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Single Subject Research: Quality Indicators

Analysis of article in RRQ by McCormick & Mudre

Corrie Kelly

on 20 September 2012

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Transcript of Single Subject Research: Quality Indicators

Effects of Meaning-Focused Cues on Underachieving Readers' Context use, Self-Corrections, and Literal Comprehension, McCormick, S. & Mudre, L.H. Students:
6 "underachieving Caucasian students from
1 suburban school, 4 girls, 2 boys
Just completed 1st grade, age range 7.0-7.7 years
IQ range 94-113, mean score of 107

Mothers, all from middle class socioeconomic
None with prior tutoring training
1 ESL, Spanish is native language

The dependent variables (improvement of children's word identification strategies, self-corrections, and literal comprehension), were measured with trade book and basal pretests, post-tests, and post-maintenance assessment. Children were also videotaped and adult treatments were audiotaped. Dependent Variable: Participants: Inter-observer agreement was high on all components. Independent Variable: Treatments were described with replicable precision.

Parent trainings were explicit:
Cues for self-correction
Cues for use of context
Cues for praise (when and how)

Treatment materials (trade books and basals) were leveled using Fry's Readability Formula.

Each treatment was offered only after explicit parent training and each was recorded for fidelity purposes. Baseline: Before parent workshops were held, children were recorded reading aloud for 5 days out of identical trade books with the same assignment guides. (One day out of the five was spent reading out of a basal reader.)

This study utilized a multiple-baseline approach (introducing each treatment separately) so that the experimenters could examine the learning results from each strategy independently (Duke & Mallette, 2011). Internal Validity: Phases 1 & 2 of treatment were measured for 5 days each. Phase 3 was measured for 15 days. A pattern of results was evident. Internal validity was evident. External Validity: Experimental effects were replicated across materials (trade books vs. basal readers) to establish transferability. Results/Graph/Design: Demonstrations of experimental effects were shown during each phase of treatment through video and audio analysis. Pretests, post-tests, and post-maintenance period tests demonstrated growth trends of the dependent variables.

Due to the different learning needs of all 6 students and the different skill levels of the parents offering the treatments, the single subject design was the ideal format for this research (Duke & Mallette, 2011).

Data for each student was regularly graphed and analyzed. Social Validity: The dependent variable (reading improvement) is socially important. Implementation of this treatment is cost effective, but would not be considered practical for all. References: McCormick, S., Mudre, L.H. (1989). Effects of Meaning-Focused Cues on
Underachieving Readers' Context Use, Self-Corrections, and Literal
Comprehension. Reading Research Quarterly, 24(1), 89-113. Duke, N.K., Mallette, M.H. (2011). Literacy Research Methodologies.
New York, NY: Guilford Press. Single Subject Research Quality Indicator Checklist [pdf file]. Retrieved from www.nsttac.org/sites/default/files/assets/pdf/pdf/ebps/quality_indicator_checklist_single.pdf Locke, L.F., Silverman, S.J., Spirduso, W.W. (2010). Reading and
Understanding Research. Thousand Oaks, California: SAGE

Parent workshops and all assessments were held in a first grade classroom.
All treatments were offered in individual students' homes, in well-lit quiet spaces. Setting: Remaining Questions: One mother's native language was Spanish. This was only mentioned, but not discussed further. Assuming the interventions were all in English (as each child was given the same reading materials), could this have swayed the data? Pretests, post-tests, and post-maintenance period tests were all on Frog and Toad books. Assuming that students had not been exposed to Frog and Toad books before the pretest, couldn't their pretest experience affect their prior knowledge base for both the post-test and post-maintenance test? Why didn't the researchers use a different book that was on the same reading level? Books were measured for level with Fry's Readability Formula. Is this the most accurate leveling measure? (For example, Diary of a Wimpy Kid has a higher lexile than To Kill a Mockingbird based on syllables and sentence length.) Each piece read was fiction. For transferability purposes, should the authors have chosen pieces from different genres? Or would this perhaps be a way to extend the findings of this study, as nonfiction comprehension takes a different set of understandings that fiction comprehension? Only Caucasian children from middle class socioeconomic backgrounds were participants. Wouldn't transferability have been more plausible if there was more diversity of subjects? Jang, B.G. (2012). Personal Communication.
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