Effects of Self-Recording on High-School Students' On-Task Behavior

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  • Hammill Institute on Disabilities

    Effects of Self-Recording on High-School Students' On-Task BehaviorAuthor(s): Deborah W. Blick and David W. TestSource: Learning Disability Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 3 (Summer, 1987), pp. 203-213Published by: Sage Publications, Inc.Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1510493 .Accessed: 17/06/2014 01:35

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    Deborah W Blick and David W Test

    Abstract. Twelve mildly handicapped (9 learning disabled, 2 educable mentally handicapped, and 1 emotionally handicapped) high-school students served as sub- jects in a study conducted to determine the effects of self-monitoring and record- ing on student on-task performance. Although only four students from three classes were targeted for data collection, all students in each class were taught how to self- monitor and record -first in the presence of audible cues and later independently as audible cues were faded. A multiple-baseline design across groups revealed a func- tional relationship between the intervention and increased on-task behavior. Changes were maintained as audible cues were faded. In addition, student accuracy data showed a relationship between increased on-task behavior and accurate self- recording. Anecdotal data indicated that students' academic performance improved in both training and nontraining settings.

    Learning disabled, educable mentally handi- capped, and emotionally handicapped students often are plagued by short attention spans or, more specifically, erratic on-task behavior (Acker- man & Shapiro, 1984; Rooney, Hallahan, & Lloyd, 1984). Research has shown that if teachers can help these students increase their on-task behavior, learning increases (Gettinger & Fayne, 1982; McKinney, Mason, Perkerson, & Clifford, 1975).

    Two strategies may be employed to reduce in- attentive student behavior: observer / teacher monitoring and student/ self-monitoring. Since the latter has been shown to produce results similar to those of other cuing procedures (Hayes & Nelson, 1983) while also freeing teachers to concentrate on academics rather than behavior management (Rhode, Morgan, & Young, 1983; Rosenbaum & Drabman, 1979), self-monitoring appears to offer a viable strategy for increasing on- task behavior.

    Self-monitoring is often the preferred procedure because it: (a) insures that the cue to self-record occurs close to the monitoring behavior (Hayes & Nelson, 1983); and (b) utilizes the student as

    an active participant who evaluates, records, and reinforces positive behavior (Christie, Hiss, & Lozanoff, 1984), thus increasing the value of the cue (Hayes & Nelson, 1983). Self-management of behavior is also a proven means of mediating generalization (Stokes & Baer, 1977) -the ultimate goal of education. Additionally, self- monitoring of attentive behavior has led to in- creased academic productivity (Hallahan & Sa- pona, 1983). For these and other reasons, self- monitoring has been utilized with normal (Hayes & Nelson, 1983), behaviorally handicapped (Rhode et al., 1983), mentally handicapped (Ackerman & Shapiro, 1984), head-trauma (Ga- jar, Schloss, Schloss, & Thompson, 1984), and learning disabled (Rooney et al., 1984) persons to modify a variety of behaviors.

    DEBORAH W BLICK, M.A., is a teacher, Catawba County Schools. DAVID W

    TEST, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor,

    Special Education, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

    Volume 10, Summer 1987 203

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  • Although self-recording can be successfully im- plemented in the regular classroom (Christie et al., 1984), many regular classroom teachers refuse to implement individual behavior management pro- cedures. Students can be successfully weaned from an auditory cue to record and continue to record / monitor their own behavior (Hallahan & Sapona, 1983). Since such training is not likely to occur in the regular class, teaching students to self-record in the resource room during a "stimulated" regular class environment, which in- cludes such common stimuli as class discussion, reading, and individual seatwork, should facilitate successful generalization to the regular classroom (Cameron & Robinson, 1980; Christie et al., 1984; Stokes & Baer, 1977).

    The relationship between recording accuracy and the effectiveness of self-monitoring must be considered in any self-monitoring study. To date, no consensus has been reached on this issue. That is, some researchers maintain that the accuracy of a student's self-recorded behavior is not as im-

    portant as the consistency with which the same behavior is recorded (Rooney et al., 1984), others have shown increases in attentive behavior when accuracy was stressed (Hallahan & Sapona, 1983; Rhode et al., 1983).

