Journal of Educational Psychology

  • Self-grading and peer-grading for formative and summative assessments in 3rd through 12th grade classrooms: A meta-analysis. 20170316
    The “assessment for learning” movement in education has increased attention to self-grading and peer-grading practices in primary and secondary schools. This research synthesis examined several questions pertaining to the use of self-grading and peer-grading in conjunction with criterion-referenced testing in 3rd- through 12th-grade-level classrooms. We investigated (a) the effects of students’ participation in grading on subsequent test performance, (b) the difference between grades when assigned by students or teachers, and (c) the correlation between grades assigned by students and teachers. Students who engaged in self-grading performed better (g = .34) on subsequent tests than did students who did not. Moderator analyses suggested that the benefits of self-grading were estimated to be greater when the study controlled for group differences through random assignment. Students who engaged in peer-grading performed better on subsequent tests than did students who did not (g = .29). On average, students did not grade themselves or peers significantly differently than teachers (self-grades, g = .04; peer-grades, g = .04) and showed moderate correlation (self-grading, r = .67; peer-grading, r = .68) with teacher grades. Further, other moderator analyses and examination of studies suggested that self- and peer-grading practices can be implemented to positive effect in primary and secondary schools with the use of rubrics and training for students in a formative assessment environment. However, because of a limited number of studies, these mediating variables need more research to allow more conclusive findings. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Four semesters investigating frequency of testing, the testing effect, and transfer of training. 20170323
    We carried out 4 semester-long studies of student performance in a college research methods course (total N = 588). Two sections of it were taught each semester with systematic and controlled differences between them. Key manipulations were repeated (with some variation) across the 4 terms, allowing assessment of replicability of effects. Variables studied included frequency of tests (e.g., 2 vs. 8 in-class exams), the repetition of some and not other exam items (i.e., the testing effect), and variation of test items between the in-class exams and the final exam (e.g., identical items vs. controlled changes in items). Some studies also manipulated presence or absence of low-stakes quizzes. The repetition of test items generally led to better performance. However, we did not observe consistent superiority for items that were repeated exactly over those that were repeated in modified form; the reverse was more often the case. The effect of the low-stakes quizzes was minimal at best. Results are discussed in terms of memory and transfer of training models. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Learning-related cognitive self-regulation measures for prekindergarten children: A comparative evaluation of the educational relevance of selected measures. 20170406
    Many cognitive self-regulation (CSR) measures are related to the academic achievement of prekindergarten children and are thus of potential interest for school readiness screening and as outcome variables in intervention research aimed at improving those skills in order to facilitate learning. The objective of this study was to identify learning-related CSR measures especially suitable for such purposes by comparing the performance of promising candidates on criteria designed to assess their educational relevance for pre-K settings. A diverse set of 12 easily administered measures was selected from among those represented in research on attention, effortful control, and executive function, and applied to a large sample of pre-K children. Those measures were then compared on their ability to predict achievement and achievement gain, responsiveness to developmental change, and concurrence with teacher ratings of CSR-related classroom behavior. Four measures performed well on all those criteria: Peg Tapping, Head-Toes-Knees-Shoulders, the Kansas Reflection-Impulsivity Scale for Preschoolers, and Copy Design. Two others, Dimensional Change Card Sort and Backwards Digit Span, performed well on most of the criteria. Cross-validation with a new sample of children confirmed the initial evaluation of these measures and provided estimates of test–retest reliability. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Effects of a year long supplemental reading intervention for students with reading difficulties in fourth grade. 20170327
    Research examining effective reading interventions for students with reading difficulties in the upper elementary grades is limited relative to the information available for the early elementary grades. In the current study, we examined the effects of a multicomponent reading intervention for students with reading comprehension difficulties. We used a partially nested analysis with latent variables to adequately match the design of the study and provide the necessary precision of intervention effects. We examined the effects of the intervention on students’ latent word reading, latent vocabulary, and latent reading comprehension. In addition, we examined whether these effects differed for students of varying levels of reading or English language proficiency. Findings indicated the treatment significantly outperformed the comparison on reading comprehension (Effect Size = 0.38), but no overall group differences were noted on word reading or vocabulary. Students’ initial word reading scores moderated this effect. Reading comprehension effects were similar for English learner and non-English learner students. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Examining the relations between executive function, math, and literacy during the transition to kindergarten: A multi-analytic approach. 20170323
