Papers and ReportsThese articles and papers by members of the IRIS staff and others cover a variety of topics.

Published Articles

  • Are Online Sources for Identifying Evidence-Based Practices Trustworthy? An Evaluation
    David W. Test, Amy Kemp-Inman, Karen Diegelmann, Sara Beth Hitt, and Lauren Bethune conducted an analysis of the trustworthiness of Websites that claimed to provide information on evidence-based practices in special education. The IRIS Center was among only a small handful of sites that received top ratings for both levels of trust and quality of evidence.
  • Citation: Test, D. W., Kemp-Inman, A., Diegelmann, K., Hitt, S. B., & Bethune, L. (2015). Are online sources for identifying evidence-based practices trustworthy? An evaluation. Exceptional Children, 82(1), 1–23.
  • Effective Inclusive Education: Equipping Education Professionals with Necessary Skills and Knowledge (PDF)
    This article—prepared by Naomi Tyler and Deborah Deutsch Smith and published in a 2011 issue of Prospects—examines the increasing need for technology based solutions to the challenge of preparing teachers to work with students with disabilities in inclusive settings. The paper presents an overview of the IRIS resources, including a close look at the STAR Legacy Cycle upon which the Center’s series of Modules is based as well as an overview of recent field testing into the effectiveness of those Modules as learning tools.
  • Citation: Smith, D. D., & Tyler, N. C. (2011). Effective inclusive education: Equipping education professionals with necessary skills and knowledge. Prospects, 41, 323–339.
  • The Efficacy of IRIS STAR Legacy Modules Under Different Instructional Conditions
    Among their findings on the effectiveness of IRIS Modules, Kristin L. Sayeski, Bethany Hamilton-Jones, and Susan Oh reported that “Strong effect sizes from pretest to posttest were found across all three [of the included] modules across all conditions.” Other significant findings support the use of IRIS Modules in flipped classroom conditions, particularly for content on procedural knowledge of implementation of evidence-based practices, and maintenance of that knowledge over time.
  • Citation: Sayeski, K. L., Hamilton-Jones, B., & Oh, S. (2015). The efficacy of IRIS STAR Legacy Modules under different instructional conditions. Teacher Education and Special Education, 38(4), 291–305.
  • Improved Lesson Planning with Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
    This article—prepared by Susan Joan Courey, Phyllis Tappe, Jody Siker, and Pam LePage—offers an overview of the effect of UDL on classroom lesson plans. Findings indicate that UDL instruction during teacher preparation did indeed lead to more varied lesson plans and classroom strategies. Our own STAR Legacy Module on Universal Design for Learning, and a graphic from that resource, are used as references in the piece.
  • Citation: Courey, S. J., Tappe, P., Siker, J., & LePage, P. (2012). Improved lesson planning with Universal Design for Learning (UDL). Teacher Education and Special Education, 36(1), 7–27.
  • IRIS On-line Course Enhancements (PDF)
    This paper was published in New Horizons for Learning Online Journal, Vol. XI No. 3, Fall 2005.
  • Citation: Smith, D. D., Pion, G., Skow, K., Tyler, N., Yzquierdo, Z., & Brown, J. (2005). On-line course enhancement modules and materials for use in the preparation of education professionals. New Horizons for Learning, 11(3).
  • Right at Your Fingertips: Important Web-Based Resources for Understanding Evidence-Based Practices
    This article features information on a number of centers featuring reliable information about evidence-based practices and programs, including the IRIS Center.
  • Citation: Purper, C. J. (2015). Right at your fingertips: Important Web-based resources for understanding evidence-based practices. Early Childhood Education Journal, 1–6.