    The purposes of this study were to: (a) deter- mine the effects of self-recording on student on- task behavior in the absence of an audible cue; and (b) investigate the relationship between ac- curacy of student self-recording and effectiveness of self-recording as a behavior-change technique.

    METHOD Subjects

    The study was conducted in three cross-cate- gorical resource periods (all class periods were 55 min. long) taught by the same teacher (the first author) in the same high-school classroom. The school, located in a rural setting, provides resource services to 60 of the district's 670 students.

    All students in the participating classes exhibited some off-task behavior and self-monitored their own behavior. However, for data-collection pur- poses, only four students in each class were ob- served. The targets were chosen by the teacher because they exhibited a variety of off-task behaviors-most of them disruptive to other class members as well as the teacher. The four students from each class had been subject to disciplinary action through the assistant principal's office two

    to four times during the preceding school year. In addition, target students had been receiving special education services since the third or fourth grade. They now had to enroll in regular educa- tion classes in order to meet high-school gradua- tion requirements.

    Class A. Class A was composed of three fresh- men, three sophomores, and four juniors study- ing economics and government (ages ranged from 15-0 to 17-3 with a mean of 16-3 yr.). According to state guidelines, seven students were classified as learning disabled, three as educable mentally handicapped. Reading recognition grade-equiv- alent scores, as measured by the Peabody In- dividual Achievement Tests (PIAT), ranged from 2.3 to 7.3 with a mean of 4.0. Reading compre- hension grade-equivalent scores, also measured by the PIAT, ranged from 2.8 to 8.4 with a mean of 4.7.

    The four Class A targets (students 1 through 4) were learning disabled with reading-recognition scores ranging from 2.3 to 4.8 and reading- comprehension scores from 2.8 to 5.0. Two stu- dents were sophomores, two were juniors (see Table 1).

    Class B. Class B consisted of 10 freshmen and 5 sophomores who were studying learning strategies, writing, and reading skills. Their ages ranged from 14-5 to 17-1 with a mean of 15-8 years. Twelve students were labeled learning disabled, two educable mentally handicapped, and one emotionally handicapped. Their reading- recognition scores, as measured by the PIAT, ranged from 2.5 to 8.4 with a mean of 4.6, while their reading-comprehension scores ranged from 3.0 to 10.2 with a mean of 4.9.

    The four target students from Class B (students 5 through 8) included two freshmen and two sophomores; three were labeled learning disabled, one emotionally handicapped. Reading-recogni- tion scores, as measured by the PIAT, ranged from 3.5 to 6.6; reading-comprehension scores from 3.9 to 8.8 (see Table 1).

    Class C. Class C included 10 juniors and 1 senior who were studying material necessary to pass the reading section of the state competency test. These students' ages ranged from 16-4 to 18-3 with a mean of 17-3 years. Seven students were labeled learning disabled, four educable mentally handicapped. According to PIAT grade- equivalent scores, their reading recognition ranged from 3.1 to 9.4 with a mean of 4.6; reading com-

    204 Learning Disability Quarterly

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  • Table 1 Description of Subjects 1-12

    Reading Scoresd Subject Gender Age Ethnicity' Grade IQ Recognition Comprehension Classification

    1 M 15.9 C 10 89-101b 2.3 2.8 LD 2 F 16.4 C 11 71c 4.8 5.0 LD 3 F 15.4 B 10 83b 3.8 3.5 LD 4 M 17.0 C 11 90C 3.4 4.2 LD 5 M 17.0 C 10 91b 6.0 8.8 LD 6 M 16.6 B 9 75c 4.7 6.9 LD 7 M 15.5 C 10 80b 6.6 3.9 EH 8 M 17.1 C 9 94b 3.5 3.9 LD 9 M 17.1 B 11 70-820 5.0 5.2 LD

