research interests

I research the use of reliable formative assessment tools to connect evidence-based instructional practices with the needs of individual and groups of students. I do this through:

  • Identifying the teachable components of reading and writing achievement
  • Creating assessments that efficiently identify student strengths and weaknesses
  • Examining schools’ decision processes for implementing evidence-based instruction



Current Project

Exploring Writing in Response to Text Using the Writing Architect

Most (72%) elementary and secondary students struggle with learning to write, only half are prepared for college level writing, and many cannot meet the writing demands in their jobs. Many factors complicate learning to write, including the complexity of written composition, drawing upon background knowledge, a relative lack of research on writing achievement, the lack of prioritization for writing instruction in schools, and teachers’ lack of preparation on the teachable components of writing. At MSU, Dr. Truckenmiller developed a tool that highlights students’ strengths and weaknesses on the teachable and high-impact components of writing. The current research project revolves around analyzing the data from students in grades 3 through 8 on multiple components of writing to determine which pieces are most beneficial for guiding their teachers’ instruction.