…there are even more reasons to consider the potential of PEG Writing to make a positive impact on student achievement in your schools.
In a recently completed two-year study of Utah Compose*, the Utah-specific version of the PEG Writing program, Dr. Joshua Wilson of the University of Delaware School of Education found a positive association between Utah Compose usage and increased performance on both the ELA and Writing tests of Utah’s statewide assessment, SAGE.
The data were collected from two samples over two academic years:
- 225,121 students in Grades 3-11 from 877 schools who used Utah Compose in the 2014-15 school year
- 114,582 students in Grades 4-11 from 690 schools who used Utah Compose in both 2014-15 and 2015-16 school years.
The focus of the study was to determine the effects of Utah Compose usage specifically in relation to performance on the Utah SAGE ELA and Writing tests administered over the two years. Using predictor measures and outcome measures, Dr. Wilson collected and analyzed data from the samples to model performance on both individual student and school levels.
The main findings confirm that Utah Compose provided positive instructional benefits resulting in significant gains on SAGE ELA and Writing tests. Increases in the numbers of essays, drafts per essay, and lessons completed in Utah Compose, the predictor measures, were associated with higher SAGE ELA and Writing scores, the outcome measures in the samples. The measures taken in 2015 established clear trends in the relationship between PEG usage and SAGE performance. In 2016, with the data controlled for achievement on the 2015 SAGE test and demographics, outcomes reflect added gains for all measures from the 2015 results.
The story by the numbers:
- Students who spend more time practicing their writing can improve their skills. Every additional essay students wrote was associated with an average increase of 1.52 points on the 2015 SAGE ELA test and 2.17 points of the Writing test. In 2016, the average increase was 1.44 points on the ELA test and 2.96 points on the Writing test.
- Students who get feedback and use it to revise their work can gain insights that sharpen their writing skills. Increasing the number of drafts per essay written was associated with a total 15.42 point increase on the 2015 SAGE ELA test and 17.78 point increase on the 2015 Writing test, with effects leveling off after 5 drafts per essay. In 2016, each additional draft per essay was associated with added gains of 4.77 points on the ELA test and 9.17 points on the Writing test.
- Students who work independently by doing lessons in Utah Compose can improve their overall writing performance. Every additional minute students spent doing lessons in Utah Compose was associated with a 0.53 point increase on the 2015 SAGE ELA test and a 0.43 increase on the Writing test. In 2016, the average increase showed added gains of 0.25 points on the ELA test and 0.08 points on the Writing test.
- Schools can benefit by emphasizing revision and feedback in writing practice in their literacy programs. As with student-level results, the largest effect on ELA performance at the school level was shown in the predictive measure of how many drafts per essay students completed. Greater engagement with revision and feedback capabilities of Utah Compose, indicated by higher numbers of drafts per essay, showed a positive association with increased performance averages for schools, with 17.09 point increase in ELA score and 19.30 point increase on the Writing test. In 2016, the added gains were 3.32 points for each additional draft completed per essay.
Whether you currently use PEG Writing or would like to try PEG Writing, we invite you to contribute to our ongoing research
Many questions remain to be explored for PEG Writing in general. How can PEG Writing be best incorporated in a writing program to maximize its benefits? Do different strategies lead to different outcomes? Which features do students and teachers find most helpful or useful?
Whether you currently use PEG Writing or would like to try PEG Writing, we invite you to participate in our ongoing research to answer these questions and more. PEG Writing is about developing practical knowledge, learning by doing. That is not possible without testing the theoretical structure of the program in myriad real-world environments and approaches to application.
Currently, some PEG Writing clients in Texas have agreed to share their anonymous usage data with MI and Dr. Wilson to broaden the scope of the research. If you are a current client, we hope you will consider doing the same. If you are new to PEG Writing, we would like to offer you a free trial period to explore the program and share your insights with us.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to learn more about the effects PEG Writing is having, or could have, on your students.
*Wilson, J. (2017, May). Findings from analyses of Utah Compose and SAGE data for academic year 2015-16 and Findings from analyses of Utah Compose and SAGE data for academic year 2014-15. Reports for Measurement Incorporated and the Utah state Board of Education