Field Test Data

The IRIS Center uses field-testing as a method of evaluating its Modules. During this process, college and university faculty use one of the IRIS Modules as part of their instruction, and their students complete a survey that assesses their reactions to that Module. As of this writing, forty-five IRIS Modules have been field-tested. A Module is considered “field-tested” when at least 50 students respond to the survey. The table below lists the Modules that have been field-tested and the number of students completing the survey for each Module.

Module Name Number of Respondents
Accessing the general education curriculum 150
Accommodations 88
Accountability 65
Addressing disruptive and noncompliant behaviors (Part 1) 73
Addressing disruptive and noncompliant behaviors (Part 2) 52
Addressing the revolving door 56
Assistive technology 63
Bookshare 75
Classroom assessment (Part 1) 63
Classroom assessment (Part 2) 51
Collaborating with families 58
Content standards 145
CSR: A reading comprehension strategy 69
Cultural and linguistic differences 65
Differentiated instruction 67
Effective school practices 74
Fidelity of implementation 84
Functional behavioral assessment 76
Guiding the school counselor 66
How people learn 50
Improving writing performance 59
Instructional accommodations 52
PALS: A reading strategy for grades 2-6 116
PALS: A reading strategy for grades K-1 53
PALS: A reading strategy for high school 75
The pre-referral process 61
Providing instructional supports 68
RTI (Part 1): Overview 81
RTI (Part 2): Assessment 106
RTI (Part 3): Reading instruction 68
RTI (Part 5): A closer look at tier 3 75
RTI: Considerations for school leaders 54
RTI: Mathematics 53
School counselors 65
School nurses 57
Serving students with visual disabilities 66
SOS: Helping students become independent learners 110
SRSD: Using learning strategies to enhance student learning 54
Supporting beginning special educators 56
Teaching and learning in New Mexico 57
Teaching English language learners 71
Universal design for learning 67
What do you see? 112
Who’s in charge? 71
You’re in charge 93

Current IRIS Field-Testing Activities

In 2012 the IRIS Center revised its field-testing surveys and administration procedures. New items were added to both the student and faculty surveys and other items were changed or deleted. The survey was converted from a pencil-and-paper measure to an online measure. The description below applies to the most recent field-testing data collected from June 2012 through May 2013.

Faculty Participants

Thirty-nine faculty at forty colleges and universities around the country participated in the field-testing of IRIS Modules. Field-testers were chosen from among faculty who expressed interest in field-testing in response to an IRIS listserv announcement regarding field-testing. Faculty told the IRIS field-testing coordinator which IRIS Module(s) they were planning to use in their upcoming courses and the coordinator used this information to assign Modules to faculty for field-testing. Each faculty field-tester was paid for his or her time.

Participating faculty were asked to:

  1. Use the IRIS Module as one of their course requirements.
  2. Distribute the online survey link to the students in the class.
  3. Complete an online Faculty survey form

Student Participants

In total 1,257 students in 39 courses participated in field-testing. Seventeen percent of student participants were male, and 83% were female. The average student age was 26.4 years (the minimum age was 18 years; the maximum, 69 years). Seventy-two percent of the students were white, 16% were Hispanic, 7% were African-American, 4% were Asian-American, and 1% were Native-American (see table below).

Race/Ethnicity Frequency Percent
European-American 914 72%
Hispanic 196 16%
African-American 88 7%
Asian-American 47 4%
Native-American 12 1%
Total 1,257 100.0

Most students were pursuing a Baccalaureate degree (51%), whereas 44% were pursuing a graduate or professional degree. The area of study of the majority of participating students was general education. There were also some early childhood education, counseling, and psychology students among those participating (see the table below).

Major Area of Study Frequency Percent
Elementary education 487 38.74%
Early childhood education 329 26.17%
Early childhood intervention 174 13.84%
Early childhood special education 142 11.30%
Psychology 72 5.73%
Special education 15 1.19%
Middle and secondary education 14 1.11%
Missing 12 0.95%
Other 10 0.8%
Counseling 2 0.16%
Total 1,257 100%


Students were asked to rate the Module they viewed on several factors on a 5-point scale with 1 indicating Not at all and 5 indicating A great deal. Their responses are summarized below.

Item Mean Rating
To what extent has the Module increased your awareness of the topic? 4.76
To what extent has the Module increased your knowledge of the topic? 4.87
To what extent has the Module increased your skills? 4.44
How relevant is this Module to your future professional practice? 4.31
How would you rate the quality of this Module? 4.14
How useful do you think this Module will be in your professional practice? 4.12

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 Officers, Sarah Allen and Tracie Dickson.

Copyright 2015 Vanderbilt University. All rights reserved.

* For refund and privacy policy information visit our Help & Support page.

Join Our E-Newsletter

Sign Up

Connect With Us