Examining multiple dimensions of fidelity and their relation to student reading outcomes: A retrospective analysis of kindergarten interventions

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Title: Examining multiple dimensions of fidelity and their relation to student reading outcomes: A retrospective analysis of kindergarten interventions
Author: Parisi, Danielle Marie, 1982-
Abstract: This dissertation study explored the dimensions of fidelity to aid both researchers and practitioners in their measurement of the construct and use of the data. Understanding the dimensions of fidelity is important for three reasons: (a) limited agreement on a definition, (b) variability in measurement, and (c) inconsistent relations demonstrated between fidelity and outcomes. Leaders in the fields of program evaluation, behavioral health, psychology, and education have begun to promote an expanded definition of fidelity that looks beyond whether surface level components of interventions were delivered to include examination of whether interventions are delivered with quality and whether students are engaged. With this issue in mind, an expanded definition of fidelity was used to explore surface/content dimensions of fidelity or total fidelity, quality/process dimensions of fidelity, and student engagement. Specifically, this study examined how these dimensions relate to each other and how each dimension relates to student literacy outcomes. Multi-process multi-level models were used to study the interrelations among the dimensions of fidelity and the interrelations among the group level fidelity measures and multiple measures of student literacy development. The results of this study indicated that the construct of fidelity is multidimensional and potentially more complicated than has been discussed in the literature to date. When examining the relations among the dimensions of fidelity, total fidelity and quality were highly related, quality and engagement may be related, and total fidelity and engagement were not related. The relation between total fidelity and student outcomes was in the opposite direction of what was hypothesized--lower total fidelity was related to higher student outcomes. The relation between student engagement and student outcomes was in the hypothesized direction--higher engagement was related to higher student outcomes. The relation between quality of delivery and student outcomes was also in the hypothesized direction with higher quality related to higher student outcomes. The results highlight several issues related to fidelity that need to be considered by both researchers (measuring multiple components, repeated assessment, data analytic methods) and practitioners (how and what to measure, general variability in implementation, use of the data) in the field of education.
Description: xiii, 122 p. : ill. A print copy of this thesis is available through the UO Libraries. Search the library catalog for the location and call number.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1794/10237
Date: 2009-06


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