The impact of using self-regulated strategy development to increase expository writing outcomes in students at-risk for emotional and behavioral disorders
This single-subject study compared the effects of a typical practice baseline phase to those of a treatment phase. Four participants at-risk for emotional/behavioral disorders (EBD) in Grades 7 and 8 participated in the one school site study. Each participant was identified by the English language arts classroom teacher as a poor writer and scored below average on the story composition subtest of the Test of Written Language, Fourth Edition (TOWL-4) screening measure. Baseline consisted of participants writing an expository essay, without the support of the researcher. In treatment, participants received expository writing instruction using the self-regulated strategy development (SRSD) model for writing, along with the TIDE strategy. This multicomponent framework consisted of six instructional stages: (1) Developing Background Knowledge, (2) Discuss It, (3) Model It, (4) Memorize It, (5) Support It, and (6) Independent Practice. Self-regulation strategies were also interwoven into the six stages. Based on visual analysis of data and effect sizes computed, it was determined SRSD instruction using the TIDE strategy was effective for improving essay element performance of middle school students at-risk for EBD who have difficulty with writing; a large effect of intervention was detected for all participants. Additionally, SRSD instruction using the TIDE strategy was found to be effective for a majority of the participants for improving essay quality performance. A large effect of intervention was detected for three out of four participants and a moderate effect was detected for one participant. Finally, SRSD instruction using the TIDE strategy was found to be effective for half of the participants in terms of increasing the number of words written produced in a written composition. A large effect was detected for two out of four participants, while a moderate effect was detected for one participant and a small effect was detected for the remaining participant. All participants in this study improved their raw scores and national percentile ranks on the TOWL-4. A social validity questionnaire indicated that participants valued SRSD instruction using the TIDE strategy.