    The present study explored the bidirectional and longitudinal associations between executive function (EF) and early academic skills (math and literacy) across 4 waves of measurement during the transition from preschool to kindergarten using 2 complementary analytical approaches: cross-lagged panel modeling and latent growth curve modeling (LCGM). Participants included 424 children (49% female). On average, children were approximately 4.5 years old at the beginning of the study (M = 4.69, SD = .30) and 55% were enrolled in Head Start. Cross-lagged panel models indicated bidirectional relations between EF and math over preschool, which became directional in kindergarten with only EF predicting math. Moreover, there was a bidirectional relation between math and literacy that emerged in kindergarten. Similarly, LGCM revealed correlated growth between EF and math as well as math and literacy, but not EF and literacy. Exploring the patterns of relations across the waves of the panel model in conjunction with the patterns of relations between intercepts and slopes in the LGCMs led to a more nuanced understanding of the relations between EF and academic skills across preschool and kindergarten. Implications for future research on instruction and intervention development are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Achievement goals, reasons for goal pursuit, and achievement goal complexes as predictors of beneficial outcomes: Is the influence of goals reducible to reasons? 20170330
    In the present research, we proposed a systematic approach to disentangling the shared and unique variance explained by achievement goals, reasons for goal pursuit, and specific goal-reason combinations (i.e., achievement goal complexes). Four studies using this approach (involving nearly 1,800 participants) led to 3 basic sets of findings. First, when testing goals and reasons separately, mastery (-approach) goals and autonomous reasons explained variance in beneficial experiential (interest, satisfaction, positive emotion) and self-regulated learning (deep learning, help-seeking, challenging tasks, persistence) outcomes. Second, when testing goals and reasons simultaneously, mastery goals and autonomous reasons explained independent variance in most of the outcomes, with the predictive strength of each being diminished. Third, when testing goals, reasons, and goal complexes together, the autonomous mastery goal complex explained incremental variance in most of the outcomes, with the predictive strength of both mastery goals and autonomous reasons being diminished. Comparable results were observed for performance (-approach) goals, the autonomous performance goal complex, and performance goal-relevant outcomes. These findings suggest that achievement goals and reasons are both distinct and overlapping constructs, and that neither unilaterally eliminates the influence of the other. Integrating achievement goals and reasons offers the most promising avenue for a full account of competence motivation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Identifying pre–high school students’ science class motivation profiles to increase their science identification and persistence. 20170420
    One purpose of this study was to determine whether patterns existed in pre–high school students’ motivation-related perceptions of their science classes. Another purpose was to examine the extent to which these patterns were related to their science identification, gender, grade level, class effort, and intentions to persist in science. We collected data from pre–high school students (Grades 5 through 7, 52.5% female, and 90.7% who self-identified as White) from 2 rural public schools in Southwest Virginia. Our analysis included data from 937 questionnaires that measured students’ perceptions of empowerment/autonomy, usefulness/utility value, expectancy for success, situational interest, and caring in science class. Using cluster analysis, we identified 5 clusters (i.e., “motivation profiles”) of students: (a) low motivation, (b) low usefulness and interest but high success and caring, (c) somewhat high motivation, (d) somewhat high motivation and high success and caring, and (e) high motivation. We tested the cluster stability by cluster analyzing subsamples by year of data collection and by grade level. Significant relationships existed between these motivation profiles and students’ science identification, gender, grade level, science class effort, and intentions to persist in science. These findings may support science educators in targeting students with similar motivation profiles rather than adhering to the difficult and often unrealistic task of catering to each student’s complex needs, individually. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)
  • Ethnic composition and heterogeneity in the classroom: Their measurement and relationship with student outcomes. 20170323
    This study explores various measures of the ethnic makeup in a classroom and their relationship with student outcomes. We examine whether measures of ethnic diversity are related to achievement (mathematics, reading) and feeling of belonging with one’s peers over and above commonly investigated composition characteristics. Multilevel analyses were based on data from a representative sample of 18,762 elementary school students in 903 classrooms. The proportion of minority students and diversity measures showed negative associations with student outcomes in separate models. Including diversity measures and the proportion of minority students, diversity of minority students mostly lost its significance. However, the results suggest that diversity measures may provide additional information over and above other classroom characteristics for some student outcomes. The various measures of diversity led to comparable results. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2017 APA, all rights reserved)

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