Project Detail
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SOTELCO in classroom settings  

The purpose of this study is to develop a remote-delivery, social skills coaching intervention (Social Tele-Coaching or SOTELCO) by assessing and improving its feasibility and potential efficacy for students with disabilities. Trained Tele-Coaches will augment traditional social skills training with on-going sequences of three intervention components -- coaching, thinning, and fading -- via wireless technology from remote sites directly to participants in authentic educational environments During each of three project years, approximately 15 students with IEPs that contain (a) social/behavioral skills in at least one target goal and (b) an accompanying FBA will comprise an intact convenience sample of elementary and secondary level students with disabilities. Participants' special education eligibility will have been determined under the IDEA classifications of learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, other health-impairments, or autism, and, as called for in their IEPs, will have been receiving school district-sponsored interpersonal social skills training in resource room environments. SOTELCO consists of direct, daily behavioral coaching as an instructional augmentation to intensive, individualized social skills training. This augmentation to the more traditional, packaged method of teaching social skills provides for the systematic sequencing of: (a) verbal modeling of target interpersonal behaviors, prompting of these behaviors, and specific corrective and/or reinforcing feedback to the student participant regarding the behavior(s); (b) thinning, i.e. gradual attenuations in the amount and magnitude of models and prompts, and (c) fading, i.e. the reduction in the number and duration of coaching sessions per week. SOTELCO is deliverable via wireless and video conferencing technologies from remote observation sites to the student participant in general education classroom settings, and in common-access settings such as the cafeteria, library, or playground. The SOTELCO intervention will augment the Skillstreaming prosocial skills series developed by Goldstein and colleagues (Goldstein, et al.1997; McGuinnes & Goldstein, 1999). In concert with individualized FBA-based target skills to be trained (e.g., "Joining In"), we will conduct direct, daily observations from remote sites of participants in classrooms and common access settings, verbally coaching them in the emission of behaviors consistent with newly acquired target behaviors from the Skillstreaming training package, and systematically thinning and fading the coaching. Video-conferencing technology (one-way video/two-way audio) enables us to perform direct observations and SOTELCO in a manner that is completely unobtrusive to the participant, other students in the classroom, and the teacher. Polycom® camera systems provide the one-way video while GSM Earpiece's MWE® Bluetooth earpiece/transmitter provides the two-way audio. Preliminary experimental control conditions will be embedded in each student participant's single-case design so that target social behaviors are observed under baseline and intervention (coaching, thinning, fading) conditions, wherein each participant serves as his or her own control for data-comparison purposes. Accordingly, primary research methods and measures consist of direct, daily observations under baseline/intervention conditions with multiple-baseline evaluations of SOTELCO's potential for efficacy. Key outcomes anticipated as the result of this study include (a) the successful demonstration of newly acquired interpersonal skills on the part of participants, (b) the transfer (generalization) of these skills to less socially restrictive classroom and school settings, and (c) the feasible operation of the remote observation and delivery procedures. Moreover, through the application of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports conceptualization, SOTELCO will be implemented increasingly (i.e a few, some, all students) as a sustained practice in participating schools throughout the project's three-year time frame. Project Status


Funder Department of Education
Fiscal Year Funding $359,627.00
Current Award Period 2009-2012
Project Number R324A090322
Principal Investigator Knowlton, Earle
Received ARRA Funding? No
Strategic Plan Question Question 5: Where Can I Turn For Services? (Services)
Subcategory Efficacious and Cost-Effective Service Delivery
Strategic Plan Objective Green dot: Objective has greater than or equal to the recommended funding. 5LA. Test four methods to improve dissemination, implementation, and sustainability of evidence-based interventions, services, and supports in diverse community settings by 2013. IACC Recommended Budget: $7,000,000 over 5 years.
Federal or Private? Federal
Institution University of Kansas Medical Center Research Institute, Inc.
State/Country Kansas
Web Link 1 SOTELCO in classroom settings (External web link)
Web Link 2 No URL available.
Web Link 3 No URL available.
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