    10 M 16.8 C 11 55-67b 3.1 4.4 EMH 11 M 18.2 C 12 71b 3.1 3.3 EMH 12 M 18.0 C 11 84c 2.8 3.2 LD

    'C = Caucasian; B = Black. bAs measured by the WISC-R. CAs measured by the WAIS-R. dAs measured by the PIAT

    prehension from 2.7 to 6.0 with a mean of 4.3. The four Class C students' (students 9 through

    12) reading-recognition scores ranged from 2.8 to 5.0; their reading-comprehension scores from 3.2 to 5.2, as measured by the PIAT in grade- equivalent scores. One student was a senior, three were juniors. Two target students were learning disabled, two were educable mentally handi- capped (see Table 1). Data-Collection Procedures

    Students self-monitored their on-task behavior. For the purposes of this study, on-task behavior was defined as the student being actively engaged in one of the following: (a) looking at the teacher or movie, (b) talking with the teacher, (c) reading assigned material, or (d) writing on an assignment. Students marked a (+) on the recording sheet if they were on task; all other behaviors were re- corded as (0).

    Students received daily recording sheets listing the four on-task behaviors and a block for each recording time. The teacher monitored the four target students in each class on a master sheet. Because all class members were self-recording, the four target students in each room did not realize that the teacher was recording only their on-task behavior. Data were collected daily during the middle 40 min. of each 55-min. period. This ar-

    rangement allowed time for preparing recording sheets and gathering materials at the beginning of the period and for cleaning up and totaling re- sponses at the end.

    The teacher recorded data utilizing the Placheck Recording System (Tawney & Gast, 1984); that is, the behavior of the four targeted students was recorded at the end of each 5-min. interval for a total of eight observations each session. The percentage of intervals on task was then calculated from the teacher-recorded data by counting inter- vals on task, dividing by total intervals observed, and multiplying by 100. Throughout all interven- tions, the teacher / experimenter recorded behav- ior for each of the four students in each class at 5-min. intervals, as cued by a chime or the verbal cue "record" on an audio tape.

    Finally, student accuracy data were calculated by dividing the number of interval agreements be- tween student and teacher by the total number of intervals recorded and multiplying by 100.

    Interobserver reliability. Due to personnel limitations at the high school, observers were on- ly able to take data twice in each class, during two different phases, for a total of 12 times. However, reliability data were collected in all phases of the study. Observers were school volunteers or coun- selors trained in the recording process. Reliability

    Volume 10, Summer 1987 205

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  • was calculated using the interval-by-interval meth- od (number of interval agreements divided by to- tal number of agreements and disagreements mul- tiplied by 100). Nonoccurrence reliability (using the interval-by-interval formula but counting only those intervals in which a nonoccurrence was recorded) was also calculated because the target behavior occurred in more than 75% of the in- tervals (Tawney & Gast, 1984). Interval-by-interval reliability was 94.7%; nonoccurrence reliability was 77.5%.

    Experimental Design A multiple-baseline design across groups was

    utilized. The teacher/ experimenter collected baseline data in each class for five days before in- troducing Intervention I to Class A. The presence or absence of the dependent variable was noted every 5 min. for the four target students in each class. Class A received the intervention while Class B and Class C remained in baseline. To change interventions, students were required to maintain a minimum on-task percentage of 30% above the baseline mean for at least three consecutive days. Procedures

    Materials. Four 40-min. audio tapes were used. The first, which had a chime every 5 min., was utilized during baseline and Intervention IV. The second tape emitted a verbal cue of "record" every 5 min. with a chime between each verbal cue. This tape was utilized during Intervention I. The third tape, used for Intervention II, had a chime at 5, 15, 25, 35 min., with the verbal cue "record" occurring at 10, 20, 30, and 40 min. On the last tape, utilized during Intervention III, a chime sounded at 5, 10, 15, 25, 30, and 35 min., and the verbal cue "record" at 20 and 40 min.

    Two different recording sheets were used by each student. Both listed the target behaviors and contained spaces for name, date, and intervention number. In addition, one form had eight blanks to be used in Intervention I, the other contained four blanks (for Interventions II, III, and IV).

    The teacher's daily master recording sheet...


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