Date of Award:

5-2010

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Special Education and Rehabilitation

Advisor/Chair:

Dr. Robert L. Morgan

Abstract

A multi component training package (live training, video modeling, role playing, and feedback) was used to train teachers to assess and instruct students with profound multiple disabilities. Phase 1 of the study included training seven in-service teachers to conduct assessment in three areas: (a) preference assessment (i.e., potential reinforcing items), (b) controlled body movement assessment (i.e., gross and fin motor skills), and (c) access skill assessment (i.e., assessment of basic skills or prerequisite skills that are necessary for student to master before entering into further instruction). The assessment result yielded the following information for each student participant: (a) a list of three to four preferred items, (b) a list of body movements in which the study reliably uses to respond, and (c) a list of access skills that are mastered and not mastered. Four teacher/student pairs from Phase 1 participated in Phase 2, which consisted of using the multi component training package (same components as Phase 1) to train teachers to instruct students on non mastered access skills. Teachers were trained to use one of the following instructional strategies to teach non mastered access skills: least-to-most prompting, most-to-least prompting, time delay, or graduate guidance. A multiple baseline design across four teacher participants was used to determine if the instructional training was effective in increasing the percentage of correctly implemented instructional steps. Data from Phase 1 suggested that the multi component training package was effective in increasing teachers' skills in assessing students with profound multiple disabilities, as the percentage of correctly implemented assessment steps increased for all seven teacher participants from pre training to post training. Additionally, data from Phase 2 indicated that the training was effective in increasing the percentage of correctly implemented instructional steps from baseline to post training sessions, across multiple access skills. Data from student participants showed that overall, students were responsive to teachers' instruction, as the percentage of independently performed student responses also increased from baseline to post training sessions.

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