WWC review of this study

Student and Teacher Outcomes of the Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Team Efficacy Trial

Wills, Howard; Kamps, Debra; Fleming, Kandace; Hansen, Blake (2016). Exceptional Children, v83 n1 p58-76 Oct 2016. Retrieved from: https://eric.ed.gov/?id=EJ1116304

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
    , grades

Reviewed: October 2017

At least one finding shows promising evidence of effectiveness
At least one statistically significant positive finding
Meets WWC standards without reservations
Student Behavior outcomes—Statistically significant positive effect found for the domain
Comparison Period Sample Intervention
Significant? Improvement

Time on task

Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT) vs. Business as usual

6 Months

Full sample;
313 students




More Outcomes

Disruptive behaviors

Class-Wide Function-Related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT) vs. Business as usual

6 Months

Full sample;
313 students





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.

  • Male: 70%


The study was conducted in 159 elementary school classrooms in 17 elementary schools.

Study sample

The average age was 8 years old, with a total range of age 6-12. The sample was over 70% male, and approximately two-thirds of students qualified for free or reduced-priced lunch. Approximately two-thirds of students were minorities. 46% of the experimental group had an individual education plan (IEP), compared to 34% of the control group. Students and classrooms were fairly evenly distributed across grades K-5, with the exception of 6th grade and Special Education.

Intervention Group

The intervention provides class-wide lessons for 6 months (October through March). The procedures included (a) focusing teacher attention and points on appropriate behavior and minimizing attention directed to inappropriate behaviors, (b) creating teams to promote peer social attention to compliance with CW-FIT rules, (c) teaching hand raising, (d) using self-management for individual behavior to get teacher praise and attention from peers who are chosen as self-managers, and (e) using help cards as an alternative to using inappropriate behaviors to escape tasks. CW-FIT’s group-contingency component includes differential reinforcement for use of the skills, using points and rewards. Classes are divided into teams, a goal for the number of points is identified, and CW-FIT is implemented during a specified class period 3 to 5 days each week. All teams that meet the goal at the end of the CW-FIT session earn the reward. Tier 2 level self-management and help card components are implemented for students who are non responsive to CW-FIT.

Comparison Group

The control class condition received normal classroom management procedures. Teachers generally had posted classroom rules, reminders about the rules, and reprimands for infractions. Many teachers used a warning system with colored cards in pocket folders for each student.

Support for implementation

Teacher training for implementation consisted of 2 hours of training by project staff in the CW-FIT procedures, modeling of the scripts and using the point system by the building coaches or project staff, and feedback from the building coaches. Training consisted of: (a) teaching skills and practice using the scripts; (b) introducing the intervention, teams, points, setting goals, and rewards; (c) practicing using specific praise and points for targeted skills; (d) practicing with the timer and point delivery together; (e) establishing a reward menu; and (f) discussing potential problems and solutions using the intervention. Feedback from the coaches consisted of use of the fidelity checklist and additional modeling as needed. Coaches also assisted in data collection and shared on-task data and fidelity data with teachers on a biweekly basis. Teaching of skills followed a direct instruction model. Teachers defined the skill, modeled the skill, teachers and students role-played the skill, and teachers provided feedback as students practiced the skill. Each new skill was introduced with a lesson and then practiced for 2 to 3 days prior to teaching an additional skill. Students who did not perform well were eligible to receive more instruction, including the self-management and/or help cards interventions.


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