Taped Problems

Study: Cressey & Ezbicki (2008)

Cressey, J., & Ezbicki, K. (2008). Improving automaticity with basic addition facts: Do taped problems work faster than cover, copy, compare? NERA Conference Proceedings, Paper 12.
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

Sample size: 26 students attending a short-term residential treatment program (14 program, 12 control). 

Risk Status: Students were from a short-term residential treatment program for children with serious emotional and behavioral challenges. Close to 100% of students were eligible for special education services under the category of emotional and behavioral disability.





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Training of Instructors: Classroom teachers had been hired as summer teaching interns for the program. Teacher ages ranged from 19-27 with 0-3 years of experience working with children. 

Design: Unconvincing Evidence

Did the study use random assignment?: Yes

If not, was it a tenable quasi-experiment?: Not applicable

If the study used random assignment, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures used as covariates or on pretest measures also used as outcomes?:  No

If not, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures central to the study (i.e., pretest measures also used as outcomes), and outcomes were analyzed to adjust for pretreatment differences? No

Were the program and control groups demographically comparable at pretreatment?: No

Was there attrition bias1Yes

Did the unit of analysis match the unit for random assignment (for randomized studies) or the assignment strategy (for quasi-experiments)?: No

1 NCII follows guidance from the What Works Clearinghouse (WWC) in determining attrition bias. The WWC model for determining bias based on a combination of differential and overall attrition rates can be found on pages 13-14 of this document: http://ies.ed.gov/ncee/wwc/pdf/reference_resources/wwc_procedures_v2_1_standards_handbook.pdf


Fidelity of Implementation: Unconvincing Evidence

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: Not reported.

Provide documentation (i.e., in terms of numbers) of fidelity of treatment implementation: Not applicable.

Measures Targeted: Partially Convincing Evidence

Measures Broader: Data Unavailable

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

Mathematics Curriculum-Based Measurement (M-CBM; Shinn, 2005)

Internal consistency, test-retest reliability, and interscorer agreement = 0.93. Alternate-form reliability was 0.91.

Somewhat aligned with Taped Problems. Taped Problems only focused on addition. Mathematics-CBM focused on computation.

Students in the control group worked on a word problem that involved addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division (p. 9)

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


Number of Outcome Measures: 1 Math

Mean ES - Targeted: -0.70u

Mean ES - Broader: Data Unavailable

Effect Size:

Targeted Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
Math M-CBM -0.70u

Broader Measures

Construct Measure Effect Size
*      p ≤ 0.05
**    p ≤ 0.01
***  p ≤ 0.001
–      Developer was unable to provide necessary data for NCII to calculate effect sizes
u      Effect size is based on unadjusted means
†      Effect size based on unadjusted means not reported due to lack of pretest group equivalency, and effect size based on adjusted means is not available


Visual Analysis (Single Subject Design): N/A

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