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The purpose of this research was to determine the effects of three in-service training methods on the quality of IEP objectives developed by speech-language pathologists. Forty-nine school-based speech-language pathologists were randomly assigned to one of three in-service training activities: reading-materials only, workshop-only, and workshop followed by peer coaching. The reading-materials only group read information regarding the development of educationally relevant objectives from a web site. The workshop-only and peer coaching groups received information regarding the development of educationally relevant objectives at a half-day in-service workshop. The peer coaching group received an extra hour of training regarding the peer coaching process. Following the in-service workshop, participants in the peer coaching group posted two objectives to a website each month for two months to be critiqued by a peer. The reading-materials only and workshop-only groups received no follow-up support during this two-month period. The quality of IEP objectives was the primary dependent variable. A two-way ANOVA with one between group factor and one repeated measures factor revealed that the workshop-only and peer coaching groups wrote significantly higher quality objectives than the reading-materials group. A time by group interaction revealed improvements in the workshop-only and peer coaching groups at post-training and maintained at follow-up compared to the reading materials group. Surveys revealed that the peer coaching group attributed positive changes in the quality of their objectives to participation in the study. They also rated the web-based peer coaching process positively and were relatively positive about participating in peer coaching in the future. A social validation assessment of parents' perceptions of the quality of objectives developed by the participants before and after intervention revealed that parents did not distinguish between high quality and low quality objectives. The results lend support to the effectiveness of the workshop-only format for the acquisition and transfer of a skill when participants already possess a working understanding of the workshop content. Reciprocal peer coaching via a website was ineffective for promoting continued improvement in the quality of IEP objectives. Further investigation into the effectiveness of expert coaching via a website for promoting continued growth is warranted.
Staff Development, Transfer of Learning, Adult Learning
Date of Defense
October 10, 2003.
A Dissertation submitted to the Department of Communication Disorders in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Howard Goldstein, Professor Directing Dissertation; John Keller, Outside Committee Member; Amy Wetherby, Committee Member; Juliann Woods, Committee Member; Donna Crowley, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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