Taped Problems

Study: Bliss, Skinner, McCallum, Saecker, Rowland-Bryant, & Brown (2010)

Bliss, S. L., Skinner, C. H., McCallum, E., Saecker, L. B., Rowland-Bryant, E., & Brown, K. S. (2010). A comparison of taped problems with and without a brief post-treatment assessment of multiplication fluency. Journal of Behavioral Education, 19, 156-168. doi:10.1007/s10864-010-906-5
Descriptive Information Usage Acquisition and Cost Program Specifications and Requirements Training

Taped Problems is a fluency-building intervention typically used to increase knowledge of math facts (addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division) or numerals. With Taped Problems, teachers first decide on a set of math facts for the student to practice. The teacher makes a worksheet with the facts and a blank space for the fact answer. The teacher then creates an audio recording where each fact is read aloud. The teacher pauses for a brief delay (e.g., 1-5 seconds). Then, the teacher says the answer to the math fact. After the recording is created, the student listen to the recording. When the teacher pauses on the recording after saying a fact, the student is supposed to write the answer to the math fact during the pause. Then, the student’s answer is reviewed as the teacher on the recording states the answer. With Taped Problems, the brief delay on the recording may be altered to encourage more rapid or automatic response to the math fact.


The academic area of focus for Taped Problems is math.

Many research and practitioner articles have been published that discuss using Taped Problems to increase math fluency.

Taped Problems is a non-commercial intervention, and therefore does not have a formal pricing plan.


Teacher must understand how to create audio reecordings for Taped Problems. That is the only required training.


Participants: Unconvincing Evidence

Risk Status: All participants were receiving math education together in a class for the lowest-performing mathematics students in fifth-grade. Achievement test and teacher referrals were used to place students in this remedial class.



Age / Grade



Socioeconomic Status

Disability Status

ELL Status

Other Relevant Descriptive Characteristics









Training of Instructors: 

Design: Convincing Evidence

Does the study include three data points or sufficient number to document a stable performance within that phase? Yes

Is there opportunity for at least three demonstrations of experimental control? Yes

If the study is an alternating treatment design, are there five repetitions of the alternating sequence? Yes

If the study is a multiple baseline, is it concurrent? Not applicable

Fidelity of Implementation: Partially Convincing Evidence

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: A teaching assistant collected treatment integrity data for 30% of the treatment sessions, according to a checklist of steps of the intervention.  

Provide documentation (i.e., in terms of numbers) of fidelity of treatment implementation: Treatment integrity ranged from 94-100% with an average of 98%. 

Measures Targeted: Unconvincing Evidence

Measures Broader: Data Unavailable

Targeted  Measure Reliability Statistics Relevance to Program Focus Exposure to Related Content Among Control Group

Researcher-designed multiplication assessment

Not reported

Directly related to Taped Problems



Broader Measure Reliability Statistics Relevance to Program Focus Exposure to Related Content Among Control Group






Number of Outcome Measures: 1 Math

Mean ES - Targeted: N/A

Mean ES - Broader: N/A

Effect Size:

Visual Analysis (Single Subject Design): Unconvincing Evidence

Description of the method of analyses used to determine whether the intervention condition improved relative to baseline phase (e.g. visual analysis, computation of change score, mean difference): The authors note inconsistent results across students. Students 1, 2, 3, and 5 all showed increases greater than 4.5 digits correct per minute (DCM) favoring Taped Problems. However, Student 4 showed increases less than 1.5 DCM and Student 6 increased his DCM more (i.e., 5.5 DCM more) on the control set of problems relative to the Taped Problems set of problems.

When Taped Problems plus Immediate Assessment is compared to the control set, five of the six students had increases of 8.5 DCM or greater on the Taped Problems plus Immediate Assessment. Again Student 4 showed little increase over the control set.

To compare Taped Problems to Taped Problems plus Immediate Assessment, average growth (from baseline to intervention) indicates increases for Students 2 and 6 on Taped Problems plus Immediate Assessment. Student 5 showed greater increases on Taped Problems alone. Students 1 and 3 demonstrated much smaller gains across the two Taped Problems activities. Student 4 demonstrated little change. 

Results in terms of within and between phase patterns:

Disaggregated Data for Demographic Subgroups: No

Disaggregated Data for <20th Percentile: No

Administration Group Size: Individual

Duration of Intervention: 8-10 minutes, 5 times a week, 3 weeks

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Training is not required

Reviewed by WWC or E-ESSA: No

What Works Clearinghouse Review

This program was not reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse.


Evidence for ESSA

This program was not reviewed by Evidence for ESSA.

Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 0 studies