Effects of Instruction in an Assignment Completion Strategy on the Homework Performance of Students with Learning Disabilities in General Education Classes

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Homework is an important activity in the lives of school-aged children, including students with learning disabilities (LD). Characteristics often associated with LD (e.g., poor organizational skills) may adversely impact the rate and quality of homework completion. In this study, a multiple-probe across-students design (Horner & Baer, 1978) was used to evaluate the effects of instruction in a comprehensive, independent assignment completion strategy with regard to homework completion rates and the quality of products completed in response to assignments given in general education classrooms. Eight of nine students mastered use of the strategy, and their homework completion rates and the quality of their homework products improved. Associated with these improvements were increases in quarterly grades and teacher ratings of the quality of the assignments. Thus, direct instruction in a comprehensive strategy comprised of organizational behaviors can result in independent completion of more homework by students with LD. Nevertheless, instruction in organizational skills alone appears insufficient to produce a 100 percent submission rate: student motivation to complete assignments and mastery of the skills required, aswell as the appropriateness of assignments for students, need to be addressed.

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