Last updated on August 2018

The Cluster-randomized Evaluation of the IKO-model


Brief description of study

The aim of this study is to analyze whether and how a systemic school-level approach to dropout prevention (the IKO-model), increase the completion rate from upper secondary school. The hypothesis is that schools that implement the model (i.e. randomized to the experimental group), will reduce the amount of students in risk of dropout, compared to their counterparts in schools randomized to the control group. The main expected outcomes in the study are; 1) increased amounts of students in upper secondary education completing their education within the three-year standard length of education, 2) decreased amounts of school-drop out, and 3) reduced values in mediating variables, such as low achievement, course failures, lack of attendance and lack of school-motivation and -effort. Accordingly, implementation quality and fidelity to the model will be assessed, both with quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interviews and observation) data. A total of five counties and 42 upper secondary schools participate in the evaluation project. One of the counties (Akershus County) have developed and piloted the model and function as a mentor in the other four counties (Oppland, Hedmark, Nord-Trndelag and Hamar). While 20 schools have been randomized to the experimental group, 22 schools have been randomized to the control group. Schools randomized to the control group will work as earlier with school dropout.

Detailed Study Description

The aim of this study is to analyze whether and how a systemic school-level approach to dropout prevention (the IKO-model), increase the completion rate from upper secondary school. The hypothesis is that schools that implement the model (i.e. randomized to the experimental group), will reduce the amount of students in risk of dropout, compared to their counterparts in schools randomized to the control group. The main expected outcomes in the study are; 1) increased amounts of students in upper secondary education completing their education within the three-year standard length of education, 2) decreased amounts of school-drop out, and 3) reduced values in mediating variables, such as low achievement, course failures, lack of attendance and lack of school-motivation and -effort. Accordingly, implementation quality and fidelity to the model will be assessed, both with quantitative (survey) and qualitative (interviews and observation) data. A total of five counties and 42 upper secondary schools participate in the evaluation project. One of the counties (Akershus County) have developed and piloted the model and function as a mentor in the other four counties (Oppland, Hedmark, Nord-Trndelag and Hamar). While 20 schools have been randomized to the experimental group, 22 schools have been randomized to the control group. Schools randomized to the control group will work as earlier with school dropout.

The implemented model is based on the County of Akershus experiences of developing and implementing the IKO-model since 2009. The IKO-model represents a systemic intervention at the school-level level, with the aim of improving the schools' follow-up structures related to students in risk of school dropout.

The basic idea of the model is that there are three groups of students: 1) students with ordinary follow-up needs, 2) students with the right to special education and 3) students without the right to special education, but who need individually targeted efforts from time to time. While there are guidelines and requirements when it comes to the follow-up of students with the right to special education, schools are less systematic in their approaches to students with temporary need for follow-up. Hence, the IKO-model focuses on improving the way schools identify and follow-up students in risk for dropout, but who do not qualify for special education. It is also emphasized, that time-limited and low-cost interventions are sufficient enough to reduce the risk of drop-out for the majority of students within this group, however the most important is to identify problems early and find solutions quickly. The goal is to remove the need for additional interventions as soon as possible and return students to normal education.

Another assumption is that the model will help schools to implement goal-focused targeted interventions at an early stage and ensure that the measures implemented are adjusted based on student needs. At student level the model aim to a) early identify students "in risk" for drop-out , b) charter students situation in order to find suitable interventions, and c) follow-up identified students with immediate interventions including an ongoing evaluation of their situation. In order for schools to succeed at identifying, chartering and following-up students, three main school-level components are implemented; 1) a computer assisted early warning system, 2) organizational structures and practices that enables schools to monitor progress and implement effective interventions, and 3) external and school internal communities of learning.

The research question is whether, how and to what extent the IKO-model reduce drop-out from upper secondary school. The hypothesis is that the IKO-model will assist schools in their work with identifying, charting and supporting students in risk through the early warning system, organization-level monitoring practices, and communities of learning. The main outcome assessed is reduced amounts of students that dropout from upper secondary school measured through increased amounts of students accomplishing education within the three-year standard length. The intervention is also expected to reduce amounts of students not in education, activity or employment at follow-up.

Clinical Study Identifier: NCT03239249

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Marianne Bye

Sentrum videreg ende skole
Kongsvinger, Norway
0.01miles
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Hege E Nordgaard

vrebyen videreg ende skole
Kongsvinger, Norway
3.07miles
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