Effects of Response Options on the Mathematics Performance of Secondary Students with Emotional or Behavior Disorders




Hott, Brittany L.

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Active participation is the hallmark of instructional accomplishment. Teachers have long sought ways of encouraging more active responding on the part of their students to increase achievement and also to decrease behavioral problems in the classroom. The literature regarding “Opportunities to Respond” (OTR) describes a variety of options including response cards and, more recently, technology-based response systems. Although the technology-based systems are increasingly popular they may exceed the budgetary limitations of many schools. Nevertheless, if technology-based response systems afforded superior engagement and outcomes to similar systems that did not rely on technology, they may be worth the investment. Presently, no evaluations of technology-based response systems compared with other OTR methods appear in the literature. Therefore, the present study examined the effects of response options (traditional responding, response cards, response systems) on the mathematics achievement, participation, and time on-task of secondary students with emotional or behavioral disorders (EBD). Thirty-three students with EBD attending an urban high school and their teachers participated in the study. Each student completed three, grade level units of instruction that were created to be equivalent difficulty and scripted to control for presentation differences. Using a quasi-experimental crossover design, classrooms were assigned to treatment conditions in random order. Conditions included a traditional responding (hand-raising) condition, a response card condition in which students wrote responses on large wipe-of boards, and a technology-based (Clicker) system in which each student responded to a multiple choice option using an individual selection tool. At the end of each one-week instructional unit, students completed an immediate test of the target material. Additionally, each student also completed a one week delayed test for each unit of instruction. Results indicated that the use of response cards (white boards) and systems (Clickers) both significantly increased student's math achievement, participation as well time on task compared to the traditional hand-raising condition. Further, the use of response cards resulted in significant increases in achievement and response accuracy above those found when using response systems. Social validity data indicated that students and teachers felt they benefited from the use of response cards and Clickers. Limitations, discussions, and implications for practice and future research are presented.



Emotional or behavioral disorders, Mathematics, Response cards, Response system