The number of opportunities to respond (OTR) and spacing (massed or distributed practice) of practice sessions are important variables to consider in instructional design. The purpose of this pilot study was to compare the impact of these variables on trajectories of mathematics fluency. Second- and third-grade students (N = 112) were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 conditions: (a) distributed practice, low OTR; (b) massed practice, low OTR; (c) distributed practice, high OTR; and (d) massed practice, high OTR. Students completed 1 practice session using cover-copy-compare for subtraction according to the group assignment. Multilevel modeling of 4 assessment time points (pretest, follow- up at 1, 4, and 7 days) was used to evaluate differences in retention (correct digits) between groups. After controlling for prior math knowledge, instructional level and OTR, but not spacing, were significant predictors of final score. These findings suggest that OTR is an important variable to consider when planning for instruction and intervention.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
Robert J. Volpe, PhD, is an associate professor in the Department of Applied Psychology and codirector of the Center for Research in School-Based Prevention (CRISP) at Northeastern University. His research focuses on designing academic and behavioral interventions for students with disruptive behavior disorders and feasible systems for assessing student behavior in problem-solving models. Dr. Volpe has written more than 80 journal articles, book chapters, and books, and he serves on the editorial advisory boards of the Journal of Attention Disorders, Journal of School Psychology, School Psychology Review, and School Mental Health. He is a past president of the Society for the Study of School Psychology and project director and principal investigator on Project iFAB, a grant funded by the Institute of Education Sciences to develop and evaluate a Web-based system for monitoring student social behavior.
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- Hierarchical linear modeling