Skip Navigation
Funding Opportunities | Search Funded Research Grants and Contracts

IES Grant

Title: The Classroom Check-up: Supporting Elementary Teachers in Classroom Management Using a Web-based Coaching System
Center: NCER Year: 2013
Principal Investigator: Reinke, Wendy Awardee: University of Missouri, Columbia
Program: Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Context for Teaching and Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years (8/1/2013-7/31/2016) Award Amount: $1,499,575
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305A130375

Purpose: Researchers worked with elementary school partners to develop an online system of support for teachers in effective classroom management practices to improve educational and social outcomes for students. The Classroom Check-Up (CCU) was modified for web-based delivery and school personnel implementation in elementary schools through an iterative development process that incorporated the needs and resources of local ecologies.

Project Activities: The researchers developed the web-based CCU model in partnership with elementary school teachers, coaches, administrators, and expert advisors. Feasibility and usability testing guided further revisions. A pilot test determined the promise of the web-based CCU for improving teachers' classroom management practices and students' academic and social behavioral competencies.

Key Findings: The main features of the intervention and findings of the project's pilot study are as follows:

  • The web-based Classroom Check-Up provides teachers, coaches, and administrators with training and resources to support effective classroom management and positive learning environments in elementary school. The researchers received an IES grant to test the efficacy of this online classroom management program in 2020.

Structured Abstract

Setting: Rural, suburban, and urban public school districts in Missouri.

Sample: Twenty-five expert panel members (10 intervention researchers, 10 school practitioners, 5 graduate students) participated in the initial development/refinement activities and usability testing. Nine on-site coaches and 14 teachers participated in feasibility testing. Five on-site coaches, 39 teachers, and 617 students participated in the pilot test to determine promise of the intervention.

Intervention: Like the original Classroom Check-Up (CCU), the web-based CCU uses motivational interviewing techniques (delivering personalized feedback, encouraging personal responsibility for decision making, and supporting self-efficacy by identifying existing strengths and past successes) to engage teachers in the change process. Providing teachers with feedback about their success implementing new practices and the link between these practices and observable changes in desired classroom outcomes (disruptions, relationships, and engagement) creates a self-sustaining cycle for maintaining the new effective practices. New features of the web-based CCU include videos and interactive training experiences for the coach and teacher that are user-friendly and feasible for school-based personnel regardless of their initial behavioral expertise. The CCU includes an assessment of the teachers' current use of critical classroom management variables followed by feedback to the teacher and the collaborative design of a classroom intervention. Coaches help teachers identify areas of need and help select potential interventions from a menu of options. The CCU website houses specific modules for teachers, school-based coaches, and administrators that allow school personnel who may not be experts in behavior management to access consultation tools, video-modeled intervention strategies, and links to other resources.

Research Design and Methods: The researchers followed the ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation) instructional design model and incorporated the principles and practices of community-based participatory research by partnering with a diverse group of stakeholders. In Phase 1, school personnel and expert panel members participated in focus group sessions, surveys, and interviews to guide revisions to program content. Following each focus group, the CCU website was revised and checked for functionality followed by usability testing. In Phase 2, a feasibility test was conducted with 10 school-based coaches and 14 teachers followed by focus groups, surveys, and interviews that informed further revisions. In Phase 3, a pilot test with 39 teachers and 617 students was used to evaluate the promise of the web-based CCU for enhancing teacher practice and student social and academic outcomes. Teachers were randomly assigned to receive the web-based CCU (n=20) versus standard practice (n=19). The researchers collected pre-post data on: teachers' classroom management practices (e.g., praise and reprimands); students' academic engagement, aggressive/ disruptive behavior, and academic performance; number of office discipline referrals; success of the coach-teacher relationship (e.g., coach/teacher alliance and self-efficacy); and feasibility and social validity of the intervention.

Control Condition: Teachers randomly assigned to the control group received the standard support for classroom management issues that was typically provided in the participating districts.

Key Measures: The researchers adapted/refined/developed and piloted multiple process measures during Phase 2 including a CCU fidelity measure for coaches, the CCU coaching log to assess the level of support provided to teachers, CCU alliance scales for teacher and coach, and a Social Validity Scale. Student academic achievement was measured using the Woodcock-Johnson III Tests of Achievement. Research staff gathered independent observational data of teachers and students using a computer-based observation system, the Multi-Option Observation System for Experimental Studies-Brief Classroom Interaction Observation Revised to assess teacher and student behavior simultaneously. Teachers completed the Teacher Sense of Self Efficacy Scale, the Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation Revised (TOCA-R), and the Social Competence Scale—Teacher (T-COMP).

Data Analytic Strategy: The researchers coded and analyzed focus group and survey data by themes for consistency and recommendations across phases. They ran descriptive and correlational analyses on quantitative data collected during Phase 2. In Phase 3, they ran a series of two-level hierarchical linear models (HLM), in which students (level 1) were nested within teachers (level 2) to examine the overall treatment effects on student behavior and academic outcomes.  Each student's pretest and demographic information were included at level 1, and the treatment variable was at level 2. They conducted descriptive, inter-rater reliability (Kappas), and internal consistency (alphas) analyses on the observation data gathered.

Related IES Projects: The National Center for Rural School Mental Health (NCRSMH): Enhancing the Capacity of Rural Schools to Identify, Prevent, and Intervene in Youth Mental Health Concerns  (R305C190014); Evaluation of a Web-Based Classroom Management Program to Promote Effective Classroom Management Practices Among Early Career Teachers (R305A200297)

Products and Publications

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Floress, M.T., Beschta, S.L., Meyer, K.L., and Reinke, W.M. (2017). Praise Research Trends and Future Directions: Characteristics and Teacher Training. Behavioral Disorders, 43(1), 227–243.

Floress, M., Jenkins, L., Reinke, W.M., and McKown, L. (2018).  General Education Teachers' Natural Rates of Praise: A Preliminary InvestigationBehavioral Disorders, 43(4), 411–422.

Jenkins, L.N., Floress, M.T., and Reinke, W. (2015). Rates and Types of Teacher Praise: A Review and Future Directions. Psychology in the Schools, 52(5): 463–476.

Lee, J., Frey, A.J., Herman, K., and Reinke, W. (2014). Motivational Interviewing as a Framework to Guide School-Based Coaching. Advances in School Mental Health Promotion, 7(4): 225–239.

Intervention website: