- Review the attached Proposal Overview and the Good Example to gain a better understanding of what the final submission will require.
- Construct Chapters 1, 2, and 3, your reference list, and any appendicies for your Signature Project Stage 1 Proposal. Be sure to review the attached rubric that is aligned with this assignment.
- The assignment must be submitted in Microsoft Word; Times New Roman font; 12 pt font size; margins 1” on all sides; double-spaced (be sure to remove any extra spacing that might be added before or below paragraphs).
- The assignment should be written on a graduate level and references used should be cited using appropriate in-text citations and documented in a reference list using 7th ed. APA Style.
- The originality of your work will be evaluated via SafeAssign. Leave time for revision and resubmission prior to the deadline in the event your originality score is too high. You may resubmit the assignment up to three times prior to the deadline. If your originality score is greater than 25% at the time of the deadline points may be deducted. If your originality score is greater than 50% your submission will not be graded and a zero will be posted.
- PLEASE NOTE — The assignment is rather lengthy, therefore; it is strongly suggested that you do not wait to start this assignment on the day it is due.
Signature Project Stage 1 First Submission Rubric
Are the focus and purpose clear and ideas well supported?
Missing thesis; confusion about or misunderstanding of topic; no sense of purpose
Simplistic and unfocused ideas; limited sense of purpose; support is provided, but is not specific; support is only loosely relevant to the main points
Developed thesis; represents sound understanding of the assigned topic; focused support is provided and is sound, valid, and logical
Is the writing structured well organized? Is correct sentence structure and proper mechanics utilized?
No paragraph structure; or single, rambling paragraph; or series of isolated paragraphs; Contains multiple and serious errors of sentence structure: i.e., fragments, run-ons; unable to write simple sentences; numerous errors in spelling and capitalization; intrusive and/or inaccurate punctuation; communication is hindered
Organization structure is present, but is confusing or disjointed; weak paragraph structure; transitions are missing or inappropriate; Formulaic sentence patterns or overuse of simple sentences; errors in sentence structure; contains several punctuation, spelling, and/or capitalization errors (up to 6); errors may or may not interfere with meaning
Clear organizational structure; easily followed; includes transitions; structured format; Effective and varied sentences; errors (if present) due to lack of careful proofreading; virtually free of punctuation, spelling, capitalization errors (no more than 3); errors do not interfere with meaning
Are vocabulary and word usage varied and appropriate?
Vocabulary is unsophisticated; or subject specific vocabulary or sophisticated vocabulary used incorrectly
Proper, but simple vocabulary used;
subject specific vocabulary used infrequently
Vocabulary is varied, specific and appropriate; uses subject specific vocabulary correctly
Is the source requirement met and is APA format followed?
Source requirements for the appropriate level were not met; there are significant format errors present; multiple (more than 6) of APA formatting errors; in the reference list and/or in-text citations
Meets minimum requirements for degree level: Masters – A minimum of 10 sources were utilized; Fewer than 6 APA format errors are present in the reference list in-text; citations; header; headings; page numbers; etc.
Five (5) sources beyond minimum requires were utilized; there are virtually no APA format errors present in either reference list in-text; citations; header; headings; page numbers; etc.
Is proper evidence and support of original work provided in body of the review?
