The feasibility of using virtual professional development to support teachers in making data-based decisions to improve students’ writing

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Regan, Kelley
Evmenova, Anya S.
Mergen, Reagan L.
Verbiest, Courtney
Hutchison, Amy
Murnan, Reagan
Field, Sara
Gafurov, Boris

Regan, K., Evmenova, A.S., Mergen, R.L., Verbiest, C., Hutchison, A., Murnan, R., Field, S. and Gafurov, B. (2023), The Feasibility of Using Virtual Professional Development to Support Teachers in Making Data-Based Decisions to Improve Students’ Writing. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice.


Rubrics can be used to give students targeted feedback on their writing and, therefore, teachers should be able to use them as a type of formative assessment to guide writing instruction. This article describes an exploratory study of how three teachers provided instruction for fourth, fifth, and seventh graders with learning disabilities and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in using a technology-based graphic organizer (TBGO) to compose persuasive essays. Given professional development inclusive of online modules, long-range plans, and virtually facilitated professional learning communities, the teachers used a digital dashboard to (a) monitor students? writing progress with a genre-specific analytic rubric, (b) target a specific instructional skill, and (c) document their instructional decision(s). The article illustrates how educators can effectively use genre-specific writing rubrics in practice to make data-driven decisions about student writing.

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