Education Northwest

Project GLAD Study Design

Education Northwest conducted an independent research study to examine the effects of OCDE Project GLAD® . This study addresses four research questions.

  1. To what extent do teachers implement the teaching strategies promoted by Project GLAD during the training year and the following school year?
  2. What is the impact of Project GLAD teacher training on the reading, writing, and science achievement of fifth-grade students in the treatment classrooms during the initial training year, compared to a “business as usual” control group?
  3. What is the impact of Project GLAD teacher training on the reading, writing, and science achievement of fifth-grade students in the treatment classrooms during the year following the initial training year, compared to a “business as usual” control group?
  4. Is the impact of Project GLAD different for fifth-grade ELLs and non-ELLs?

Principal Investigator Theresa Deussen explains why Education Northwest conducted this study in Idaho.

To address the research questions, we conducted a cluster randomized trial. Randomized studies are widely accepted as the “gold standard” of research designs. When properly executed, they are capable of yielding the most robust and credible estimates of a program’s effects. In a cluster randomized trial, “clusters” (in this case, schools) are randomly assigned to one of two groups; one group receive the “treatment” (e.g., training), while the other group does not. When done correctly, random assignment ensures that factors that might affect the outcomes, such as teacher experience, motivation to use the program, or other factors, are randomly distributed across both the treatment and control group.

As shown in the figure below, grade 5 teachers randomly assigned to Group 1 schools received standard Project GLAD training from certified key consultants in the first year of the study. This included a two-day workshop and five days of demonstration in Year 1, as well as three days of coaching support in both Years 1 and 2. In Year 3 (2013–2014), teachers in Group 2 schools are receiving Project GLAD training and coaching support.

Study Design

The two years in the red boxes provide a comparison between students who are in classrooms with Project GLAD-trained teachers, and students who are in classrooms with teachers who are not trained in the model.

During 2011–2012 and 2012–2013, the research team collected data to look at student achievement and classroom-level implementation. These included student assessment data, classroom observations, teacher interviews, and teacher surveys.