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NAEP Design Overview → Special Studies

Special Studies

In addition to its main assessment, the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) coordinates one or two special studies each year.

Special Studies in 2003

Charter School Pilot Study

The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) conducted a pilot study of America's charter schools and their students as part of the 2003 NAEP assessments in reading and mathematics at the fourth-grade level. Charter schools are public schools of choice. They serve as alternatives to the regular public schools to which students are assigned. NAEP also surveyed participating charter schools about their practices, structure, and governance. While there are many similarities between charter schools and other public schools, they do differ in some important ways, including the makeup of the student population and their location.

Technology-Rich Environments Study

The Problem Solving in Technology-Rich Environments (TRE) study is one of three field investigations in NAEP's Technology-Based Assessment Project, which explores the use of new technology in NAEP. The TRE study was designed to demonstrate and explore innovative uses of computers in NAEP by developing two extended problem-solving scenarios. TRE focuses on the physical science associated with helium gas balloons used for space exploration. Both scenarios—a Search scenario and a Simulation scenario—were developed for grade 8 students.

Special Studies in 2002

Oral Reading Study

In 2002, NAEP conducted a special reading assessment to examine aspects of fourth-graders' oral reading performance that could not be observed from results of the main NAEP reading assessment. The results of the study were intended to inform educators and researchers about the oral reading abilities of fourth-graders and how those abilities relate to overall reading comprehension as measured by the 2002 main NAEP reading assessment.

Writing Online (WOL) Special Study

The Writing Online (WOL) study is one of three field investigations in NAEP's Technology-Based Assessment Project, which explores the use of new technology in administering NAEP. The study focused on issues associated with delivering existing constructed-response NAEP writing tasks on computer.

The WOL study was intended to help NAEP learn how computer delivery affects the measurement of NAEP performance-based writing skills, to gain insights into the operational and logistical mechanics of computer-delivered writing assessments, and to evaluate the ability of eighth-graders to deal with writing assessments delivered on computer. Students used a NAEP-developed word processor to write their responses to two essay topics—one informative and one persuasive—from the 2002 NAEP writing assessment.

Special Study in 2001: Mathematics Online Study

In the mathematics online (MOL) study, items were administered to a national sample of fourth- and eighth-grade students on school computers via the World Wide Web or on laptop computers brought into schools. Items that were originally developed for paper administration were assessed on both computer and paper in grade 8 and on computer in grade 4. In grade 8, two additional administrations took place using an instrument that contained item families (computer generated items) based on the original paper form. Issues pertaining to measurement, equity, efficiency, and operations were investigated. Learn more about the design, implementation, and results of this study in the National Center for Education Statistics NAEP website section titled Mathematics Online (MOL) Special Study.

Special Study in 2000: Market-Basket Study

A “market basket” is a specific collection of test items intended to be representative of a domain of items included in an assessment. Reporting assessment results in terms of the scores on this collection of items and publicly releasing the items are what is typically meant by market-basket reporting. In this study, two market-basket test forms were constructed and administered to a nationally representative sample of fourth-grade students. Results from each test form were compared with each other and with the results obtained by directly administering the market basket to separate nationally representative samples. The design, implementation, and results of the study are detailed in the Technical Report for the 2000 Market-Basket Study in Mathematics (494K PDF).

Last updated 29 September 2008 (RF)

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