Safe Assign originality report indicates match percentage of greater than 25 percent
Safe Assign originality report indicates match percentage of 15 to 25 percent
Safe Assign originality report indicates a match percentage of less than 15 percent
Source of data is credible, and data is representative of the scope requirements for the advanced degree being sought
(InTASC 6, 9; CAEP A1.1)
The source of the data is ambiguous or lacks credibility; data does not allow for problem/weakness identification appropriate for required project scope
The source of the data is clear and credible; data does not allow for problem/weakness identification appropriate for required project scope
The source of the data is clear and credible; data allows for identification of an of a classroom, multi- classroom, school or district level problem/weakness appropriate to the required project scope
Signature Project Stage 1 First Submission Rubric
Graphical representation of compiled data allows for easy analysis
Graphical format does not present the data in a clear manner; data is only partially presented
Graphical format(s) is appropriate and clearly presents all the collected data
Graphical format(s) is appropriate; clearly presents all the collected data; highlights visible patterns or trends
Identified problem/weakness is supported by trends or patterns seen in the data
(InTASC 6, 9, 10; CAEP A1.1)
Problem/weakness is not clearly identified or does not align with the trends and patterns identified in the data
Problem/weakness is clearly identified; aligns with the type of data collected, but connections between the trends/patterns in the data are not clearly described in the narrative
Problem/weakness is clearly identified; aligns with the type of data collected; clear connections between the trends/patterns are drawn in the narrative
Best practices are identified and supported by the literature as viable responses to weaknesses and problems represented by the data
(InTASC 8, 9, 10; CAEPA1.1)
Best practice(s) are not clearly identified; literature reviewed does not support the identified best practice(s) as a viable option to improve achievement
Best practice(s) are clearly identified; literature reviewed does not support the identified best practice(s) as a viable option to improve achievement
Best practice(s) are clearly identified; literature reviewed supports the identified best practices as viable responses to the problem/weakness identified
Theories and/or trends are identified and connected with best practices in literature
(InTASC 8, 9, 10; CAEP A1.1)
Theory or trend is not identified; theory/trend identified are not connected with the best practice(s) via literature
Theory or trend is clearly identified; literature reviewed does not connect the identified theory/trend with the identified best practice
Theory or trend is clearly identified; literature reviewed connects the identified theory/trend with all identified best practices
Proper level of synthesis is achieved in the literature review
(InTASC 9, 10; CAEP A1.1)
Summaries were given; are not clear or fail to make clear connections with best practice(s) and/or theory/trend(s) identified as viable responses to problem/weakness
Summaries are clear and concise; clear connections with best practice and/or theory/trend identified as viable response to problem/weakness may or may not be present
Synthesis rather than summaries of content presented in the collection of sources is present, clear connections with best practice and/or theory/trend identified as viable response to problem/weakness present
Description of plan is clear and easy to follow
(InTASC 7, 9, 10; CAEP A1.1)
Action plan is not described; description is not clear; steps in plan are not in a logical order
Action plan description is provided, but additional detail may be warranted; steps in plan are outlined, but additional steps may be needed, or the order could be altered for better efficiency
Action plan description is provided, and sufficient detail is included; steps in plan are outlined; exhaustive list of steps and sequence of steps allows for optimal efficiency and outcome.
Project timeline accounts for all elements in the plan and allocates appropriate amounts of time for each element
(InTASC 7, 10; CAEP A1.1)
Project timeline is missing or incomplete; time allocation is inadequate or too extensive for one or more elements included in the plan
Project timeline is provided; all elements identified in the plan are included, but additional elements might be needed for an improved outcome; timing and/or time allocation could be improved
Project timeline is provided; all necessary elements are included for optimal outcome
Variables are identified and defined
Variables are misidentified Variables are identified correctly, but with no clear definitions or explanations as to how they will be measured
Variables are identified correctly, with clear definitions and explanations as to how they will be measured
Signature Project Stage 1 First Submission Rubric
Required data needs are identified and plans for retrieving and protecting that data are clear (i.e., methods)
(InTASC 6, 9; CAEP A1.1)
Data needs are not identified or do not align with the problem; data retrieval plans are missing or inappropriate
Data needs are identified; data retrieval plans are included, but plans for protecting the data and/or student confidentiality are not provided or are inadequate
Data needs are identified; data retrieval plans are included; adequate plans for protecting student confidentiality and/or data are provided
Description of the sample and sampling techniques are provided
Detailed descriptions of the participants are not given and/or sampling technique is not provided
Brief overview of the sample is given, and sampling technique may or may not be included
Full descriptions of the participant sample, sampling technique and justifications for both the sample chosen and the sampling technique are given
Needed resources are identified, justified, and a leverage plan for acquiring resources is clear and supported
(InTASC 5, 9, 10; CAEP A1.1)
Resources are not identified or are inadequate; no justification for the resources is provided; unclear how identified resources might be acquired; plan for acquiring resources is inadequate or ill conceived
Resources are identified, but additional resources may be needed; justification for the resources is provided, but leverage plan for acquiring resources is not clear
Exhaustive list of resources is identified; justification for the resources is provided; leverage plan for acquiring resources is outlined
Justification for how the action plan will address the identified problem is clear
(InTASC 9, 10; CAEP A1.1)
No connection between the action plan and the identified problem is provided
Connection between the action plan and the identified problem is provided
Connection between the action plan and the identified problem is provided; justification of that connection is included
Connection between action plan and impact on student achievement is clear
(InTASC 9, 10; CAEP A1.1)
No connection between action plan outcome and student achievement is provided
Connection between action plan outcome and student achievement is provided; justification of that connection may or may not be included
Connection between action plan outcome and student achievement is provided; justification of that connection is included; limitations or outside interferences to improved student achievement are identified
Do appendices include necessary documentation?
