In special education it is a main goal to help students achieve some level of adult independence. To that effect, it is an excellent idea to use a behavioral intervention that incorporates some degree of self monitoring to help students improve their executive function in regards to off task behavior. Working in a school that serves as an out of district placement for special education students who cannot be serviced properly by their home district, it is common to observe copious amounts of off task behavior on a daily basis. Because of this, the article written by Cherry F. Crum titled
Using a Cognitive–Behavioral Modification Strategy to
Increase On-Task Behavior of a Student with a Behavior Disorder was of particular interest because it focused on self monitoring.
The article focused on the behavior of a student in second grade who had a behavioral disability. The goal of the study was to increase the students on task behavior with minimal teacher offered redirection. (Crum, 2004) The data that was collected to create a baseline for the study revealed that James was on task for an average of 17.33%, compared to his peer, who was on task an average of 94.89%. (Crum, 2004) The baseline recorded behaviors that included out of seat behaviors, inactive, playing with objects, and talk/speaking out. This comparison shows a clear deficit in on task behavior and this would allow for a notable improvement if the strategy proved effective. The teacher provided the student with several tasks in which he could record or self monitor on and off task behavior. The strategy included a behavior observation form where the student could keep track of his intervals of on and off task behavior using +’s and 0’s. (Crum, 2004) In addition that student was also asked to complete a weekly reflect/evaluation of their own behavior. (Crum, 2004) This could be tedious, however if the student is on board with the program and really wants to improve his behavior it can, and proves to be affective. At first I thought that this program would be difficult to
properly execute with such a young student but the results proved otherwise. It is important to note that the student did have incentives for on task behavior, as well as accurate tracking, during this study. The reward came in the form of free time. (Crum, 2004)
The five day study resulted in significant improvements in on task behavior. (Crum,
2004) The study improved his on task intervals from 9/90 on the last day of the baseline period to 44/90 on the first day of the intervention. (Crum, 2004) By the end of the study the students had achieved 82/90 intervals of on task behavior, a significant gain from the initial benchmark.
(Crum, 2004) While these results are admirable, they are very short term. Much more extensive research must be performed in order to test the effectiveness of this intervention with the generalization of on task behavior. On must ask if these result can be sustained over weeks, months, and years. It is also important to consider the time and effort that a student must devote to monitoring