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IES Grant

Title: Online Teacher Training: Promoting Student Social Competence to Improve Academic and Behavioral Outcomes in Grades K-3
Center: NCSER Year: 2008
Principal Investigator: Marquez, Brion Awardee: IRIS Media, Inc.
Program: Systems, Policy, and Finance      [Program Details]
Award Period: 07/01/2008 - 06/30/2011 Award Amount: $2,293,415
Type: Development and Innovation Award Number: R324A080150
Description:

Purpose: Children who enter school with social behavior problems are at an elevated risk for continued difficulties in school and life. Social behavior problems during the school years are associated with poor academic achievement, negative academic impacts on peers, and negative outcomes in adulthood. Early elementary school provides an optimal environment in which to address these problems by helping children acquire valuable social skills, develop social competence, and practice other positive behaviors that are integral to academic success. However, teachers often fail to receive adequate training to help their students develop these essential skills and behaviors. Professional developing options that are high-quality, inexpensive, widely available, and easily accessible are needed.

Researchers are addressing this need by developing the Student Social Competence Program, an interactive professional development program based on a Response to Intervention (RtI) model. The program will provide teachers with instructional approaches in early elementary school for promoting children's social competence and academic outcomes. It will be delivered on a media-enhanced internet platform that supports training, streaming videos, interactive exercises, and self assessments to practice and test newly-gained knowledge. Internet-delivery expands training opportunities for all schools, makes program content more available to schools than would be possible through traditional professional development methods, and ensures that teachers have easy access to the training content. The purpose of this project is to develop the program and test its feasibility when implemented in a school setting.

Project Activities: Approximately 250 teachers in Oregon will participate in the study over three years. The program will be developed and a comprehensive feasibility evaluation of the entire program will be conducted. Data will be analyzed to determine teachers' use and acceptability of the program. Additional analyses will be conducted to determine whether the use of the program changes teacher attitudes and knowledge and student social skills and to investigate the relationships among teachers' satisfaction with the program, program usage, and change in knowledge.

Products: The products of this project include a fully developed interactive professional development program based on a Response to Intervention model, published reports, and presentations.

Setting: The research will take place in Oregon.

Population: Approximately 250 elementary school teachers will participate in the study over three years. Teachers will be recruited from schools that represent diverse populations in terms of ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and location.

Intervention: The Student Social Competence Program is an Internet-based, interactive program. It will consist of three modules. The first module will contain an overview of an RtI instructional framework for teaching behavior. It will focus on teaching appropriate behavior, the links between behavior and academic success, and the teacher's role in developing social skills. Through the second module, teachers will learn how to implement a preventive classwide behavior program with the goal of enhancing academic performance. Teachers will learn a set of methods for teaching core social skills to support teacher-student and peer-peer relationships. The third module will focus on the establishment of intensive group interventions for students who do not respond to a classwide behavior program.

Video sequences and vignettes will be used to present and describe concepts related to each module. Participants will have opportunities to rehearse newly learned skills through interactive practice activities. The technology also provides teachers with interactive self-assessments, instant feedback for content review, and printable resource materials.

Research Design and Methods: Over three years, each of the three modules will be developed and a comprehensive feasibility evaluation of the entire program will be conducted. Initial versions of the modules will be produced and usability tests of the materials will be conducted. Feasibility evaluations of each module will be conducted using a single-condition pretest-posttest design. Based on the results of the evaluations, the modules will be refined. During the last year, a feasibility study using all three modules combined will be conducted to determine whether teachers were satisfied with the program and their knowledge improved.

Control Condition: A control or comparison condition will not be used.

Key Measures: Data on teacher's knowledge and attitudes will be collected. In addition, researchers will collect data on teachers' satisfaction, engagement, acceptability, and interest in the materials. Time spent on the site, components visited, materials viewed will also be assessed. Finally, researchers will collect demographic information from participating teachers.

Data Analytic Strategy: Data will be analyzed to determine teachers' use and acceptability of the program. In addition, analyses will be conducted to determine whether the program changed teacher attitudes and knowledge. Finally, data will be analyzed to determine the relationships among satisfaction with the program, program usage, and change in knowledge.

Publications

Book chapter

Marquez, B., and Vincent, C.G. (2015). Screening and Monitoring Skills and Behaviors Essential for Academic Success. In Scarlett, G. (Ed.), Encyclopedia for Classroom Management, Vol. 2 (pp. 715–716). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Marquez, B., Yeaton, P., and Vincent, C. (2014). Behavioral Universal Screening and Progress Monitoring With Web-Based Technology. In H.M. Walker, and F. Gresham (Eds.), Handbook of Evidence-Based Practices for Emotional and Behavioral Disorders: Applications in Schools (pp. 192–210). New York: Guilford Publishing.

Journal article, monograph, or newsletter

Marquez, B., Marquez, J., Vincent, C.G., Pennefather, J., Sprague, J.R., Smolkowski, K., and Yeaton, P. (2014). The Iterative Development and Initial Evaluation of "We Have Skills!", An Innovative Approach to Teaching Social Skills to Elementary Students. Education and Treatment of Children, 37(1): 137–161. Full text

Pennefather, J., and Smolkowski, K. (2014). Validation of the Elementary Social Behavior Assessment: A Measure of Student Prosocial School Behaviors. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 40(3): 143–154. doi:10.1177/1534508414557562

Walker, H.M., Marquez, B., Yeaton, P., Pennefather, J., Forness, S., and Vincent, C.G. (2015). Teacher Judgment in Assessing Students' Social Behavior within a Response-to-Intervention Framework: Using What Teachers Know. Education and Treatment of Children, 38(3): 363–382.


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