Award Date

5-1-2012

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Educational & Clinical Studies

First Committee Member

Kyle Higgins

Second Committee Member

Tom Pierce

Third Committee Member

Susan Miller

Fourth Committee Member

Randall Boone

Fifth Committee Member

Richard Tandy

Number of Pages

271

Abstract

Students with emotional and behavioral disorders often lack appropriate social skills. This deficit can lead to negative outcomes including peer and teacher rejection, increased behavioral problems at school, and decreased academic achievement. In order to improve the social outcomes of students with emotional and behavioral disorders, teachers will often implement direct and explicit instruction of appropriate social skills in the natural environment. Increases in the use of technology for academic and social interaction have created a new natural environment where students participate. This environment has its own set of social rules and norms that users must understand. No published results were found related to the online social skills needed for interaction in online environments or related to the best way to teach these skills to students with emotional and behavioral disorders. In order to increase access to this environment, it is important for researchers to determine the skills needed for participation as well as the best methods for addressing these skills in school environments.

This study focused on teaching eight online social skills to students with emotional and behavioral disorders. Two instructional conditions were compared, traditionally-based online social skills instruction that involved practice of the skills in paper-and-pencil format and online social skills instruction that involved practice of the skills in online social environments. Data were compared to determine the effects on student knowledge of the social skills, their ability to determine if the skills were implemented appropriately, and how they would revise inappropriate situations. Teacher and student perceptions of student acquisition of the skills were also compared. The impact of the interventions on teacher and student beliefs about the importance of learning the online social skill were evaluated prior to and at the conclusion of the study.

The results indicated that neither of the interventions was significantly effective at teaching the online social skills to students with emotional and behavioral disorders across time, and neither of the interventions was significantly better than the other. Neither teachers nor students felt that one intervention was more effective than the other at teaching the online social skills to students, although student perceptions of their learning approached significance across time. The two interventions did not have an impact on teacher beliefs about the importance of the online social skills. However, at the conclusion of the intervention, students viewed the targeted social skills as significantly more important than they did at the beginning of intervention.

Keywords

Behavior disorders in children; Emotional and behavioral disorders; Emotional problems of children; Online etiquette – Study and teaching; Online interactions; Social skills – Study and teaching; Technology

Disciplines

Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences | Special Education and Teaching

Language

English


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