The effects of virtual coaching on co-teachers' planning and instruction

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University of Alabama Libraries

Recent legislation requires that students with disabilities receive equal access to the same educational opportunities as their typically developing peers (Cook et al., 2011). Therefore, most students with disabilities receive all or part of their education in the general education classrooms (U.S. Department of Education, 2008). Because of the diverse needs of students within the classrooms, co-teaching has become a popular method of special education service provision. The purpose of this study was to investigate the efficacy of virtual coaching provided to practicing co-teachers as they planned and cooperatively carried out instruction in the general education classroom. Single-case (ABAB) within participants withdrawal design was used to investigate the effectiveness of virtual coaching through online technologies on three co-teaching dyads (n=6). Data were collected through observations of archived video files, a Likert-type communication scale, and observational scales published in the co-teaching literature. Semi-structured interviews provided a measure of social validity. The efficacy of the virtual coaching intervention was examined through visual inspection of the data and percentage of nonoverlapping data. Observers used time-sampling measures to document student engagement during baseline and intervention conditions. Results indicated that all teachers increased use of varied co-teaching models and student-specific accommodations. Praise remained high while redirection of student behavior decreased over the length of the study. Students and co-teachers were not distracted by the virtual coaching intervention. The limitations of the study, implications for research and practice, as well as suggestions for future research are discussed. This study extended the work of Rock et al. (2009) and Scheeler et al. (2010).

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Special education, Teacher education