Academic journal article Educational Research Quarterly

Enhancing Basic Academic Skills with Audio-Recordings: A Review of the Literature

Academic journal article Educational Research Quarterly

Enhancing Basic Academic Skills with Audio-Recordings: A Review of the Literature

Article excerpt

Abstract

Because teacher-to-student ratios often make it difficult for teachers to work individually with students on skill-building activities, educators and researchers have developed and evaluated procedures in which audio - recordings are used to improve basic academic skills. In the current paper, we describe and analyze reading math, and spelling interventions that use audio-recordings to prompt and pace rapid rates of accurate responding. In this review, we provide evidence of internal and external validity of easy-to-use, low-tech, recorded interventions across students (general education students and students with disabilities) and contexts (e.g., individually administered and class-wide). Discussion focuses on future theoretical research related to causal mechanisms and applied research on modifying recorded interventions to enhance learning rates.

Enhancing Basic Academic Skills with Audio-Recordings: A Review of the Literature

Educators have developed various models and systems designed to remedy basic academic skill deficits before they become significant enough to require intensive services (e.g., special education). Some remedial models include consultation, collaborative problem-solving teams, extended school year services, and more recently, response-to- intervention (Curtis, Curtis, & Graden, 1988; Kratochwill, Elliott, & Callan-Stoiber, 2002; Shapiro, 2004). With most response-to-intervention (Rtl) models, after skill deficits are identified, educators alter students' daily academic schedules to allow more time for remedying these deficits. During this additional instructional time, educators are encouraged to apply high-quality, evidence-based remedial procedures (Fletcher, Coulter, Reschly, & Vaughn, 2004; VanDerHeyden, Witt, & Barnett, 2005).

Judgments regarding the quality of remedial procedures may be influenced by researchers who develop, evaluate, and disseminate studies designed to assess the internal and external validity of behavior-change procedures (Detrich, Keyworth, & States, 2007). However, establishing that a procedure causes desired behavior change in a particular instance (internal validity) and may be effective if applied in other instances (external validity) does not mean that educators can apply the specific procedure. In many instances, contextual variables may influence educators' decisions to apply (or fail to apply) a specific remedial procedure (Fudge, Skinner, Williams, Clark, & Bliss, 2008; Ringeisen, Henderson, & Hoagwood, 2003; Skinner & Skinner, 2007). Some of these contextual variables include, (a) the amounts of training, time, and resources needed to apply the procedure (Detrich et al.), (b) the potential for a specific procedure to interfere with other instructional/remedial procedures (Ysseldyke, Thill, Pohl, & Bolt, 2005), (c) the effects of specific procedures on classmates (Skinner, Skinner, Skinner, & Cashwell, 1999), and (d) teacher, student, parent, or others' perceptions regarding a specific procedure (Elliott, 1986; Martens, Witt, Elliott, & Darveaux, 1985). Because these and other variables may hinder the application of procedures in some contexts but not in others, some have referred to these as threats to contextual validity (Foster & Skinner, 2011; Skinner, 2013).

Educators and researchers have developed and evaluated remedial procedures that use audio recordings to prompt, model, and pace student responding to various academic stimuli (Freeman & McLaughlin, 1984). Additionally, audio recordings have been used to provide students with feedback regarding the accuracy of their responses (LaUi & Shapiro, 1990). Nearly all of the researchers evaluating such interventions have commented on the contextual validity of such procedures. In addition to saving teachers' time, audio-recorded procedures allow students to work individually, perhaps at learning centers, addressing their own idiosyncratic skill deficits at their own pace (Skinner & Smith, 1992). …

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