Date of Award

2000

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Joseph C. Witt

Abstract

The primary purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the effects of homework and alternatives to homework on student math completion, accuracy and fluency for low socioeconomic students. To examine possible causes of homework problems as well as the effect of different treatments on math fluency, this study used an idiographic protocol to systematically examine the effects of antecedent and consequential strategies on different types of homework performance problems through several phases. First, a brief experimental analysis was conducted for each student to identify whether poor homework performance was due to a swill deficit or a performance deficit. Next, an alternating treatments design was used to compare two conceptually related interventions to determine if the outcome of the brief experimental assessment had treatment validity. In cases where the homework intervention was not effective, two primary reasons for homework failure were identified and subjected to further analysis in this study. First, it was hypothesized that failure of the homework protocol may have been due to the protocol being used improperly or not at all. For four children, this was confirmed by implementing the protocol at school under conditions of 100% treatment integrity. Second, it was hypothesized that the accuracy-based homework protocol used frequently by schools failed to effectively enhance fluency for some students. This was investigated by exposing children to a fluency-based protocol with a reward component that was effective for seven of the eleven cases. Although the number and type of individual treatment components differed among students, all students in this study obtained a mastery criterion. Finally, this study investigated whether classroom-based response opportunities could be an effective alternative to homework and whether the use of peers would make in-class practice an efficient alternative for the teacher. Interventions maintained their effectiveness when implemented by a peer.

ISBN

9780493070179

Pages

149

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