Cohort 8 Stepping Up Technology Implementation
Southern Methodist University Institute for Evidence-Based Education
An Experimental Examination of e-Nimble:
The Coaching Solution with Special Education
Nationally schools are being required to achieve higher academic outcomes with all students, including students with learning disabilities (LD). The burden for achieving higher outcomes with these students is shouldered largely by special education resource room teachers who typically are providing the best instruction they know how to provide. Many of these teachers face a number of barriers to providing the powerful reading instruction required to ameliorate reading disabilities. For these teachers to become maximally effective, they may require on-going support to plan and deliver instruction matched to the individual needs of their students. Coaching, one proven mechanism for providing this assistance, connects teachers with an individual who is both highly supportive and highly knowledgeable about the most effective research-based reading instructional routines.
This project features a technology-based coaching system called e-Nimble: The Coaching Solution. e-Nimble’s platform is built on a cutting edge, fully unified teleconferencing system that allows a coach and a team of teachers to collaborate and support one another as a professional community from a distance via desk-top teleconferencing. To date, it is the only one of its kind.
Participants will consist of 45 resource room teachers in 45 schools and approximately 450 students with LD receiving resource room reading instruction. The project will compare the effectiveness of 3 models of student-focused coaching support on the reading outcomes of students with LD who receive their reading instruction in resource rooms: (a) technology-based coaching, (b) on-site Coaching, and (c) on-demand coaching.
he project’s goal is to examine the impact over time that technology-based coaching has on improving the quality of reading instruction delivered by resource room teachers and on the resulting student outcomes in reading. Further, the project seeks to determine if there are differential effects between on-site and technology-based coaching, the latter of which can be a cost-effective way for districts to deliver on-going professional development to teachers of students with LD.