Conference Proceedings

  • Crossing the Borders of Disabilities: Providing Research-Based and Technology- Delivered Information and Materials for Educators of Students with Disabilities (PDF)
    Submitted to the XIV World Congress of Comparative Education Societies, in Istanbul, Turkey, in May 2010, this paper overviews the IRIS Center’s STAR Legacy Modules in the context of global efforts to provide an increasingly effective education to students with disabilities. The paper includes notes on the Center’s Modules geared toward school leaders.
  • Citation: Tyler, N., & Sims, P. (2010, May). Crossing the borders of disabilities: Providing research-based and technology-delivered information and materials for educators of students with disabilities. Paper submitted to the XIV World Congress of Comparative Education Societies, Istanbul, Turkey. 
  • The IRIS Center for Training Enhancements: Providing Online Instructional Resources about Students with Special Needs (PDF)
    In this paper—which was drafted as part of the IRIS Center’s participation in the 2010 Inclusive and Supportive Education Conference (ISEC) at Queens University in Belfast, Ireland—the authors examine the series of STAR Legacy Modules created and made freely available by the IRIS Center for Training Enhancements. Included is a description of the learning theory upon which those Modules are based and a look at the field-testing and the research into learning outcomes associated with the use of the IRIS resources. The paper finds also that online materials and resources have become increasingly popular with learners in recent years and suggests that these resources can be used to help prepare teachers for careers in an environment in which the need to stay abreast of current research and trends has become increasingly challenging.
  • Citation: Smith, D. D., & Robb, S. M. (2010). The IRIS Center for Training Enhancements: Providing online instructional resources about students with special needs. Paper presented at the Inclusive and Supportive Education Congress: Promoting Diversity and Inclusive Practice, Queen’s University, Belfast.
  • Online Learning and Teacher Education: Knowledge Acquisition, Application Skills, and Reported Confidence (PDF)
    This paper, prepared in advance of the 38th Annual Conference of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, held in Vilnius, Lithuania, offer details about the superior performance of college students after the use of free, online instructional Modules produced by the IRIS Center. When compared to traditional teacher education methods, IRIS Modules yield better outcomes in terms of knowledge acquisition, application skills, and confidence in the use of evidence-based practices (EBPs).
  • Citation: Smith, D. D., & Bryant, D. P. (2014, July). Online learning and teacher education: Knowledge acquisition, application skills, and reported confidence. Paper presented at the 38th Annual Conference of the International Academy for Research in Learning Disabilities, Vilnius, Lithuania.
  • Preparing School Leaders to Effectively Support Special Education Programs: Using Modules in Educational Leadership (PDF)
    This paper, presented at the 2006 Annual Meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration, was composed by Mariela A. Rodriguez, James Gentilucci, and Pearl G. Sims and appears here by their permission.
  • Citation: Rodriguez, M. A., Gentilucci, J., & Sims, P. G. (2006, November). Preparing school leaders to effectively support special education programs: Using modules in educational leadership. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the University Council for Educational Administration, San Antonio, Texas.

Magazines & Newsletters

  • An IRIS for the Teacher (PDF)
    This overview, written by Joanne Lamphere Beckham and published in the Summer 2011 Peabody Reflector, offers a brief history of the IRIS Center and a look at the theoretical framework undergirding the Center’s STAR Legacy Modules.
  • Citation: Beckham, J. L. (2011). An IRIS for the teacher. Peabody Reflector, 20–21.
  • The IRIS Center: Professional Development at Our Fingertips (PDF)
    This professional development provider’s overview of the IRIS Center and its resources was written by Kit Giddings, a program specialist with the Utah Personnel Development Center, and published in the September 2011 edition of The Utah Special Educator.
  • Citation: Giddings, K. (2011). The IRIS Center: Professional development at our fingertips. The Utah Special Educator, 34(1), 34–35.
  • Managing Classroom Behavior: Learning How (PDF)
    This article offers an overview of classroom behavior management, the Acting-Out Cycle, and evidence-based behavior interventions, and includes information and links to IRIS Center resources about behavior for those who wish to learn more.
  • Citation: Werner, S., Purper, C., & Vanderpyle, T. (2014). Managing classroom behavior: Learning how. The Special EDge: Student Behavior, 27(3), 1–4.
  • RTI: What It Is and How the TN-State Improvement Grant Responded (PDF)
    This paper looks at the ways in which high-quality reading instruction intersects with the response to intervention (RTI) approach to meet the needs of beginning readers, to provide additional support to struggling learners, and to help identify students with specific learning disabilities as described in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act 2004. As the state of Tennessee has moved to implement RTI, many school districts have turned to the state’s Department of Education (TN DOE) for support. The paper also outlines the TN DOE’s current policies related to the implementation of the RTI approach.
  • Citation: Yzquierdo, Z. A., & Tyler, N. C. (2009). RTI: What it is and how the TN-State Improvement Grand responded. Tennessee Reading Teacher, 37(1), 13–24.

IRIS Center Papers

  • Use of the IRIS Center’s Resources at Institutions of Higher Education with Approved Special Education Licensure Programs: 2013–2014 Academic Year (PDF)
    This report specifically addresses one aspect of the IRIS Center’s work: the use of the Center’s Website by faculty working to prepare new teachers. Data collection efforts sought to determine the Center’s current use—how many colleges and universities offering state-approved special education personnel preparation programs use IRIS resources in their coursework. Assessment of use is important for evaluation purposes and strategic planning.
  • Citation: The IRIS Center. (2014). Use of the IRIS Center’s resources at institutions of higher education with approved special education licensure programs: 2013–2014 academic year. Claremont, CA: The IRIS Center.
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The IRIS Center Peabody College Vanderbilt University Nashville, TN 37203 The IRIS Center is funded through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) Grant #H325E120002. The contents of this Website do not necessarily represent the policy of the U.S. Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government. Project Officer, Sarah Allen.

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