University of Oregon

Current Research Projects


Pre-K and K-2015-2020

Project Iceberg (Intensifying Cognition, Early literacy, and Behavior for Exceptional Reading Growth) aims to enhance early learning data-based decision-making for preventing reading disabilities in preschool and kindergarten classrooms. Our primary goal is to build tablet-based resources and products for helping teachers effectively address children’s identified early risk for reading difficulties. view more

“Tablet Administration Pilot Study – Phase 2 (Oregon Extended Assessment/ORExt)

Date: Spring 2017

The Oregon Extended Assessment was redesigned in the 2014-15 school year in order to develop a vertical scale that would support modeling of academic growth for students with significant cognitive disabilities. The test design was also structured to support future tablet administrations. Phase 1 of the ORExt tablet study provided documentation regarding test administration comparability between the typical paper-pencil administration and tablet administration, as well as important feedback from teachers regarding how to improve the ORExt test application.

Behavioral Research & Teaching will be conducting a follow-up study in the spring of 2017 where students who take the ORExt will participate in a tablet-based administration of the assessment at the district level in Grades 5, 8, & 11. The focus of the study is to ensure that database communications between BRT and Oregon Department of Education are secure and functional in preparation for statewide tablet administration options planned for next year. Please contact Dan Farley at if you are interested in participating in the study.”

Modeling Growth for Students who Participate in AA-AAS ( Alternate Assessment based on Alternate Achievement Standards)

Date: Current

Dan Farley is currently researching the prerequisites for modeling the magnitude of academic growth for students with significant cognitive disabilities (SWSCDs) who participate in alternate assessments based on alternate achievement standards (AA-AAS). Modeling the magnitude of growth presents many measurement challenges, such as the need for a common scale and missing data, even in general education statewide assessment contexts. Modeling growth for students who participate in AA-AAS is even more complex because of small sample sizes and population heterogeneity, among other factors. His research includes a literature synthesis, as well as multilevel modeling techniques to determine what the prerequisites for measuring growth, what typical growth for SWSCDs looks like, and what covariates affect growth estimates. It is hoped that the research findings will help support states attempting to implement growth-based accountability systems using AA-AAS results.

Computerized Oral Reading Evaluation (CORE)

Date: 2015-2016

Traditional oral reading fluency assessments are quite useful in predicting students’ general reading proficiency, and although it only takes a couple minutes to assess one student, it requires a lot time and resources assess an entire classroom or school because each student is tested individually. CORE would help solve this problem by containing an automated speech recognition engine that scores students’ oral reading so that many students can be tested at once. In addition, CORE uses an advanced psychometric model to overcome some of the inadequacies of traditional oral reading assessments. The purpose of CORE is to help alleviate the resource demands of one-to-one testing administration, increase the reliability of fluency scores, and reduce instructional time lost to testing for both teachers and students. view more

Spanish Language Vocabulary Pilot Study (easyCBM)

Date: 2016 Grades: 2-12

In response to requests from educators, we have begun work on adding Spanish-language vocabulary assessments to the measures available on the easyCBM Deluxe and District editions. A crucial step is gathering empirical data on how the newly-written vocabulary items work with students in selected grades.

Behavioral Research and Teaching will be conducting a study in the spring and fall of 2016 where Native Spanish Speakers in grades 2-12 will take a series of Spanish language vocabulary items on a secure online item piloting website. No identifying information will be collected about the students participating in the study, although teachers who participate and who want to receive a free one-year subscription to the easyCBM Deluxe Edition will need to provide their contact information (email, school, and state). If you are interested in participating in the study, please contact Julie Alonzo at