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Copy of Single-Case Design
Transcript of Copy of Single-Case Design
Single-case studies can be used for exploratory, descriptive or explanatory purposes: the specific approach taken depends on the nature of the research question and the degree of control the researcher has over the phenomena being studied.
Due to the continuous assessment that occurs during this type of research, the researcher is able to analyze the consistency of the intervention throughout.
What is Single-Case Design?
Overview of Data Collection
What does Single-Case Design look like?
Overview of Analysis
Single-case research design is a research design in which the subject of the research serves as their own control, as opposed to using another individual or group. It highlights one subject for a specific desired outcome, rather than multiple subjects for a
somewhat unknown outcome.
• Step 1: Identify your baseline prior to conducting your intervention.
*A baseline is information about the subject before any interventions are used. Several points of data should be used (quantitative is used most often) to determine the baseline.
• Step 2: Provide the subject with an intervention (an independent variable) and then collect data on the dependent variable (the results).
• Step 3: To verify the effectiveness of the intervention, the researcher will perform a reversal (removing the independent variable) followed by a collection of data on the dependent variable.
These three steps are also known as "
- The baseline
- The intervention
- Back to baseline to test effectiveness of the intervention. If the subject returns to baseline without the intervention, but can resume positive results once intervention is resumed, it's assumed that it is an effective intervention.
Single-case studies have clearly articulated research questions, generally answering “why” and “how” questions. Case studies propose an idea or theory, provide analysis, determine links, and interpret findings.
The "Microscopic" Method
Single subject case studies allow us to be methodologically innovative and to ask questions which
are exploratory and risky
Articles Concerning Single-Case Study
A Meta-Analysis of Single-Subject-Design Intervention Research for Students with Learning Disabilities
• This article summarizes the results of 85 single-subject-design interventions, including students with learning disabilities. Studies were analyzed across various instructional domains, assorted interventions and methodological procedures. The following results were exposed:
▪ All instructional domain areas except handwriting yielded results at or above Cohen's .80 threshold (large effect) for a substantial finding.
▪ Instructional components related to drill-repetition-practice-review, segmentation, small interactive groups, and the implementation of cues to use strategies contributed significant variance (15%).
▪ Strategy instruction models showed higher results in the various domains as opposed to direct instruction.
▪ Subjects with high-IQ showed lower results when compared to low-IQ subjects in the domain of reading, whereas the reverse effect occurred when treatment outcomes were not reading measures.
▪ Subjects with low-IQ showed higher results with a combined direct instruction and strategy instruction model.
Swanson, H. L. (2000). A Meta-Analysis of Single-Subject-Design Intervention Research for Students with LD. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33(2), 114-136.
CASE STUDY: The Effect of a motor-based, social skills intervention for adolescents with high-functioning autism
This single-case study analyzes the effect of a motor-based, social skills intervention of two students with high-functioning autism. The two were assessed separately, therefore was included in the "Single-Case Study" form of data collection. The intervention was provided as a 7-week after-school program, once weekly to both study participants. Intervention consisted of role-play methods in which motor behaviors were linked with their cognitive and emotional meanings. First, baseline, intervention and 3-month probe data collection periods were conducted. These results were then visually compared through the graphing of the data, paired t-tests, and a three-standard-deviation-band approach. Both of the subjects showed a significant increase in targeted social skill behaviors from baseline to intervention and maintained this level at a 3-month post-intervention probe. The results illustrate that motor-based, social skills interventions may be effective for adolescents with HFA and warrant further testing.
Gutman, S. A., Raphael, E. I., Ceder, L. M., Khan, A., Timp, K. M., & Salvant, S. (2010). The Effect of a motor-based, social skills intervention for adolescents with high-functioning autism. Occupational Therapy International, 17(4), 188-197.
Many researchers prefer single-case design because of the flexibility of this model. This type of research focuses on the individual's differences during intervention and can reduce any type of misinterpretations of the research subject.
Interventions can be interpreted quicker and easier
Used often to determine placement in individualized programs fit to help client need.
• When researchers are planning on analyzing a subject, usually the interventions are predetermined. With single-case design, interventions are planned as the data is collected.
• Due to the various phases of this type of research, the results from the previous phase carry over into the next phase of the intervention.
• The sequence in which the interventions are planned has a direct effect on the results.
• Due to the removal of the independent variable, the dependent variable is then affected.
Erkaya, O. R., Drower, I.S. (2012). Perceptions of an EL learner on vocabulary development.
International Journal of Special Education, 27 (1), 81-91.
Gutman, S. A., Raphael, E. I., Ceder, L. M., Khan, A., Timp, K. M., & Salvant, S. (2010). The Effect of
a motor-based, social skills intervention for adolescents with high-functioning autism. Occupational Therapy International, 17(4), 188-197.
Horner, R. H., Carr, E. G., Halle, J., McGee, G., Odom, S., & Wolery, M. (2005). The Use of Single
Subject Research to Identify Evidence-Based Practice in Special Education. Council for Exceptional Children, 71(2), 165-179.
Introduction to Single Subject Designs, (n.d.). Retrieved January 29, 2014, from
Jester, R. (2011) Combining research methods: Case studies and action research. Retrieved from:
Swanson, H. L. (2000). A Meta-Analysis of Single-Subject-Design Intervention Research for
Students with LD. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 33(2), 114-136.
• Strengths: Taking many repeated measures and identify trends
in the data enhances the internal validity of single-case designs by
facilitating control over extraneous factors that affect the target problem.
• The prime weakness of single-case designs is their limited external validity
with a sample of one, we are dealing with idiosyncratic conditions that
can’t be generalized to others.
• Single-case designs can be used by practitioners to monitor client progress
or their own effectiveness scientifically and systematically.
Adapted from: Angela Zuroveste