, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 503-519

Impact of time delay, observational learning, and attentional cuing upon word recognition during integrated small-group instruction

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Abstract

The effects of constant time delay, observational learning opportunities, and differential attentional cuing were examined during the small-group instruction of students in an integrated setting. Three students, one individual with moderate mental retardation and two individuals characterized as at-risk learners, participated in learning sight words through direct instruction and observational-learning conditions. A multiple probe design across three students was combined with a multitreatment design across treatment conditions to assess the impact of instructional variables. Reliability of scoring and procedural integrity were estimated and social validity of outcomes was considered. Findings support the salience of the constant time delay procedure in facilitating word acquisition in small, heterogeneous, and inclusive group learning arrangements. Further, a significant amount of learning through observation occurred for all students under both a general and specific attentional cue condition. A slight but discernible advantage of using the specific cuing strategy of transcribing target and nontarget words was realized.

Gratitude is extended to Gail Mc Gregor, Temple University, for her feedback on the initial draft of this paper.