilitates their integrating digital tools to support curricular goals.
- Professional development for teachers should focus on how to leverage digital tools to deliver evidence-based writing instruction.
- Systematic and explicit instruction can help improve adolescent writing through scientifically based strategies for writing and the writing process, as well as how to make effective use of digital tools as part of the writing process.
Graham, S., Bruch, J., Fitzgerald, J., Friedrich, L., Furgeson, J., Greene, K., Kim, J., Lyskawa, J., Olson, C.B., & Smither Wulsin, C. (2016). Teaching secondary students to write effectively (NCEE2017-4002). Washington, DC: National Center for Education Evaluation and Regional Assistance (NCEE), Institute of Education Sciences, U.S. Department of Education. Retrieved from the NCEE website: http://whatworks.ed.gov.
- This report offers three evidence-based recommendations for teaching 6-12th grade students to write effectively, with copious examples and useful tools for educators to implement in their classrooms.
Graham, S. & Hebert, M. "Writing to read: A meta-analysis of the impact of writing and writing instruction on reading." Harvard Educational Review 81.4 (2011): 710-744.
- Reading is critical to students' success in and out of school. One potential means for improving students' reading is writing. In this meta-analysis of true and quasi-experiments, Graham and Herbert present evidence that writing about material read improves students' comprehension of it; that teaching students how to write improves their reading comprehension, reading fluency, and word reading; and that increasing how much students write enhances their reading comprehension. These findings provide empirical support for long-standing beliefs about the power of writing to facilitate reading.
Graham, S., Hebert, M., Fishman, E., Ray, A. B., & Rouse, A. G. (2020). Do Children With Specific Language Impairment Have a Learning Disability in Writing? A Meta-Analysis. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 1–19. DOI: 10.1177/0022219420917338.
- This meta-analysis examines whether children classified with specific language impairment (SLI) experience difficulties with writing. The study concluded that children with SLI experience difficulties in comparison in typically developing peers matched on age.
Krishnan, J., Black, R., & Olson, C. B. (2020) “The Power of Context: Exploring Teachers’ Formative Assessment for Online Collaborative Writing” Reading and Writing Quarterly. https://doi.org/10.1080/10573569.2020.1764888.
- In this multiple-case study that took place in two states, we investigate (1) the common and unique contextual factors that shape ELA teachers’ formative assessment beliefs and practice, and (2) the challenges they face when engaging in ongoing assessment while students write together online in their classrooms.
- This work illustrates the unique contextual factors that shape teachers’ beliefs about and engagement with formative assessment, specifically for online collaborative writing.
Krishnan, J., Yim, S. & Wolters, A., & Cusimano, A. (2019). Supporting Online Synchronous Collaborative Writing in the Secondary Classroom. Journal of Adolescent & Adult Literacy. 10.1002/jaal.969.
- We first describe how online SCW reflects principles of connected learning and contemporary educational initiatives. Then, we describe ways that educators may support students before, during, and after they engage in online SCW. We do this by synthesizing what research has said with actionable recommendations made practical through examples from Mr. Cusimano’s classroom. We conclude with remarks on how this approach provides students with the technical and social tools needed in an increasingly connected, information-based, global society.
Monte-Sano, C., De La Paz, S., & Felton, M. (2015). Teaching argument writing and “content” in diverse middle school history classrooms. Social Education, 79(4), 194-199.
- By posing an interpretive question with opposing sources, the Shays’ Rebellion investigation presents history as evidence-based interpretation and gives students an opportunity to learn about the topic through questioning and analysis. Going over background information, using developmentally appropriate tools to scaffold students’ work, and modeling and coaching new historical literacy strategies make it feasible for young adolescents to engage in the inquiry process and develop an interpretation of this event. The integration of reading, thinking, and writing is on display when students use their annotated sources and plans to compose their essay.
Matuchniak, T., Olson, C. B., & Scarcella, R. (2014). Examining the text-based, on-demand, analytical writing of mainstreamed Latino English learners in a randomized field trial of the Pathway Project intervention. Reading and Writing, 27(6), 973-994.
- This study examines how the Pathway Project intervention impacted English Learners’ abilities to analyze literature, use academic words, and include commentary in their essays, finding significant effects of the intervention
Monte-Sano, C., De La Paz, S., Felton, M., Piantedosi, K. W., Yee, L. S., & Carey, R. L. (2017). Learning to teach disciplinary literacy across diverse eighth-grade history classrooms within a district-university partnership. Teacher Education Quarterly, 44(4), 98-124.
- We see several promising signs in teachers' analysis, including an increasing focus on key aspects of disciplinary writing, attention to evaluate and historical thinking, consideration of the quality of students' work, and skill in identifying students' needs.
Olson, C. B., & Land, R. (2007). A cognitive strategies approach to reading and writing instruction for English language learners in secondary school. Research in the Teaching of English, 269-303.