Most items required in the appendices are not presented in the appendices; the plan and necessary steps to protect human subjects in research are not clear
Most required items are presented in the appendices; items and plan for ethical practices in protection of human subjects are weak
All required items are presented in the appendices; items clearly demonstrate ethical practices in protection of human subjects
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COLLEGE OF EDUCATION RESEARCH PROJECT OVERVIEW
The Research Proposal is designed to guide candidates through the steps for planning and conducting an in- depth research project focused on improving an issue within your field of study. The project involves an opportunity for candidates to apply the knowledge, skills, and behaviors they gain from their respective programs. Candidates will document the mastery of a substantial number of program standards with the planning, design, and evaluation of their projects.
This project is a research proposal for an experimental research proposal.
The Research Proposal is designed to guide candidates through the steps for planning and conducting an in-depth improvement project focused on a topic within their field of study. This research proposal will include the following: Research Problem, Literature Review, and Methodology. The completed product will include the three chapters of a research proposal.
Research Proposal Outline
A template is provided that will guide candidates through the development of a detailed outline that can then be fleshed out into three complete chapters.
Research Problem: Candidates gather existing data from their classroom, school, district or work setting. They will construct a graphical representation that allows for easy analysis of the compiled data and assess the data to identify a problem or weakness that can be addressed in an experimental study. Specific prompts provided in the outline template provided will require candidates to identify the problem/weakness, connect the problem or weakness to trends or patterns represented in the data, and explain how the problem or weakness might have impacted student achievement. The required scope of the problem/weakness depends on the level of advanced degree being sought.
Master level – classroom level or school level problem
Specialist level – multiple classrooms or school level problem
Literature Review: Candidates will discuss the background of the identified problem with colleagues, conduct a literature review following APA format (most recently published edition), and become familiar with the scholarly debate surrounding the topic or problem identified in the existing data. The scope and expectations for the literature review depend on the level of advanced degree being sought.
Master level – Candidates must describe a best practice or a trend/theory and justify its use and connection with the identified problem; use a minimum of 10 sources (largely representative of the most recent five years); describe/justify the best practice and/or theory based on each of the sources; and provide a synthesis of the related literature.
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Specialist level – Candidates must describe a best practice or a trend/theory and justify its use and connection with the identified problem; include a minimum of three best practice options AND a theory/trend; clear descriptions and justifications; and provide a synthesis of the related literature from the past 5 years. (15 sources are required, but a minimum of 20 sources are required to receive all points.)
Methodology: Candidates construct a measurable and executable action plan that includes a description of needed resources, description of the plan, and the scope and expectations required to complete an experimental study. The description of the plan includes a descriptive timeline, participants, variables, definitions of key terms in the study, data, resources, leverage plan, pertinent documents, and justification. The scope and expectations for the action plan depend on the level of advanced degree being sought.
Master’s level – represents a plan to address a problem identified across multiple classrooms (i.e., teacher leader looking at data from multiple classrooms on the same grade level).
