Learning Strategies Curriculum: The Assignment Completion Strategy

Study: Hughes, Ruhl, Schumaker, & Deshler (2002)

Hughes, C. A., Ruhl, K. L., Shumaker, J. B. & Deshler, D. D. (2002). Effects of an assignment completion strategy on the homework performance of students with learning disabilities in general education classes. Learning Disabilities Research & Practice, 17(1), 1-18.

Descriptive Information

Usage

Acquisition and Cost

Program Specifications and Requirements

Training

The Assignment Completion Strategy program has been designed to enable students to complete and turn in high-quality assignments on time. Through the program, students learn a strategy that involves the use of several organization, time-management, and self-control skills related to completing assignments. It is a complex strategy system comprised of several cognitive strategies and overt behaviors in which students engage over a significant period of time. Mastery of the strategy can result in increased rates of assignment completion as well as improved levels of quality in students' work.

The Assignment Completion Strategy program is intended for students in grades 5-12, particularly students at risk of academic failure.

Where to obtain:

Edge Enterprises, Inc., PO Box 1304, Lawrence, KS 66044

Phone Number: 785-749-1473

Website:  www.edgeenterprisesinc.com

Cost: $13 per teacher

Also available is a digital version of the Quality Quest Planner, a booklet that students can use to record their assignments for $7.50. This can be printed by the teacher or school for as many students as needed. However, the Quality Quest Planner is not required for implementation. Other planners may be used along with the strategy program.

It is recommended that the Assignment Completion Strategy program be used with individual students or small groups.

The Assignment Completion Strategy program is administered for 30 minutes per session, three times a week for at least three weeks.

The program includes a highly specified teacher’s manual.

Technology is not required for implementation.

Instructors may be teachers or support staff. The program does not assume that the instructor has expertise in a given area.

Instructors are trained in a three-hour workshop with other teachers. The workshop includes lecture, demonstrations, discussion, practice activities, and planning for implementation.

Instructors can obtain support through the KU-CRL (785-864-4780) and the International Network of Certified Professional Developers associated with the KU-CRL

 

Participants: Convincing Evidence

Sample size: Students were 9 middle-school students.

Risk Status: Students were classified as having a learning disability according to state of Pennsylvania guidelines. They were enrolled in at least 3 mainstream academic classes per day. They were nominated to participate by their resource class teachers who were asked to select students with extreme difficulty completing and turning in homework assignments. On average, they turned in 44% of their assignments.

Demographics:

Case

Age/Grade

Gender

Race-ethnicity

Socioeconomic Status

Disability Status

ELL Status

Other Relevant Descriptive Characteristics

1

13 years

Male

Caucasian

Free lunch

LD

 

IQ= 120; Reading grade score= 4.0

2

12 years

Male

Caucasian

Free lunch

LD

 

IQ= 104; Reading grade score= 2.0

3

15 years

Male

Caucasian

 

LD

 

IQ= 89; Reading grade score= 6.3

4

14 years

Male

Caucasian

Free lunch

LD

 

IQ= 101; Reading grade score= 3.8

5

15 years

Female

Caucasian

 

LD

 

IQ= 88; Reading grade score= 6.0

6

12 years

Male

Caucasian

Free lunch

LD

 

IQ= 101; Reading grade score= 3.3

7

14 years

Male

Caucasian

 

LD

 

IQ= 105; Reading grade score= 2.5

8

12 years

Male

Caucasian

 

LD

 

IQ= 96; Reading grade score= 2.9

9

13 years

Male

Caucasian

 

LD

 

IQ= 96; Reading grade score= 3.6

 

Training of Instructors: The instructor was the first author. He was a certified special education teacher, held a Ph.D. in special education, and was a certified professional developer with the International Network of Professional Developers associated with the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning.

 

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? N/A

If the study is a multiple baseline, is it concurrent? Yes

Fidelity of Implementation: Unconvincing Evidence

Describe when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: The instructor had a written protocol which specified what to say and what to do throughout the instruction. (See the article for an example of the script.) He certifies that he followed that protocol verbatim.

Provide documentation (i.e., in terms of numbers) of fidelity of treatment implementation: He stated 100% of the statements that were listed on the written protocol in the script.

Measures Targeted: Convincing Evidence

Measures Broader: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure

Reliability Statistics

Relevance to Program Instructional Content

Student strategy use in relation to assignments given in their general education classes. (generalization checklist)

Point-by-point reliability was determined between two independent observers. The number of agreements between the observers was divided by the total number of possible agreements. Agreement was 92 percent (range = 88 to 97%).

This measure showed that the students had learned and were using the Assignment Completion Strategy in their general education classes.

Student strategy use in relation to simulated assignments in the resource room

Point-by-point reliability was calculated between two independent observers. The number of exact agreements was divided by the number of opportunities to agree. There was 97% agreement (range = 94 - 100%).

This measure showed that students learned the strategy and improved their use of it over time in the controlled setting of the resource room. They completed more and more parts of the strategy over time.

 

Broader Measure

Reliability Statistics

Relevance to Program Instructional Content

Percentage of assignments in general education classes turned in on time and late.

This was a teacher reported measure.

This measure showed that not only did the students learn the strategy and use it in the general education class, but they improved the number of assignments that they turned in to their general education teachers.

Percentage of assignments in general education classes turned in on time.

This was a teacher reported measure. There was no interscorer reliability.

This measure showed that not only did the students learn and use the strategy in their general education classes but that they turned more assignments in on time across the conditions.

Percentage of assignments meeting all or most of the requirements according to general education teachers.

This was a teacher reported measure. There was no interscorer reliability.

This measure showed that the percentage of general education assignments that met teacher requirements increased across the conditions. It's relevant because the whole goal of the instruction was to increase student performance in general education courses.

Quarterly grades in general education classes

These grades were gathered from school records.

This measure showed that six of the nine students' grades improved in their general education courses. This was relevant because the whole goal of the instruction was to improve the student's performance in general education courses. However, the teachers reported that only and average of 32% of their quarterly grade was related to assignment completion. Other factors played a role in the grade calculations.

Teacher ratings of student organization, timeliness, quality of work, and accuracy.

These were teacher ratings collected with a survey at the beginning and end of the study.

This measure showed whether the teachers were more pleased with the students' organization, timeliness, quality of work, and accuracy after the instruction than before.

 

Number of Outcome Measures: 7 Assignment , Completion

Mean ES - Targeted: N/A

Mean ES - Broader: N/A

Effect Size:

Visual Analysis (Single Subject Design): Partially Convincing 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): Visual inspection.

Results in terms of within and between phase patterns: For the percentage of strategy steps used on resource room assignments: All students showed improvement from baseline to the instructional condition. Eight students showed improvement during the instructional condition. There was no overlap of data points. For the percentage of strategy steps used on general education assignments: Five of the students showed improvement from baseline to the first data point after instruction began. Thereafter, all of the students showed improvement by the second data point during instruction. Eight of the nine students had no overlap with baseline during the maintenance condition. For the percentage of assignments on time: There was a mean increase across conditions. For the percentage of total assignments turned in: There was mean increase across conditions. For the percentage of assignments meeting requirements: There was a mean increase across conditions. For the teacher ratings: There was a mean increase in ratings from the beginning of the study to the end with regard to the students' organization, timeliness, quality of work, and accuracy.

Disaggregated Data for Demographic Subgroups: No

Disaggregated Data for <20th Percentile: No

Administration Group Size: Individual, Small Groups , (n=3-5)

Duration of Intervention: 30 minutes, 3 times a week, 3+ weeks

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Professional, 3 hours of training 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