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Participate in Research
As a non-profit organization founded by the creator of Direct Instruction, the National Institute for Direct Instruction pursues opportunities to conduct high quality research on the effects of Direct Instruction on a wide range of students in different settings. Additional information regarding participation in a research study is outlined below. NIFDI is interested in partnering with sites that can help us demonstrate the positive effect of the full immersion (comprehensive) model of Direct Instruction on student achievement. We have found that the maximum benefit of the model for students takes place at the earliest grade levels. We are generally most interested in beginning the implementation of DI in early childhood programs or at primary grade levels then expanding the implementation by a grade each year into the intermediate grades. This way, students' performance is accelerated as they progress through the grades. It also allows NIFDI to meet our goal of demonstrating the effect of the DI approach, as cohorts coming up from the primary grades will perform at a much higher level than current students.
What opportunities are available?
Current opportunities include:
- Beginning Reading (K-3)
- Early Childhood Education (ages 3-5)
- English Language Learners (all ages and subjects)
- Elementary and Middle School Math
What are the benefits of participating?
- Provide implementation support at no cost.
- Provide pre-service training for all teachers assigned to the treatment group.
- Provide off-site data analysis and feedback via conference calls.
- Administer assessments to students at pre-determined intervals.
- Share student performance outcomes with school and district administrators.
- Provide small stipends for each participating teacher who completes self-efficacy surveys.
- Partial support for material purchaes may also be available.
What will be expected of participating schools?
Participating schools will implement Direct Instruction curricula fully with select students. This will involve:
- Assigning a staff member to coordinate the DI implementation and act as the main point of contact with NIFDI.
- Providing a sufficient number of trained staff to teach DI successfully.
- Working with NIFDI on scheduling to ensure adequate student progress in the DI programs.
- Grouping students for instruction by skill level and regrouping students as needed.
- Supplying NIFDI with student progress and student mastery data in a timely fashion and following the advice of NIFDI consultants.
- Agreeing to assign students to treatment and control conditions using NIFDI procedures.
- These requirements will be discussed during an initial phone conversation with your school and developed into a mutually agreeable Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
What are the steps for setting up a research site?
NIFDI is a small, non-profit organization that supports implementations of DI in about 60 schools across the country (plus 3 schools in Australia). As a small organization, we cannot afford to fund many research projects. We must fund only those projects with the highest prospects for success. Below is a summary of the process of establishing a research project to ensure success and how this process applies to schools.
Step one in establishing a research project involves jointly determining the focus of the project (grade ranges, subject areas, duration, student and teacher involvement) and the key parameters of the research project (the research design, measures used, form of assignment, etc.).
The second step in establishing a research project is to review the DI model for the grade levels and subject areas agreed to by both parties. The implementation of DI is successful only when certain requirements are met, and these requirements vary slightly by grade level, subject area and the performance level of the students. There are a number of elements required for a successful implementation. These requirements are outlined in the Essential Elements handout.
The third step in establishing a research project is to develop a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that serves as a guiding document for the research project. The MOU lists the requirements of the school or district for implementing the DI model and providing access to students and data. It also lists the benefits that the school and district will receive, including free training and coaching by NIFDI, free materials for the focus areas of the research project, and small stipends for teachers who participate in surveys. The MOU includes a confidentiality commitment by NIFDI that no individual students will be identified in any publications resulting from the study. Below is a sample MOU. The agreement is customized to reflect the joint agreement NIFDI and the school or district develop together.
The above steps are the most important ones involving the school/district directly. The remaining steps in the research process are internal to NIFDI and don't involve directly involve the school or district: conducting the research and publishing the results.
I think this might be appropriate for my school. What should I do now?
If this opportunity sounds like a potential fit for your school or district, please complete and submit the Check-Off Form for Implementing the Full Immersion Direct Instruction Model. You can fax your completed form to Kurt Engelmann at 541.683.7543.