Student Research 2011

2011 Research Grant Results

Name: Cara Anne Vaccarello 

Title: Effects Of A Problem Solving Team Intervention On The Problem- Solving Process: Improving Concept Knowledge, Implementation Integrity, And Student Outcomes


Research Proposal: Over the past fifteen years, the field of education has endorsed a move toward improving the quality of student services through the use of evidence-based practices. Response to Intervention (RtI), a multi-tiered approach closely based on a public health model, utilizes evidence-based practice by selecting interventions on a student's individual needs. The use of problem solving teams has been embraced by many schools as the most effective way to make these decisions: identification of students in need of additional services, development of interventions, and assessment of the effectiveness of interventions. Research on the effectiveness of the RtI model has been positive, but has shown persistent problems involving the effective use of professional judgment in the decision making process. Recognizing the critical impact problem-solving teams have on student outcomes, This study evaluates the effects of a problem solving intervention package consisting of problem-solving information, performance feedback, and coaching in a manualized student intervention planning protocol.


Hypothesis or Questions:

  1. What is the impact of providing problem-solving teams with a problem solving intervention, consisting of (a) problem-solving information and training in the use of a manualized problem-solving protocol, (b) performance feedback, and (c) targeted coaching relative to the teams' procedural integrity of conducting problem solving stages?
  2. Does higher problem solving procedural integrity correlate to improved student outcomes?
  3. What impact does the problem solving intervention have on problem-solving team members' perceptions of their (a) knowledge/familiarity and (b) ability to implement problem- solving components?
  4. What is the problem solving team acceptability of each problem solving intervention component?


Outcomes of interest indicated that procedural integrity of problem solving teams and student outcomes were improved after participation in the problem solving intervention; however, self-reported concept knowledge and ability of problem solving components were not enhanced.

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