- The study examines the effects of a cognitive strategies approach to improving secondary reading and writing. Teachers and students were exposed to an extensive set of cognitive strategies and a wide array of curricular approaches to use in a manner designed to cultivate deep knowledge and application of those strategies in reading and writing over an extended period of time consistency of positive outcomes on multiple measures strongly points to the efficacy of using this approach.
Olson, C. B., Matuchniak, T., Chung, H. Q., Stumpf, R., & Farkas, G. (2017). Reducing achievement gaps in academic writing for Latinos and English learners in Grades 7–12. Journal of Educational Psychology, 109(1), 1.
- This study reports 2 years of findings from a randomized controlled trial designed to replicate and demonstrate the efficacy of an existing, successful professional development program, the Pathway Project, that uses a cognitive strategies approach to text-based analytical writing.
Olson, C. B., Scarcella, R., & Matuchniak, T. (2015). English learners, writing, and the Common Core. the elementary school journal, 115(4), 570-592.
- This article addresses how teachers can prepare English learners to meet the CCSS for writing in grades K–8. It considers the degree and type of additional scaffolding English learners need to write at a level required in the standards, gives examples of best practices for teaching English learners, and provides specific lessons and activities for the types of writing emphasized in the standards. In addition, the relevant research on English-learning writers in grades K–8 as well as on effective interventions geared toward helping English learners attain higher level academic literacy is reviewed.
Tate, T., & Warschauer, M. (2019). Keypresses and Mouse Clicks: Analysis of the First National Computer-based Writing Assessment. Technology, Knowledge, and Learning. DOI: 10.1007/s10758-019-09412-x.
- To better understand students’ digital writing skills, we take advantage of the information provided by computer-based assessments—keyboard and mouse activity data. We examine the relationship between students’ use of the keyboard and mouse during the assessment and students’ writing achievement.
- We found that the number of keypresses had a distinct and direct effect on writing achievement scores, controlling for word count. We also identified several different patterns of keyboard and mouse activity on the computer-based NAEP assessment.
Tate, T., Warschauer, M., & Kim, Y.-S. G. (2019). Learning to compose digitally: The effect of prior computer use and keyboard activity on NAEP writing. Reading & Writing. DOI 10.1007/s11145-019-09940-z.
- In this study, we explored prior computer use, keyboard activity during writing, and their relations to writing achievement using the 8th grade 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress writing assessment, the first national computer-based writing assessment for U.S. secondary students.
- We found that prior computer use predicted students’ writing skills directly (0.08) and indirectly (e.g., keypresses, 0.14) via keyboard activity during the test. We found differential effects for certain groups including current English learners and disadvantaged students. We also found a small positive interaction effect of prior use and keypresses on writing. That is, the benefits of prior computer use for school writing and the value of students’ additional keypresses on writing achievement were amplified when both were present.
Tate, T. & Warschauer, M. (2018). Going Beyond “That Was Fun”: Measuring Writing Motivation, Journal of Writing Analytics, 2, 257-279.
- One of the most important malleable factors involved in improving student writing is motivation, particularly for secondary school students. This research note systematically examines the measures of writing motivation for students in grades 4–12 used by researchers over the last ten years and summarizes their psychometric and measurement properties to the extent provided in the underlying literature. This collection of measures and their properties and features is designed to make researchers more aware of the various options and to point out the need for additional measures.
Tate, T., Warschauer, M., & Abedi, J. (2016). The Effects of Prior Computer Use on Computer-Based Writing: The 2011 NAEP Writing Assessment, Computers & Education, 101, 115-131. DOI 10.1016/j.compedu.2016.06.001.
- We examine the relationship between reported prior use of computers and students’ achievement on the first national computer-based writing assessment in the United States, the 2011 National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) assessment.
- Using data from over 24,100 eighth grade students, we found that prior use of computers for school-related writing had a direct effect on writing achievement scores on the computer-based NAEP assessment. One standard deviation increase in prior use led to a 0.14 and 0.16 standard deviation increase in mean and scaled writing achievement scores respectively, with demographic controls and jackknife weighting in our SEM analysis. We also looked at earlier NAEP assessments and found that prior computer use did not positively affect the earlier pen and paper-based writing assessments.
Tate, T., Collins, P., Xu, Y., Yau, J., Krishnan, J., Prado, Y., Farkas, G., & Warschauer, M. (2019). Visual-Syntactic Text Format: Improving Adolescent Literacy, Scientific Studies of Reading. DOI 10.1080/10888438.2018.156170.
- Seventh- and 8th-grade students in a within-teacher randomized control study read from visual-syntactic formatted text for 44 min per week over the course of 1 year. On the annual state assessment, we found small statistically significant improvements on the overall English Language Arts scaled score (ES = 0.05, p < .05) and the writing assessment (ES = 0.07, p < .01) for the treatment group compared to the control group. We found no interactions between gifted, special education, or English learner classification and treatment status on the effect on overall English Language Arts score, but our categorical and subgroup analyses showed that the use of visual-syntactic text formatting provided a modest benefit to middle school students who were near or at grade level in the prior school year.