Specialist level – represents a plan to address a problem identified across an entire school, multiple schools, or throughout a district (i.e., an instructional leader addressing a problem across elementary schools in a district).
THE SIGNATURE PROJECT FINAL SUBMISSION
The culminating requirement in ED504 is the final iteration of your Signature Project Stage 1. The Signature Project Stage 1 is your research proposal. It is designed to guide candidates through the steps for planning an experimental study to examine an in-depth school improvement project focused on improving teaching and learning. The project involves an opportunity for candidates to apply the knowledge, skills, and behaviors they gain from their respective programs.
Cover Page Abstract Chapter 1: Research Problem
Introduction Statement of the Research Problem (include hypothesis) Data Graphic and Discussion Impact on Student Achievement Research Methodology Summary (of chapter 1)
Chapter 2: Literature Review Introduction Sub-headings (according to the organization of your study) Synthesis of Literature Review
Chapter 3: Methodology Introduction Population Sample Sample Technique (with justification) Role of Participants and Impact on Participants (with explanation) Plan for Protection of Human Subjects Variables
Timeline (with sequence of steps and timeline for data collection)
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Constitutive and Operation Definitions Description of Data (data needed) Reliability and Validity of Instrument Limitations
Appendix A: Consent Form Appendix B: Permission to Study Appendix C: Copy of the instrument or survey if one is used.
Double-space using Times New Roman 12 pt. font size. Follow the example found in the Course Resource section of this course.
Top, bottom and side margins must be 1 inch.
Pages must be numbered, top flushed right.
Organize the literature review according to themes important to the study.
Direct quoting of other authors is not permitted. All written text should be in your own words.
Appropriately cite all information sources using APA.
Include a minimum of ten scholarly sources, five of these sources should come from the primary literature (ED504 requirement). All ten sources should primarily be from the past five years.
References should be in APA format and on a separate page in the document.
If your scholarly literature sources were obtained from an Internet site (e.g., online journal article), include the URL and the date downloaded as part of the bibliographic details presented. Check APA on formatting.
Grammar and spelling must be correct.
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARD APPROVAL
Completion of the IRB approval does not occur in ED504.
Candidates at both the Master’s and Specialist Levels are required to complete the Responsible Conduct of Research Program offered through Citi Training. (https://www.citiprogram.org/) The course candidates are expected to complete the Social, Behavioral and Education Sciences section. The modules that must be completed are Introduction to RCR, Research Involving Human Subjects, Collaborative Research, Conflicts of Interest, Data Management, Mentoring, Peer Review, Research Misconduct, and Plagiarism. This training is free.
Candidates must complete the Citi Training in ED504.
THE EFFECTS OF A MIXED-ABILITY CLASSROOM 1
The Effects of a Mixed-Ability Classroom on STAR Mathematics Scores
Felisha N. Cleland
University of West Alabama
ED5049621FA1: Tech of Educational Research
Mrs. Annah Rogers, B.A., M.S.
October 4, 2021
THE EFFECTS OF A MIXED-ABILITY CLASSROOM 2
Many schools, including Sand Rock High School, track students by ability even before
high school when natural tracking occurs. When this happens, lower-ability students lose the
confidence they need to make progress, and all abilities lose the opportunity to collaborate with
diverse peers. An alternative to this homogenous-ability tracking is to create mixed-ability
classrooms. The purpose of this study is to determine the effect of mixed-ability classes on
students of all ability levels. This proposal intends to investigate whether a transition from
homogenous-ability classrooms to mixed-ability classrooms will improve proficiency on the
STAR test in mathematics for 7th-grade students at Sand Rock High School. This project predicts
that this transition from homogenous-ability classrooms to mixed-ability classrooms will
improve student confidence and allow unique learning opportunities such as students being able
to collaborate with diverse peers, which in turn, will increase proficiency levels on STAR
mathematics scores for these students in 7th grade at Sand Rock High School. Data will be
collected at the beginning of the experiment and then every 9 weeks for an entire school year
with the teachers changing mid-year.
