Independent Evaluation of using self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) and memorable experiences to improve writing quality: Two Cluster Randomised Controlled Trials (Calderdale 2)

The York Trials Unit (YTU) has been appointed as an independent evaluator by the Education Endowment Foundation (EEF) to evaluate the use of self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) and memorable experiences to improve writing quality.

The SRSD evaluation is a scaled up effectiveness trial which aims to build on insights learned in undertaking an efficacy trial. The study will evaluate two pragmatic cluster randomised controlled trials of the self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) and memorable experiences programme to improve writing quality in children leading up to their KS2 assessments and has recruited 84 schools.

Schools were randomised on a 1:1 basis to either the intervention arm or the control group (wait list).

The SRSD intervention is a continung professional development (CPD) training programme for Year 5 and Year 6 teachers at participating primary schools. In schools allocated to the intervention group children in Years 5 and 6 will be taught by teachers trained in SRSD. Self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) is a writing process model in which students are encouraged to plan, draft, edit and revise their writing. SRSD is a strategy which provides a clear structure to assist writers and can be used for most genres of writing, including narrative writing. There are six basic stages of instruction and four strategies for self-regulation, which include self-monitoring and goal setting, thus providing pupils with ownership for improving their own writing. SRSD uses ‘heuristics’ which provide scaffolding of structures and devices that aid the composition of argumentative writing – in particular planning – which can include examining a question, brainstorming, organising and sequencing ideas and evaluating. 

Primary Research Questions

  • Trial 1: What is the effectiveness of SRSD with memorable experiences when delivered for one year to pupils in Year 6, compared with 'teaching as usual', on the writing skills of participating children?
  • Trial 2: What is the effectiveness of SRSD with memorable experiences when delivered for two years  to pupils beginning in Year 5 and moving into Year 6, compared with pupils receiving 'usual teaching', on the writing skills of participating children?

Conducting two trials in this way will allow researchers to assess whether there is a dosage effect of the intervention.

Outcomes

The primary outcome will by KS2 writing (teacher assessed) at one year (Trial 1) or at two years (Trial 2).

Secondary outcomes will include KS2 reading, KS2 spelling, punctuation, and grammar, KS2 Mathsat one year (Trial 1) or at two years (Trial 2).

Trial Protocol

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Funding

Funder(s): Education Edowment Foundation (EEF)
Start Date: November 2014
Expiry Date: April 2018

Trials and Statistics Research in the Department of Health Sciences