WWC review of this study

The effects of synchronous online cognitive strategy instruction in writing for students with learning disabilities (Doctoral dissertation)

Straub, C. L. (2012). Retrieved from http://stars.library.ucf.edu/.

  • Single Case Design
    , grades

Reviewed: October 2017

Meets WWC standards with reservations

To view more detailed information about the study findings from this review, please see Self-Regulated Strategy Development Intervention Report (841 KB)

Evidence Tier rating based solely on this study. This intervention may achieve a higher tier when combined with the full body of evidence.

Characteristics of study sample as reported by study author.

  • Female: 25%
    Male: 75%
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  • Race


The study intervention took place in a secondary school in Florida, via an online tutoring system that connected the students to an instructor at a local university. The intervention occurred during a study hall period immediately after lunch.

Study sample

The study sample included four secondary school students who had been diagnosed with LD. All four students were White. Damon was a 14-year-old male in eighth grade; Carson was a 15-year-old male in ninth grade; Jake was a 16-year-old male in tenth grade; and Monica was a 13-year-old female in sixth grade.


SRSD was used to teach students strategies for both planning and writing. An undergraduate research assistant delivered the instruction via online chatting and video conferencing through the use of Adobe Connect and Google Docs. The structure of the intervention included up to five lessons, where the fifth lesson would be repeated if the student did not meet prespecified criteria. Students were taught how to use the “POW+TREE” mnemonic strategies. POW reminded students to pick ideas, organize information, and then write and check their work. TREE prompted students to think of a topic sentence, reasons, examples, and an ending. During training, students could also earn points towards reinforcers. These reinforcers were described as “items valued at two dollars or less.” A preference assessment was used to develop a list of reinforcers, based on students’ preferences. Post-training essay probes were administered immediately following SRSD instruction.


The study uses a multiple probe design across participants. During the baseline condition for each student, teachers taught their classes as usual.

Support for implementation

The tutor received 4 hours of training in applying the instructional procedures of SRSD.


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