Backed Up By Research

Exemplars performance tasks are designed to improve assessment and instruction while meeting state, national, and Common Core standards.

Our rubrics and anchor papers provide both teachers and administrators with a way of assessing students' problem-solving skills, science-process skills, writing skills, and communication skills.

To assist our users as well as other interested parties, Exemplars has conducted research studies as well as collected research pertaining to our material. Segments may include anything from formal research studies, to anecdotal accounts, to newsletter articles, to graduate research studies. Our goal is to feature as many of these studies as we can.

If you have a story that you would like to share, please contact us.

Research Foundations

Exemplars publishes hands-on, standards-based material for assessment and instruction that focuses on authentic learning in the areas of Math, Science, and Writing. Exemplars material is based on sound scientific research that underscores the following about student achievement:

  1. Students who do demanding work in school perform better than students who are given less demanding work.
  2. Student achievement is strongly related to effective assessment practices in the classroom, including student self- and peer-assessment.
  3. The style of classroom instruction influences student performance.

Learn more about the research that Exemplars integrates into its materials »

ESSA Qualifications

Passed in 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), ensures that all students have access to an equitable education that fully prepares them for success in college and careers.

ESSA incorporates the concept of "evidence-based" into legislation to ensure that the approaches and programs being implemented effectively improve educational outcomes and close achievement gaps. In order for a school or district to spend federal funds on educational products or services, ESSA requires that the product or service meet its standards.

An independent, outside research organization has determined that Exemplars materials and pedagogy is "evidence-based" and meets ESSA standards. Our math material qualifies for Tiers 3 and 4, while our science and writing material qualifies for Tier 4. 

As a result, schools and districts may use federal funds made available through ESSA to purchase Exemplars performance materials.

Read our Tier 3 math research study »

Read our Tier 4 research study »

NSTA Recommends

Exemplars K–5 and 6–8 science material has been reviewed by the National Science Teachers Association (NSTA).

NSTA Recommends determines the best available supplements for science teaching. Materials are reviewed by "top-flight" teachers and other science educators.

"There is more than enough in each activity for a teacher, even one without a great deal of science background, to plan high-quality, inquiry-based lessons and assess student performance with confidence ... This program will provide an invaluable service to schools ..."

– C. Seidman, Science Teacher, NSTA Review Panel Member

Graduate Studies & Dissertations

Increasingly, we are finding teachers and school leaders using Exemplars as part of their research in graduate courses or as part of their theses. Our goal is to feature as many of these as we possibly can.

Explore our featured graduate research »