Current Projects

(Updated 8/21/2023)

A Delphi Study to Identify Core Areas of Knowledge and Skills for Early Career Single-Case Researchers – In recruitment

This study will employ a Delphi survey methodology to establish consensus among an expert panel regarding key skills and knowledge early career researchers need in order to conduct high quality single-case research designs. Single-case research methodologies and data-analysis strategies have grown in sophistication and will continue to play an even more central role in applied and clinical research in psychology, education, special education, early intervention, and related fields. Unfortunately, there are limited resources available to young scholars and experienced researchers for accessing these new developments. To respond to this need, the IES funded Single Case Institute provides intensive hybrid (both onsite and distance learning) Professional Development (PD), aimed at improving the methodological rigor of single-case design (SCD) intervention research, the teaching of SCD methods in higher education settings, and the visual and statistical analysis of SCD data by education, special education, early childhood special education, and early intervention researchers. In this study, the results of the Delphi survey will inform the curriculum design of the Single Case Institute, including a curriculum-based assessment for future institute attendees. In collaboration with Dr. Wendy Machalicek and doctoral students at the University of Oregon.

Exploration of Attentional Strengths and Weaknesses of College Students with Autism in STEM Majors: Impact on Access and Participation in Active Learning – In data collection

The purpose of this project is to acquire a clear understanding of factors that support or impede students with Autism in STEM programs to success. This exploratory investigation aims to identify interactions between the characteristics and behaviors of individuals with Autism and environmental factors and how these interactions support or hinder access to college instruction. This will be accomplished through translational research involving neuropsychological assessment, experimental and psychophysiological measures of attentional strengths and weaknesses, and direct observation in natural settings. Funded by Launch the Future incentive grant from College of Education.

ParaImpact: Professional Development with Teacher-as-Coach for Paraeducators of Elementary Students with Moderate-to-Severe Developmental Disabilities: A Randomized Control Trial – In data analysis

The purpose of this project is to develop ParaImpact, a professional development package to train supervising teachers to utilize practice-based coaching to train their paraeducators to implement systematic instruction for elementary students with moderate-to-severe developmental disabilities (MSDD). The development of ParaImpact will address this research-to-practice gap, providing a mechanism for teachers to supervise, train, and evaluate paraeducators’ delivery of effective instructional practices for students with MSDD. Funded by the Institute of Educational Science.

Program Evaluation of Tier I Behavior Supports in a Public Elementary School: Participatory Action Research – In data analysis

In close collaboration with an elementary school, this study used an explanatory sequential mixed methods design to explore the current use of evidence-based Tier I behavior supports implemented in a public elementary school. Quantitative measures included a survey of all licensed teachers in the building and behavioral observations of a representative sample of general education teachers’ behavioral practices. Observational data measured frequency of general and behavior-specific praise statements and reprimand statements, frequency of opportunities to respond during instruction, and the use of pre-correcting. Additionally, qualitative data were collected via nine semi-structured interviews with teachers to better understand their current practices, the strengths of the school as it relates to supporting student behavior, and teachers’ future desires for behavior support.

Exploring Special Education Teachers’ Perspectives on Preference Assessments – In data analysis

This qualitative study will explore the opinions and perspectives of special education teachers on their prior training, use, and importance of preference assessments.

An Asynchronous Video-Based Training with Video Self-Monitoring to Train Preference Assessments – In data analysis

The purpose of this study is to evaluate an asynchronous training method for preference assessment procedures. Behavior technicians will learn how to conduct three different preference assessments by watching a training video and self-recordings of their preference assessment implementation.

Integrating Evidence-Based Practices for Autism in Tier I School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports– Manuscript in preparation

This practitioner paper is aimed to support teachers to adapt SWPBIS practices to evidence-based practices for autistic students. This is an OSEP Leadership Grant CO-LEAD project across the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, the University of Oregon and Purdue University.

Fathers of Children with Autism: Perceptions of Provider Supports – Manuscript in preparation

This qualitative study is evaluating the perceptions of fathers of children with autism around the potential strengths, barriers, and support needs in their interactions with early childhood service providers.

ParaImpact: Special Education Teacher-as-Coach for Paraeducator Implementation of Systematic Instruction, Pilot Studies – Manuscript in preparation

Special educators are responsible for supervising and training paraeducators, however, they are often unprepared to do so. The purpose of these single-case research design pilot studies was to evaluate the effects and feasibility of online modules plus special educator-delivered practice-based coaching on paraeducators’ implementation of four systematic instructional skills: environmental arrangement, prompting, error correction, and reinforcement. Funded by the Institute of Educational Science.

Pyramidal Training to Implement Class-wide Function Related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT): A Participatory Action Research Follow-up – Manuscript in preparation

This project is a continuing participatory action research (PAR) project with an elementary school. Working closely and collaboratively with a public elementary school, Purdue researchers trained two in-house school-based coaches to use practice-based coaching to teach general education teachers to implement Class-wide Function Related Intervention Teams (CW-FIT), a group contingency classroom management procedure to improve student on-task behavior. The purpose of this study was to build the capacity of general education teachers to manage student behavior to improve inclusive opportunities for students with or at-risk for disabilities.

“Delivered Right to Your Own Home” Stakeholders’ Perspectives on an At-Home Autism Likelihood Assessment – Manuscript in preparation

This qualitative study is examining the perceptions of autistic parents and parents of children with autism, genetic disorders, and/or families who live in environmental risk areas. The study aims to assess the willingness, concerns, and supports needed for families to complete an at-home autism likelihood assessment kit. This is a Purdue Autism Research Center (PARC) project in collaboration with the Department of Human Development and Family Sciences.

Exploring Inclusion: Participatory action research in an elementary school – Manuscript under review

The purpose of this study is to better understand stakeholder perceptions and practices of special education at a Midwestern public elementary school while they consider changes to building configurations and operations. This PAR project was initiated by the school principal and a joint decision-making approach has been implemented across all aspects of the project including the development of the purpose, research questions, information gathering, measures, and recruitment. Information gathered through this study will be used by the school administration to make decisions regarding future improvements in special education programming.