Increasing Observations and Feedback Efficiency to Improve Instructional Quality in Small Group Intervention Settings
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The current study investigated the reliability and validity of using short observations with an observation tool designed to measure implementation of small group interventions. Intervention lessons for eight instructional groups from two schools were video recorded for nine weeks, and post-test assessments of reading decoding were administered to 31 at-risk kindergarten students. Videos of intervention instruction from weeks two, five, and eight, each representing a phase in the intervention period, were used within this study for measuring implementation. Each video was divided into three ten-minute segments representing the beginning, middle, and end of each intervention lesson. Video segments were coded for implementation using the Quality of Intervention Delivery and Receipt tool (QIDR; Harn, Forbes-Spear, Fritz, & Berg, 2012). Overall, the results of this study indicate that a) reliability can be achieved when using 10-minute observations, b) QIDR scores obtained from 10-minute segments are strongly correlated with scores obtained from full-length observations, c) there is no statistical difference in scores obtained from full-length observations and those obtained in 10-minute segments, and d) QIDR scores obtained from both full-length and 10-minute segments accounted for group differences in student outcomes, with lesson segments obtained from the end of lessons accounting for the most variance. Implications for research and practice are discussed, including the importance of thorough training and calibration to maintain reliability, as well as the feasibility and utility of providing frequent observation and feedback through shorter observations.