THE EFFECTS OF A MIXED-ABILITY CLASSROOM 3
The Effects of a Multi-Ability Classroom on Mathematics Scores
Chapter 1: Research Problem
At many schools in the United States, students are tracked or grouped by ability even
before high school. Tracking is the process of grouping students together by ability. According to
data from a 2017-18 National Teacher and Principal Survey, nearly half of middle schools across
the country group students based on ability (Standing et al., 2021). Some schools allow the
teachers do this within a classroom for differentiation purposes, while other schools group entire
classrooms by ability. Entire classes being grouped by ability means that students are labeled by
their perceived ability level as either above average, average, or below average and divided up
into different classes based on these assignments.
At Sand Rock High School, the above-average classes are generally the smallest in
number, whereas the other classes that contain the students that need the most one-on-one from a
teacher have the larger class sizes. This is only one negative from grouping this way. Far too
often, special education students, except for gifted students, get placed in the average or below
average groups. Also, English Language Learner (ELL) students, other minority students, and
low socioeconomic status students, and are too often disproportionately placed in the average or
below average groups (Childhood Education, 2014). This type of grouping is hazardous for all
levels of ability in that each group of students, once tracked, tend to stay with that same group
until graduation, with very limited movement between groups (Harklau, 1994). This deprives all
students of the ability to collaborate with diverse peers. It also puts the lower ability students in a
classroom where the curriculum typically gets watered down due to decreased expectations by
the teacher for that class (Losen, 1999).
THE EFFECTS OF A MIXED-ABILITY CLASSROOM 4
It has also been shown that grouping by ability early on negatively impacts students
psychologically. In a case study of 100 low-ability students in three schools, the students were
asked about their perceptions of their ability to learn. Those students overwhelmingly responded
with emotional words like “shame”, “upset”, and “inferiority” (McGillicuddy & Devine, 2020).
Additionally, many high achieving countries use minimal ability grouping as compared to the
Statement of the Research Problem
Despite the expansive research that shows the harmful effect on students in lower tracks
and shows no significant advantages for higher-tracked students, homogenous-ability classrooms
continue to be a widely used practice in American schools (Childhood Education, 2014). One
reason for the continued use is the fact that many teachers find that not grouping by ability is
difficult to do (Ambreen & Conteh, 2021). It has also been shown that politically vocal parents
of the would-be higher-tracked students, who are disproportionately likely to be white and well-
educated, stand in opposition to moving away from the status quo of homogeneous ability
grouped classrooms (Childhood Education, 2014). Sand Rock High School is no different in
terms of parents wanting to keep the status quo and keep their students in the higher ability
grouped, nor in the fact that many teachers are fearful of the required work needed to maintain a
successful classroom that is not grouped by ability.
Regardless of the above-mentioned roadblocks to change, data from STAR scores at
Sand Rock High School show that change needs to be made. Proficiency scores on the STAR
test show that the methods used currently at Sand Rock High School are ineffective. Also, as a
teacher at Sand Rock High School, I have seen the negative effects on students who are tracked
THE EFFECTS OF A MIXED-ABILITY CLASSROOM 5
before high school. Lower-ability students lose the confidence they need to make progress, and
all abilities lose the opportunity to collaborate with diverse peers.
Teachers across the country have been making changes to their ability grouping practices
to be able to meet the needs of all learners without grouping them by ability (Spear, 1994). The
purpose of this study is to determine the effect of mixed-ability classes on all students and to
determine if there is a link between mixed-ability classrooms and increased student achievement.
It is hypothesized that students placed in mixed-ability classrooms will outperform students who
are separated by ability.
Data Graphic and Discussion
The following table of data shows proficiency and non-proficiency, as a percentage, in
mathematics at each grade level, 1st grade through 8th grade at Sand Rock High School for the
2020-2021 school year. This data comes directly from STAR reports. The data shows that there
is a noted drop in proficiency percentages in grades who initiate the participation of the
technique of grouping students by ability, i.e., 4th and 7th grades. It is also interesting to note that
beginning in 4th grade, more students are non-proficient than are proficient. Prior to this, the
pattern is reversed. This shows that after t