A comparison of a stimulus prompt and a response prompt with four fading procedures to teach sight words to the moderately and severely retarded

Browder, Diane Marie, Department of Education, University of Virginia
Snell, Martha, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Renzaglia, Adelle M., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Strang, Harold, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Ball, Donald W., Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

A comparison was made between a stimulus prompt (picture) and a response prompt (verbal model) to teach functional sight words to 80 institutionalized retarded adults. The four prompting/fading procedures were: 1. Graphic Picture Fading (reducing the brightness and clarity of a picture prompt), 2. Delay Picture Fading (delaying the picture prompt by a few seconds), 3. Delay Word Fading (delaying the verbal model), and 4. Volume Word Fading (reducing the volume of the verbal model). A review of attention theory and errorless learning research supported using prompts with fading procedures with the retarded.

Twenty subjects were assigned to each of the four procedures to teach two lists of four words. An acquisition test was given after training on each list. A retention test was given after training both lists. Also noted were number of errors and instructional time. A mixed design ANOVA (procedures by tests) was employed to test the effect of procedure on acquisition and retention of sight words. Two separate one way ANOVA were used to assess the effect of procedures on errors and instructional time. Tukey's HSD post hoc test was used to test for differences between means. Also, all. possible Pearson Product Moment correlations were computed for pairs of the independent and dependent variables.

The major results obtained were:

1. A significant difference existed between groups on number of sight words acquired and retained (p< .05). The order of this difference was: Delay Word > Delay Picture >,
Graphic Picture and Volume Word (p Volume Word and Delay Word '>, Graphic Picture (p < .05). Instructional time negatively correlated with test performance (p < .01).

These results were related to attention theory and errorless learning. Several confounding variables competed with these theories in explaining the results which raised questions for future research. Also, recommendations were given for classroom applications of the Word Delay fading procedure.

PHD (Doctor of Philosophy)
People with mental disabilities -- Education, Reading -- Aids and devices, Reading -- Research
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