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IES Grant

Title: Evaluating an Online System of Supports for the Good Behavior Game
Center: NCER Year: 2019
Principal Investigator: Ialongo, Nicholas Awardee: Johns Hopkins University
Program: Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years (07/01/2019 - 06/30/2024) Award Amount: $3,295,667
Type: Efficacy Award Number: R305A190382

Co-Principal Investigator: Domitrovich, Celene

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to examine the relative effectiveness of online versus in-person training and coaching in the Good Behavior Game (GBG) for reducing students' aggressive/disruptive behavior and improving their on-task behavior and academic achievement. The time and resources needed to provide in-person professional development to large groups of teachers limits the cost effectiveness of such training models. In order to implement evidence-based preventive interventions like the GBG at scale, more flexible, economical, and time-efficient training and coaching models are needed.

Project Activities: The researchers will randomly assign elementary schools to one of three conditions: typical in-person GBG training and coaching, GBG training and coaching online using the My Teaching Partner (MTP) format (GBG+MTP), or a no GBG intervention control condition. They will examine the relative effectiveness of online versus in-person GBG in terms of student behavior and in terms of teacher GBG implementation frequency and quality. The researchers will calculate cost-effectiveness ratios for the online and in-person conditions for each student outcome.

Products: Products include information about the relative effectiveness of online versus in-person training in the Good Behavior Game for improved student behavior and academic outcomes. Other products include information about costs and cost-effectiveness of the two types of training. Findings will be shared with interested school districts and state departments of education through the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health Center for Prevention and Early Intervention's website. The research team will also produce peer-reviewed publications and a final publicly shared dataset based on the IES Public Access Policy.

Structured Abstract

Setting: This study takes place in Baltimore City Public Schools. The student population is predominantly African American (85 percent) and eligible for free or reduced lunch (84 percent). There are 125 elementary schools in the district, all of which have internet access.

Sample: The researchers will recruit 60 elementary schools to participate over four years (15 schools per cohort). They expect approximately nine K-2 teachers, and about 16 students per classroom, to participate in each school.

Intervention: The Good Behavior Game (GBG) uses social learning principles within a team-based, game-like context to reduce aggressive/disruptive and off-task behavior in the classroom. The coaching protocol and technology employed for the online training condition is modeled on the My Teaching Partner (MTP) program. MTP relies on videotaped observations of teachers and a web-based platform involving videotape review, teacher consultation and guided reflection, feedback, and goal setting to facilitate growth in teacher practices. The standard in-person training protocol for GBG uses a manual with an initial full-day training session plus a half-day booster session five to six weeks later. Prior studies of GBG show reductions in off-task behavior and aggressive/disruptive behavior in 1st and 2nd grade that persist into middle school, as well as longer-term benefits into young adulthood for outcomes such as educational attainment, substance use and abuse, and risky sexual behavior.

Research Design and Methods: The researchers will recruit 15 schools each year, collect baseline assessments in kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grade classrooms, randomize schools to one of three conditions (no treatment control, online GBG training using the MTP format, or standard in-person training and coaching in GBG), implement the GBG online or in-person training protocols, monitor teaching practices in all three conditions, and then collect post-intervention data at the end of the school year.

Control Condition: Schools randomly assigned to the control condition will conduct business as usual.

Key Measures: Teachers and independent observers will rate student behavior. The researchers will videotape teachers and code practices related to GBG in all three experimental conditions. Teachers will also report on their own teaching practices, sense of self-efficacy, and wellbeing. The researchers will gather additional information on student disciplinary actions from school archival records at the end of the school year. Information about costs will be derived from accounting data at each school and self-reports of trainees and coaches concerning travel time and costs.

Data Analytic Strategy: The researchers will use mixed model analyses of covariance to determine the relative efficacy of GBG under the two different training protocols and relative to the no treatment control condition. They will use a mixed model analysis of variance to investigate potential differences in teacher implementation of GBG practices over the school year in the two GBG training conditions. Finally, the researchers will analyze implementation quality over time in the two GBG conditions using latent growth modeling.

Cost Analysis: Within each intervention group, the researchers will analyze costs separately for the initial training and coaching components. They will calculate total cost per student for each intervention condition by summing all training and coaching cost elements and dividing them by the number of students in each intervention condition. The researchers will calculate a cost-effectiveness ratio for each outcome by dividing the condition's cost per student by the estimated intervention effect for each of the relevant student outcome measures averaged across all students in the intervention condition.

Related IES Projects: Professional Development to Support New Teachers' Use of Effective Classroom Management Techniques (R305A130107); Long Term Effects of Professional Development to Support New Teachers' Use of Effective Classroom Management Techniques (R305A190162)