Opportunities to Respond

Study: Maheady, Michielli-Pendl, Mallette, & Harper (2002)

Study Type: Single-Subject Design

Descriptive Information Usage Acquisition and Cost Program Specifications and Requirements Training

Opportunities to Respond (OtR) is an intervention that involves providing all students in a group or classroom with the means (e.g., dry erase board, response cards) to respond to all questions posed by the teacher. The intent is to increase engagement by giving students the opportunity to respond to academic questions at a higher rate than the traditional form of hand raising provides. 

Opportunities to Respond is intended for use in Kindergarten through high school. It is intended for use with students with disabilities, learning disabilities, emotional or behavioral disabilities, English Language Learners, and any student at risk for emotional and/or behavioral difficulties.

The areas of focus are externalizing behavior (including high levels of disengagement, and disruptive behavior) and internalizing behavior (including anxiety). 

Opportunities to Respond is a non-commercial intervention and, therefore, does not have a formal pricing plan. All that is required for implementation is supplies for responding (e.g., cards, white boards, and markers). No costs are associated with implementation. 

Opportunities to Respond is designed for use with small groups or whole classrooms of students. Only one interventionist is needed to implement the program.

Program administration varies depending on program procedures. It should be implemented until effective.

The program includes highly specified teacher manuals or instructions for implementation.

The program is not affiliated with a broad school or class wide management program.

Technology is not required for implementation. 

Training is not required for the interventionist thought if needed can likely be done in less than one hour.

The interventionist must at a minimum be a paraprofessional.

Training manuals and materials are not available although the intervention is clearly described in published research. There is no ongoing support available for practitioners. 


Participants: Unconvincing Evidence

Risk Status: One student was previously diagnosed with experiencing serious emotional disturbance. No further information was provided.

Demographics: There were 15 females and 7 males who ranged in age from 11 years 2 months to 13 years 3 months. Most students (not described further) were from low to middle income families. Fifteen students were Hispanic, four were Caucasian, and two were African American. Four students had previously been diagnosed-- three with learning disabilities and one as seriously emotionally disturbed. Four other students were receiving remedial reading instruction through the district’s Chapter 1 program and two others were receiving English as a Second Language services. One student had recently moved into the district from Albania and another diagnosed as having ADHD. Four months prior to the beginning of the study, students were given a standardized achievement test (not described) revealing that total reading scores ranged from the 3rd to 85th percentiles with six students scoring below the 33rd percentile.

Training of Instructors: The classroom teacher was a Caucasian female with 27 years of teaching experience in the general education setting. She was identified as an instructional leader within the middle school and had previous experience using peer teaching. No specific training in the intervention was described.

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

Implemented with Fidelity: Convincing Evidence

Description of when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: Fidelity was collected during each session using procedural checklists (separate checklists for each experimental condition). Observers checked each step as present or absent during teaching.

Results on the fidelity of treatment implementation measure: Integrity ranged from 94%-100%.

Measures Targeted: Partially Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

Percentage of correct responses on 10-item quizzes given at the end of each lesson

Inter-rater reliability    
Performance on a 37-item chemistry pre-and post-test Not described    


Broader Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

Percentage of students on task

Inter-rater reliability



Number of responses/accuracy Inter-rater reliability    
Number of students who raised hands Inter-rater reliability    


Mean ES Targeted Outcomes: N/A

Mean ES Administrative Outcomes: N/A

Effect Size:

Visual Analysis (Single-Subject Designs): 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): Mean percentages correct on the daily quizzes were analyzed and student performance on the 37-item pre-post-test were also examined.

Results in terms of within and between phase patterns: Student quiz means averaged 81.6% for Numbered Heads Together (NHT) (range=68%-87%), 81.5% for Response Cards (RC) (range=63%-96%) and 73.2% for WGQ&A (range 54%-94%). Individual student analyses indicated that all 21 students earned highest averages under NHT or RC conditions (11 during RC and 10 under NHT). Performance on the 37-item pre-and post-test showed the class average was 20.4% (range=0-48%) at pre-test and 78.8% (range 53-94%) at post-test; however, questions were not parceled out by condition.

Mean on-task behavior was 80% (range=0.68-0.88) for WGQ&A; 90% (range=0.82-1.00) for RC and 98% (range=0.96-1.00) for NHT.

Visual analysis of mean quiz scores shows differentiation at the end of the study, with performance better under the NHT and RC conditions than the WGQ&A condition.

Disaggregated Outcome Data Available for Demographic Subgroups: No

Target Behavior(s): Externalizing, Internalizing

Delivery: Small Groups, (n = 3-30)

Fidelity of Implementation Check List Available: No

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Paraprofessionals, 0-1 hour of training

Intervention Reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse: No

What Works Clearinghouse Review

This program was not reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse.

Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 0 studies