Efficacy Research

Impacts of the Use of Study Island Practice and Benchmarks

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ESSA Level of Research

Moderate Evidence (Quasi-Experimental)


Statistically significant effects were observed in 6th-grade math when students used Study Island often and over an extended period of time

This student-level study provides detailed analyses of student usage of and performance in Study Island compared to those students’ performance on the state level assessment. The study goes even further by matching students based on their previous state level assessment for more rigorous comparisons, reflecting Moderate ESSA Evidence requirements. It provides a research basis for Study Island in terms of the research literature and analyses of Allentown School District students’ level of usage and performance data within Study Island compared to their performance on the PSSA.


Through a series of descriptive and statistical analyses, the findings in this study suggest there are discernable and statistically significant positive impacts on PSSA scores for students participating in Study Island Practice and Benchmarks.

Generally, implementation and use of Study Island practice and benchmarks in Allentown varies by grade and content area.

Where students answer more questions in Study Island and spread their time over active weeks, positive differences are observed. This is evident in the grade 6 math significant differences in mean scale scores and impact data.

When students are exposed to the Benchmarks – in this case, limited to Grades 7 and 8 for ELA and Math, and grades 4 and 8 for SC – there is a strong and significant association between scores on the Benchmarks and scores on the PSSA. These statistically significant observations remain even after controlling for student ability, based on their prior-year PSSA scores.