Theses and Dissertations

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Abraham S. Fischler College of Education


William Thayer

Committee Member

Robert Scheidet


computer-assisted instruction, data analysis, English language arts, instructional strategies, instructional test taking strategies, Massachusetts comprehensive assessment system stakeholders, professional learning communities, test taking strategies, vulnerable populations


This applied dissertation was designed to provide better access to current preparation strategies for passing the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System (MCAS) test. The test preparation strategies did not meet the needs of the students. The students did not know how to use the computer to study for the test and did not know how to study at home for the test. Teachers also did not know of the availability of electronic information to enrich their lessons and increase the achievement of vocational high school students.

The researcher developed strategies to train students and teachers on Bridges Transitions (1999) testGEAR and TestSCOPE as well as other strategies such as the development of a professional learning community, peer tutoring, and collaboration. Daily sessions on these minitests provided students and teachers with the latest training in test preparation. Teachers were encouraged to use this information for curriculum enrichment and as a source for curriculum integration.

An analysis of the data revealed that students were more likely to use the on-line test preparation course. The most successful activities were determined by an analysis of the data received from the MCAS scores, Bridges TestSCOPE report, and a teacher survey questionnaire.

The researcher developed a plan for teachers of English Language Arts MCAS preparation to learn how to incorporate the use of computerized adaptive testing in their specialized area of teaching. The plan emphasized (a) professional learning communities, (b) interpretation and use of MCAS test scores, and (c) the positive correlation between those students who utilized testGEAR the most and those who passed the MCAS test.