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Probability can be a tough concept for students to understand. Yet, it is foundational for understanding statistics topics typically taught in the middle school curriculum and for making informed decisions in the real world.

The researchers of the Diagnostic Inventories for Cognition in Education (DICE) project are developing an assessment that targets reasoning covered in the statistics and probability domains of most states' middle grades math standards as well as in the Common Core State Standards.

We hope that our assessment will help teachers pinpoint the individual concepts that each student is struggling to understand. Our assessment is unique because it uses a new method that enables us to provide feedback about students' overall performance and identify students who may be reasoning with misconceptions.

About the Study

We are looking for 6th through 9th grade mathematics teachers to administer the current version of the assessment to their students so that we can determine how well the questions are measuring student reasoning.

The assessment is delivered online; teachers will receive instant feedback from the assessment and a gift card for completing the study requirements (described below).

Who Can Participate?

To be eligible to participate, you must meet both of the following criteria:

  • Teach 6th, 7th, 8th, or 9th grade mathematics
  • Teach at least 20 general education students who typically take assessments in English and without accommodations

If you would like to participate, but do not meet one or more of the above criteria, please email us to discuss if there might still be a way for you to participate!

What is the Subject Matter?

The DICE assessment targets reasoning covered in most states' middle grades math standards as well as in the middle grade Statistics and Probability domain of the Common Core State Standards.

What Does Participation Involve?

We know it can be difficult to set aside class time to participate in research. We have structured the study to allow some flexibility in how and when teachers allow their students to participate. In addition, we hope this assessment gives students an opportunity to practice problem solving and reasoning in probability and gives teachers information about their students' reasoning.

There are two participation options:

A. Administer either the DICE Exploring Probability assessment OR the DICE Chance and Data assessment.

We estimate that either assessment will take one class period to administer (approximately 30-45 minutes).

B. Administer both the DICE Exploring Probability assessment AND the DICE Chance and Data assessment.

We estimate each assessment will take one class period to administer (approximately 60-90 minutes total, broken across two classes).

Assessment Details

  • The assessments must be administered within the study dates.
  • The assessments can be given over multiple class periods or over multiple days. The assessments do not need to be given on consecutive days.
  • The assessments are online and can be administered by a teacher anytime and from any location.
  • The assessment can be administered to a whole class of students at once or to smaller groups of students at different points in time.

Prior to administering the DICE assessments, teachers will facilitate students in completing a brief online orientation on how to navigate the online testing system. Teachers will also administer a brief student survey containing five demographic questions.

After these activities are complete, teachers will complete a Teacher Exit Survey to provide feedback about participating. This survey will take approximately 10-15 minutes to complete.

What Are the Benefits of Participating?

During the administration of the DICE assessments:

  • Teachers will receive results about specific misconceptions that their students exhibit on the assessment.
  • Students will receive results when they complete each assessment.

Upon completion of Teacher Exit Survey:

  • Teachers will receive a gift card for their participation (if allowed under school/district policy).
  • Teachers who complete the Teacher Exit survey about either the Exploring Probability or the Chance and Data assessment will receive a $75 gift card.
  • Teachers who complete the survey about both the Exploring Probability and the Chance and Data assessment will receive a $125 gift card. This is one survey that asks about both assessments.
  • Teachers will receive access to a collection of resources for teaching and assessing probability and statistics in middle grades. (Use of these resources is optional.)

Upon completion of the DICE project:

  • Teachers will receive access to the fully developed assessment system. The project is estimated to be completed in July, 2021 and future use of the system is optional.

When Will This Study Happen?

Our research will be conducted in two rounds. Teachers can choose to participate in Round 1, Round 2, or both rounds. We recommend choosing the round(s) that best fit(s) with your curriculum and instructional plan.

Teachers may participate in both rounds only if the assessments are administered to different groups of students in Round 1 and Round 2. The same students cannot participate in both rounds. Teachers who participate in both rounds by completing a Teacher Exit Survey in each round will receive two gift cards (one for each round).

Round 1: Fall 2019 - Spring 2020

  • Dates: Nov. 18–Jan. 31 and Mar. 9–Jun. 19
  • Grades: Teachers/Students in 6th, 7th, and 8th grades are eligible.
  • Note: 9th grade teachers and their students are no longer eligible to participate in Round 1.

Round 2: Fall 2021

  • Dates: Beginning in August or September (specific dates to be announced)
  • Grades: Teachers/Students in 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th grades are eligible.

What Technology is Needed?

The DICE assessments can be administered on any Internet-connected computer, laptop, or tablet. Assessments should not be administered on smartphones. There are no browser or operating system restrictions.

Do I Need to Get Permission to Participate?

The DICE project has received Institutional Review Board approval from the University of Georgia. We require teachers to get approval from their Principal or other school or district administrator with the authority to approve participation in research (e.g., Superintendent, Assistant Principal, Vice Principal, Assistant Superintendent, etc.). We will provide teachers with a link to an online DICE Participation Approval Form that they can send to the Principal or other party to provide this approval.

Each participating teacher must also abide by any additional school or district rules or restrictions about research participation. If your school or district requires the DICE research team to apply for approval or submit any documentation to your administration, please indicate that when completing the Teacher Enrollment Form (link is below under HOW CAN I SIGN UP). If you are unsure if further approval is required, we will determine this from the administrator who completes the DICE Participation Approval Form.

We do not require teachers to obtain parental permission because the research will be conducted in a common educational setting, involve the standard educational practice of a teacher administering an online assessment to his/her students as part of business as usual instruction. Further, researchers will not be present nor have any direct interaction with students and will not receive any personally identifiable information about students. However, each participating teacher must abide by any school or district rules or restrictions about obtaining parental permission.

How Can I Get More Information?

Email Research Matters with any questions or for more information.

How Can I Sign Up?

Once you have completed our Teacher Enrollment Form, a researcher will contact you to confirm your eligibility and give you a link to use to obtain school/district approval. You can then begin the study.

Teacher Enrollment Form

Who is Conducting and Funding This Project?

The DICE project is being conducted by researchers from The University of Georgia, Research Matters, North Carolina State University, and the University of Central Florida. The DICE project is funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES).