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Title:Engaged Time in Reading as Influenced by Praise and Written Directions: A Single Subject Experimental Design
Author(s):Johnson, Lynne Coleman
Department / Program:Education
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Education, Reading
Abstract:This study sought to answer several questions involving three kinds of treatments--contingent praise, written directions, and contingent praise and written directions taken collectively--and their immediate effects on engaged time in reading. In addition, this study collected descriptive data on the characteristics and quantity of off-task time.
Naturalistic observations were used to collect data in two third grade classrooms. Ten students, five from each classroom, were observed during the seat work period when they were doing independent reading assignments. Student engaged time was observed for seven weeks for each of the ten subjects.
During the baseline phases (1-4) of the study, the teacher conducted her class in the typical way. No systematic attempt was made to change the existing behavior. During the Treatment 1 phase (praise) the target children were given verbal reinforcement for doing their work and staying on task during the seat work time. During the Treatment 2 phase (written directions) the target children were provided with written directions to follow while doing reading assignments at their seats. Treatment 1 and Treatment 2 were implemented concurrently during the Treatment 3 phase. The design used for Class 1 was an ABACCCA single subject design. An ABACADA single subject design was used for Class 2. Each treatment phase was preceded and followed by a baseline phase.
Data were collected on the dependent variable (percent of intervals engaged in independent reading exercises) before, during, and after each of the treatment phases. To provide answers to the research questions the results were entered into tables and/or graphs and examined visually. In addition, "t tests" for dependent means were used to determine whether any change from baseline to treatment was significant and to determine whether one treatment was more effective than another. Also, the related analyses provided added insights into understanding the effects of certain interventions on engaged time. Reliability checks between observers ranged from .88 to .93.
The findings of this study were as follows: (1) Engaged time in independent reading exercises was significantly increased when praise was presented contingent upon the student being actively engaged in independent reading exercises. (2) Written directions given to individual students to follow as they worked on independent reading assignments produced inconsistent results. (3) Praise and written directions given collectively to the target children resulted in a significant increase in engaged time for one class. The other class did not receive this treatment. (4) With regard to the question of what the children were doing when they were not engaged (off-task), the greatest percent of time was spent talking to other students, being out of their chairs, or simply looking around.
Further research was recommended replicating this study with children of different reading abilities and different grade levels, and comparing children who start with relatively high levels of engaged time with those of children who start with relatively low levels of engaged time, to see how they are affected differently.
Issue Date:1980
Description:124 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1980.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8108554
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-12
Date Deposited:1980

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