Making the Case: Compelling Data
This growing library features data points describing the impacts and outcomes of student-centered and competency-based teaching and learning. The data are sourced from research studies, evaluation reports and journal articles, as well as evidence collected directly by classroom, school, district and state leaders.
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Peer and Self-Assessment Boosts Learning
This meta-analysis of 175 independent studies involving 19,383 participants found that self-assessment (SA) and/or peer-assessment (PA) interventions had a significant positive overall effect on academic performance, as measured by grades and test-scores. There was no significant difference in effect between SA and PA.
Educators Report More Use of Formative Assessments
Results of a 2022 national survey of educators showed, though summative assessments increased from 2021, teachers are adopting a more balanced approach to assessment. 81% of surveyed teachers used formative assessments in 2022, a 5% increase from 2021, and 78% used benchmark/interim assessments, a 20% increase.
Project-Based Learning Promises Gains in Social Studies and Science
Looking at 20 studies on project-based learning, researchers found a positive effect on student learning in Social Studies and Science, and to a smaller degree, math and literacy.
Project-Based Learning Increases Knowledge Transference
In a study investigating the student-level impacts of high quality project-based activities 62% of students performed proficient or higher on a performance assessment requiring them to transfer knowledge to a new situation.
Accountability Systems Focused on Growth Promote Academic Performance
Performance in schools with accountability systems that focused on state grade-level proficiency grew 7 percentile points, while those that operated under accountability systems that rewarded student growth (and prioritized individual student needs) grew 38 percentile points.
Project-Based Learning Increases Achievement in Elementary
On average, third graders in project-based classrooms performed eight percentage points better on the science assessment as compared with students in the control group classrooms.
Project-Based Learning Increases Achievement in AP Courses
Findings from the first year of the Knowledge in Action project-based learning approach revealed an increase in the likelihood of earning a score of three or higher on the AP U.S. Government or AP Environmental Science test by about eight percentage points.
Clarity of Learning Targets Positively Impacts Student Learning
Several student learning capacities (e.g., intrinsic motivation, utility of math/ELA; locus of control, self-management and preparation for courses) were perceived by educators as positively impacted by increased clarity of learning targets in a competency-based system.
Mastery-Based Strategies Bolster Intrinsic Motivation
In an analysis of schools in three states, some competency-based education practices (e.g., clarity and required attainment of learning targets; use of multiple assessment types) were perceived as increasing students’ intrinsic motivation.
Students at Learner-Centered Schools See Greater ELA and Math Gains
Students who started in the bottom quartile from Next Generation Learning Challenge schools demonstrated greater gains than students in a matched comparison group on the NWEA MAP English Language Arts and Math interim assessments after two years.
Students Complete Requirements Faster in Competency-Based District
Elementary and middle school students in a competency-based district in Colorado who were academically behind completed math and literacy performance level requirements faster than students in a traditional school system.
Competency-Based District Sees Reading and Math Gains
In the performance-based Lindsay Unified School District in California, student growth in the Smarter Balance Assessment increased by 7% in English/Language Arts and 5% in math, exceeding county and state growth in 2019.