Master of Arts (MA)
Although, distributed practice has been demonstrated to be superior to massed practice for learning, studies examining the degree of distribution needed to obtain this effect remain lacking. This study extends prior research by (1) determining if there is a difference in distributed practice schedules, when the total time to practice remains constant, (2) determining which schedule produces the superior amount of learning, and (3) determining which schedule produces superior retention of learned materials across time. Study participants were general education elementary school students referred for reading assistance. The constant time delay procedure was used to teach the participants sight words. Efficacy of the teaching schedules was evaluated across different word sets and a control set in an adapted alternating treatments design. Data were collected through the six-week intervention and at a two-week follow-up. Results indicated for these participants on this task twice per week and four times per week were similarly effective and that these schedules were more effective than practice occurring once per week. When differences emerged for follow-up data practice four times per week was superior. These results suggest that there may there are differences between distributed practice schedules for some students and outcomes, but clearly additional research is clearly needed in this area. This is an important area of investigation for school psychologists because of its implications for the design of prereferral interventions and IEPs.
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Williams, Kashunda Lynn, "An evaluation of distributed practice using constant time delay in the acquisition of sight words with children" (2003). LSU Master's Theses. 3659.
George H. Noell