Classroom Instruction that works:
Research Based Strategies for Increasing Student Achievement with Exmples for Implementation

Research done by -
Robert Marzano, Debra Pickering, and Jane Pollock (2001) ASCD McREL

See summary - McRel meta-analysis data and definitions

The nine categories

  1. Identifying similarities and differences
  2. Summarizing and note taking
  3. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition
  4. Homework and practice
  5. Nonlinguistic representations
  6. Cooperative learning
  7. Setting objectives and providing feedback
  8. Generating and testing hypotheses
  9. Questions, cues, and advanced organizers

Definitions:

Instructional Strategies:

1. Identifying similarities and differences

To identify similarities and differences a person recognizes characteristics or properties of different objects or ideas and identifies those that are the same and or different.

·        (Direct) Provide samples, modeling identification of similarities and differences, self-talk to describe the thought process, examples on how to describe and organize examples, and all integrals of transition from non-examples to examples and reversibility.

·        (Indirect) Providing students opportunities to identify similarities and differences using their present knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

2. Summarizing and note taking

To summarize: a person has to select essential information, delete non-essential information, and substitute words, concepts, generalizations, and other ideas to combine the essential information efficiently and meaningfully. To be successful a person must use all the cognitive levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy. And as one experiences similar forms of communication they can become familiar with patterns of style and form that will assist his or her understanding and task of summarizing and note taking.

(Direct) Provide samples, modeling identification of essential information, delete non-essential information, and substitute words, concepts, generalizations, and other ideas to combine the essential information efficiently and meaningfully, self-talk to describe the thought process, examples on how to describe and organize examples of summaries, and all integrals of transition from non-examples to examples and reversibility.

(Indirect) Providing students opportunities to identify essential information, delete non-essential information, and substitute words, concepts, generalizations, and other ideas to combine the essential information efficiently and meaningfully, using their present knowledge, skills, and attitudes.

Model and provide experience on how to represent summaries, in text or graphic form from concrete to symbolic. Model and provide experience on ways to communicate summaries through outlines, lists, charts, graphic organizers, Venn diagram, comparison webs, matrices, diagrams… All of these devices can be taught with strategies similar to the ones above.

Model and provide experience on how to think at all levels of Bloom’s Taxonomy.

Model and provide experience on how to recognize patterns of style and form and use them to predict and infer understanding.

Discuss process and procedure students use to be successful and create a list of suggestions or rules for summarizing or note taking.

3. Reinforcing effort and providing recognition

Effort is usually included as one of the major variables in most motivational theories.

Use effort and achievement rubrics in tandem to have students chart their progress and assist them in gereralizing the relationship of effort to achievement. (Are students really this slow that they don't know this? Are we not risking increasing students' belief that schools and teachers don't know what they are doing or at the minimum that much of what is done in schools is a waste of time?)

Providing recognition/ praise/ reward/ reinforcement/ encouragement

Recognition for specific accomplishments:

Pause, Prompt, and Praise - stop the student temporarily, provide assistance with suggestions to improve performance. If the student improves as a result of implementing the suggestions, praise (recognition? encouragement?).

Concrete symbols of recognition (stickers, awards, coupons, ...) given for accomplishing specific performance goals. Every student that receives 85% or better or increases their previous score by 10% receives a concrete symbol.

4. Homework and practice

  • Evidence suggests that homework has a direct impact on achievement. In fact Keith found that 30 minutes a night of homework increases GPA by .5, however, studies indicate for homework to be beneficial it must help students develop good study habits, foster good attitudes toward school, and communicate to students that learning in enhanced with study at home (Cooper).
  • Parent involvement in homework is beneficial only when it supports the student by providing a place, time, and encouragement to do the homework and facilitating learning, not doing the work with or for the student.
  • Achievement increases when the purpose of the homework is identified and communicated to the student and parent (as necessary).
  • Achievement increases when assigned homework is commented on even more when it is graded.
  • Mastering a skill requires a fair amount of focused practice. While focused practice will increase a person's skill, the learning curve representing the relatinship between the practice and skill is not directly proportional. Most learning curves slope slowly, accelerate, and slow to a fairly flat line at an expert skill level.
  • Student's practice should include adapting and shaping at an appropriate rate.

