Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
Dr. David Bangs
This project focused on two online providers, The Learning Institute (TLI) and Northwest Evaluation Association (NWEA). The purpose of this dissertation was to provide additional research concerning the effects of interim assessments (TLI versus NWEA) and gender on literacy and mathematics achievement for students in Grades 6 and 7 in Northwest Arkansas. Of the four included school districts, two used TLI and two used NWEA as their interim assessment. For all four hypotheses, the independent variables were gender and interim assessment type. In the first and second hypotheses, the dependent variable was literacy achievement as measured by student performance on the 2013 Arkansas Benchmark sixth- and seventh-grade literacy examinations, respectively. Similarly, in the third and fourth hypothesis, the dependent variable was mathematics achievement as measured by student performance on the 2013 Arkansas Benchmark sixth- and seventh-grade mathematics examinations. Through a review of the literature, the various aspects of the effects of gender and interim assessment type on student achievement in reading and mathematics were identified.
The sample for this study included students from two school districts who used TLI as an interim assessment and two school districts who used NWEA as an interim assessment. The first TLI district had 306 sixth-grade students and 321 seventh-grade students. Of the sixth-grade students, 51% were females, and 63% of the students were Caucasian. Of the seventh-grade students, 50% were females and 67% of the students were Caucasian. The second TLI district had 1,135 sixth-grade students and 1,010 seventh-grade students. Of the sixth-grade students, 50% were females, and 54% of the students were Caucasian. Of the seventh-grade students, 50% were females, and 56% of the students were Caucasian. The first NWEA school district has 680 sixth-grade students and 691 seventh-grade students. Of the sixth-grade students, 47% were females, and 69% of the students were Caucasian. Of the seventh-grade students, 49% were females, and 70% of the students were Caucasian. The second NWEA school district had 1,509 sixthgrade students and 1,501 seventh-grade students. Of the sixth-grade students, 48% were females, and 40% of the students were Caucasian. Of the seventh-grade students, 48% were females, and 39% of the students were Caucasian. All of the selected school districts were within a 50 mile radius of one another.
A 2 x 2 factorial ANOVA was used to analyze the data collected for each of the four hypotheses. The results of this study indicated no significant interaction effects between gender and interim assessment type on literacy and mathematics achievement measured by Arkansas Benchmark Literacy and Mathematics Exams for Grades 6 and 7. In all four hypotheses, no significant interaction effect existed. For Hypotheses 1 and 2, the main effect of gender and assessment was statistically significant. Students using the TLI assessment performed better on the Benchmark Literacy Exam compared to students using the NWEA assessment regardless of their gender. Additionally, females outperformed males on the Benchmark Literacy Exam for sixth-grade students regardless of the type of assessment. However, for Hypotheses 3 and 4, the main effect of gender and assessment were not significantly significant. Further, there was no significant difference in mathematics achievement by gender or by assessment type.
While some studies were found that showed the effect of gender or interim assessment on academic achievement, no studies were found that compared two interim assessment programs. The results from the studies were mixed. Some research identified significant difference in academic achievement while others did not. Most research deemed interim assessment to be beneficial but was inconsistent as to what degree. This study provided new research comparing competitive interim assessment programs. TLI students performed better on the Benchmark Literacy Exam than NWEA students for both grades examined. Also, females outperformed males on the Benchmark Literacy Exam for both grades examined. The review of mathematics performance for both grades revealed no significant difference by gender or assessment. The study provided data for school leaders examining the effect of interim assessments.
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Davis, Walt, "Effects of TLI- Versus NWEA-Interim Assessment on Academic Achievement of Sixth- and Seventh-Grade Students" (2016). Dissertations. 7.