The Classroom Check-up: Supporting Elementary Teachers in Classroom Management Using a Web-based Coaching System
Purpose: Misbehavior in the classroom interferes with instruction, disrupts student academic and social growth, and contributes to student and teacher stress, making effective behavior management vital to student learning and emotional health. In this project, researchers will develop an online system for school-based personnel to support teachers in effective classroom management practices in elementary schools to improve educational and social outcomes for students. The researchers will develop and test a web-based version of the Classroom Check-up (CCU), an established consultation intervention for increasing teacher use and fidelity of classroom management practices. To date, the CCU has only been implemented by individuals from outside the school. This project seeks to achieve broad dissemination of the CCU model through an iterative development process involving researchers and practitioners that incorporates the needs and resources of local ecologies in developing a web-based version of the CCU that is to be implemented by school personnel in elementary schools.
Project Activities: The researchers will iteratively develop the web-based CCU model in partnership with elementary school staff (teachers, coaches, and administrators) and expert advisors. Feasibility and usability testing will guide further revisions. A pilot test in the final year of the project will determine the promise of the web-based CCU for improving teachers' classroom management practices and students' academic and social competencies.
Products: The products of this project will be a fully developed Classroom Check-up website (including any necessary manuals and training materials), data regarding feasibility of implementation in authentic public elementary schools, and a series of fully developed and validated measures and tools to assess fidelity of implementation and outcomes. Peer-reviewed publications will also be produced.
Setting: Four public elementary schools in Missouri from one small rural school district, three schools from a large urban district (containing one elementary school with 228 students, 96 percent White, 49 percent free/reduced price lunch), and one large urban/suburban district (containing 20 elementary schools, 7,981 students, 70 percent African American, 55 percent free/reduced price lunch) will participate in the project.
Sample: Fifteen expert panel members (intervention researchers and school practitioners) and five graduate students will participate in the initial development/refinement activities and usability testing. Six on-site coaches and 12 teachers will participate in feasibility testing. Ten on-site coaches, 40 teachers, and 560 students will participate in the pilot test to determine promise of the intervention.
Intervention: In this project, the CCU will be modified for web-based delivery and school personnel implementation in elementary schools. The CCU uses motivational interviewing techniques that include delivering personalized feedback, encouraging personal responsibility for decision making, and supporting self-efficacy by identifying existing strengths and past successes in order 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. The web-based CCU will integrate 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. Areas of need are identified (e.g., increase praise) and a menu of potential interventions are explored by the teacher and coach (e.g., teach expectations and provide behavior-specific praise to students meeting expectations). The CCU website will house specific modules for teachers and school-based coaches that will 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 will use a three phase iterative design process consistent with the ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implementation, and evaluation) instructional design model and will incorporate the principles and practices of community-based participatory research by partnering with a diverse group of stakeholders. In Phase 1, personnel from 4 schools and 15 expert panel members will participate in focus group sessions, surveys, and interviews to guide revisions to program content. Following each focus group, the CCU website will be revised and checked for functionality followed by usability testing. In Phase 2, a feasibility test will be conducted with 6 on-site coaches (e.g., a special education teacher, school counselor, school psychologist, instructional coach or administrator depending on the current roles and resources within the schools) and 12 teachers. Focus groups, surveys and interviews will again be conducted with expert panel members, coaches, teachers, and administrators. Further revisions will be made as needed. In Phase 3, a pilot test using 10 on-site coaches and 40 teachers and 560 students will evaluate the promise of the program in enhancing teacher practice and student social and academic outcomes. Teachers will be randomly assigned to receive the web-based CCU (n=20) versus standard practice (n=20). The researchers will collect 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 will receive the standard support for classroom management issues that is typically provided in the participating districts.
Key Measures: Multiple process measures will be adapted/refined/developed and piloted during Phase 2, including a CCU fidelity measure for coaches and the CCU coaching log to assess the level of support provided to teachers, as well as teacher and coach CCU alliance scales and a Social Validity Scale. CCU coaching sessions will be video taped and reviewed by independent researchers for fidelity. Student academic achievement will be measured using the Stanford Achievement Test—Tenth Edition (SAT-10). Research staff will gather 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 use of effective classroom management practices (praise, reprimands, opportunities to respond) and student aggressive/ disruptive and off-task behavior simultaneously. Teacher reported self-efficacy will be measured using the Teacher Sense of Self Efficacy Scale. Teachers will complete the Teacher Observation of Classroom Adaptation Revised (TOCA-R) and the Social Competence Scale—Teacher (T-COMP) to measure student academic and social competencies. The School-Wide Information System (SWIS), an Internet-based data system used to log and monitor student discipline data (e.g., office referrals, suspensions) will be downloaded annually for participating classrooms.
Data Analytic Strategy: Focus group and survey data will be coded and analyzed by themes for consistency and recommendations across phases. Descriptive and correlational analyses will be conducted on quantitative data collected during Phase 2. In Phase 3, a mixed-model Analysis of Covariance (ANCOVA) will be used to compare outcome measures (student academic achievement and social behavior) in the two conditions assessed in the spring with regression adjustment for baseline assessments in the fall. The researchers will conduct exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses and other analyses (Cronbach's alpha, correlations) to examine the psychometric properties of the self-report measures. Descriptive, inter-rater reliability (e.g., Kappas), and internal consistency (alphas) analyses will be conducted on the observation data gathered.