Welcome to the IPI Website for the Study of Student Engagement! (December 2013) - Archived

The Instructional Practices Inventory is a teacher-led process for collecting data about student cognitive engagement during class time, for organizing the data into user-friendly profiles, and for faculty collaborative study of the data so classroom teachers can more effectively design and implement quality learning experiences for their students. 

The IPI was developed in 1995-96 to be a component of a multi-year Comprehensive, Systemic School Improvement (CSSI) initiative for 10 elementary, 10 middle, and 10 high schools in the state of Missouri. The developers (Bryan Painter and Jerry Valentine) used the process with those 30 schools and realized the potential of the process to support instructional change. Valentine continued to use and refine the process as well as study the impact of the process on student achievement. Analyses of the IPI data from the several thousand schools across the U.S. that have used the IPI Process continue to be made, with findings from such studies guiding the on-going refinement of the process and the explanations of how to best collect and study the IPI data profiles.

Use of the IPI Process has grown steadily since its original development. Today, approximately 30,000 educators across the country have successfully completed the basic IPI Workshop so they could use the process in their schools or support the use of the process in the schools they serve.

From our studies, we have learned that the IPI Process is best implemented by a team of teacher leaders. To be certificated in the use of the IPI Process, the teacher leaders and the principal must complete the basic IPI workshop. The full-day workshop is designed to build the IPI Team's capacity to collect the student engagement data with validity, reliability, and inter-rater reliability; to understand how to organize the data for faculty study; and to develop key strategies for engaging their faculty colleagues in collaborative study of the data. Simply put, the IPI Team of teacher leaders is responsible for leading the process in the school. Our studies indicate that teacher-led data collection and collaborative study of the data three or four times a year can have a positive, significant impact on student engagement and higher-order/deeper thinking during class time. Further, implementation of the process with integrity is associated with increased student academic success, including high-stakes assessments.

Experienced educators know there are no magic wands to wave or stardust to sprinkle that will automatically improve student learning (and thus improve student academic success). There are no quick fixes or solutions to improving student learning and there are no “one size fits all recipes” for school reform. Educators understand that improvement in student academic success is slow to evolve and extremely difficult to sustain. The IPI is but one of many processes that a school can use in its combined efforts to improve academic success for the school’s students, just as the IPI was one of many components in the CSSI project for which it was originally developed. The IPI is unique because it provides valuable engagement data profiles for collaborative faculty study and learning.

The IPI data also provide the basis for understanding the success of other initiatives to improve learning that are in place, or that will be put in place across the school. Initiatives designed to improve academic success should simultaneously impact student engagement as measured by the six IPI categories. Thus, the IPI data can serve as outcome variables to help a faculty understand the impact of new programs and program changes, professional development, and changes in support structures such daily schedules. The influence of those instructional interventions should be evident in the school's longitudinal cognitive engagement data profiles. If such interventions are not positively impacting student cognitive engagement, faculty discussions of why that is the case should be held.

The IPI is based on six categories of engagement. The categories are not complex, but they are sophisticated enough to address key learning issues. Two categories provide data about higher-order/deeper thinking, another about teacher-led engagement, two others about student work that is not higher-order/deeper, and a final category provides data about disengagement from learning during class time.

With nearly two decades of data collection and study under our belt, we have learned that the IPI can be a viable strategy to enhance the nature of engaged learning during class time. If your school is already an IPI Process user, I invite you to explore the readings and supplemental implementation strategies. If you are new to the IPI Process, I invite you to explore this website and read about the categories and the processes for collecting and studying engagement as a faculty.

If you browse this website over time, you will notice that the "themes" featured on the home page will remain rather constant, but the stories will change periodically. When a more recent featured story replaces a previous story or a new research study replaces a prior study, the former will be maintained for reference in the Archives Section. The basic home-page themes are:

Recent News and Thoughts

Teacher and IPI Team Reflections

Principal, District, and Support Staff Reflections

The IPI Technology Component

Research Findings and Implications

Recommended Resources and Readings

This IPI website went live in October of 2012. I trust it will be useful to those who wish to understand our work on student engagement and improve student engagement in the classroom. As is the case throughout education, we will learn as we move forward and share what we learn through this site. Thus, this website will be in a constant state of revision to make it as useful as possible. Please feel free to share your feedback about how I can make the site more valuable to you and your school. My email address is This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Jerry Valentine

December 19, 2013