Instructional strategies

  1. Establish and communicate a homework policy (page 64-66).
  2. Design homework assignments that clearly articulate the purpose and outcome (page 64-66).
  3. Very the approaches to providing feedback (page 64-66).

5. Nonlinguistic representations

If information coding is a dual system with two forms - linguistic (listening, talking, reading, writing) and imagery (mental pictures and physical sensations (sight, smell, taste, touch, and sound).

  • Engaging students in the creation of nonlinguistic representations increases brain activity (Gerlic & Jausovec)
  • A variety of activities produce nonlinguistic representations (graphic representations [webs , literature graphic organizers plus ], physical models, mental pictures, drawing pictures and pictographs, kinesthetic activities.
  • Nonlinguistic representations that elaborate on knowledge increases recall and understanding . Students that create, explain, and justify their elaborations increase their learning.

6. Cooperative learning

Cooperative learning elements

  • Ability grouping should be done sparingly. Low ability groups generally learn less when they are grouped with others of their same abilities. High ability make small gains with medium ability making slightly more. However, grouping by ability gain more than if students were not grouped.
  • Cooperative groups should be kept small teams of three to four members.
  • Cooperative learning needs to be implemented with consistent procedures at appropriate times so that it is not overused. Groups can be informal (very temporary/ students select/ pair share...), formal (assigned for a task with specific accountability measures), and base groups (fairly permanent for periods of a semester or year).

Instructional strategies that use cooperative learning.

7. Setting objectives and providing feedback

  • Instructional goals narrow what students focus learning on. If students learn what they are told to learn or study and what they are told is narrowly defined, then their achievement is lower.
  • Instruction based on goals stated in general terms show a greater achievement than instruction based on goals stated as behavioral objectives.
  • When students personalize goals they achieve more. Goals defined in general terms afford more opportunities for personalization.
  • The most powerful single variable that increases achievement is feedback.
  • Feedback that only marking items right or wrong has a negative effect on achievement. Providing correct answers has a slight increase in achievement. The best feedback involves an explantion as to what is accurate and what is inaccurate in relation to the student responses.
  • Asking students to continue to work until they have achieved success increases achievement.
  • Feedback is timely. Feedback given after an item on a test has a slight effect. Providing feedback immediately after a test has a large effect. Test given immediately after a learning situation has a negligible effect. Tests given one day after a learning situation seems optimal.
  • Feedback given to students relative to a specific target knowledge or skill criteria is the most useful.
  • Students can effectively provide some of their own feedback. Self assessment beginning with a minimal charting of their their progress accuracy, speed, or nots on what they have learned like a KWLH chart.

Instructional strategies for

  • Goal setting includes having students write their own goals. Goal starters can be provided for students: I want to know... I want to know more... or Learning contracts, or KWHL charts...
  • Focus feedback on specific knowledge and skills.
  • Involve students in the feedback process.

8. Generating and testing hypotheses

Hypothesis is a suggested generalized relationship, based on limited evidence, proposed as a starting point for further investigation that may provide consistent repeatable observable evidence. The evidence collected will result in one of four decisions: 1. the data isn't sufficient to support the hypothesis and more evidence needs to be collected. 2. the data supports the hypothesis and a generalization can be made. 3. the data doesn't support the hypothesis without modification and it is changed. 4. the data is sufficient to reject the hypothesis and construct a new hypothesis.

Uncertainty of events that haven't been observed resulting from the lack of observable evidence from any specific event under investigation or any related event to the specific. The purpose of a scientific hypothesis is to conduct an experiment to test it. Therefore, it must be testable. Further the tests are to collect enough data to confidently suggest a pattern that supports the explanation within the hypothesis. Many people will say that a hypothesis has been proven. However, a hypothesis can only be proven if all possible cases have been tested. Testing all possible cases is impossible. Therefore, hypotheses can never be proven; our confidence in the relationship can increase as additional data is collected, but there can never be enough data to prove it. However, one set of data that contradicts the hypothesis causes the hypothesis to be false and it must be rejected or modified according to the new findings.

Ideas for creating questions and hypothesis --->>> hypothesis defined with examples on science fair judge rubric --->>> rubric and checksheet.

9. Questions, cues, and advanced organizers

Instructional strategies for questioning.

 

Dr. Robert Sweetland's notes
homeofbob.com