Defense Date


Graduation Date

Summer 2015


Immediate Access

Submission Type


Degree Name



Counseling, Psychology, & Special Education


School of Education

Committee Chair

Elizabeth McCallum

Committee Member

Kara McGoey

Committee Member

Ara Schmitt


behaviorism, CCC, interventions, self-managed, spelling, taped-interventions


Cover, copy, and compare (CCC) is an effective academic intervention for many academic subjects, but most often implemented as a spelling intervention. Taped interventions (TI) have also been found to be effective in increasing academic performance (Freeman & McLaughlin, 1984), but are most often implemented as math interventions. Recently, a Taped Spelling Intervention (TSI) was developed and found to be effective in improving the spelling of middle school students with learning disabilities (McCallum, Schmitt, Evans, Schaffner, & Long, 2014). CCC and TSI are self-managed interventions that include error self-correction components and high rates of opportunities to respond. Both interventions are viewed favorably by students and teachers. Direct comparisons of CCC and other taped interventions have previously been examined (Poncy, Skinner, & Jaspers, 2007; Poncy, Skinner, & McCallum, 2012), but this is the first study to directly compare CCC and the recently developed TSI. The current study compared the effects of CCC and TSI on the spelling accuracy of four fifth-grade students with identified learning disabilities in reading and writing. The effectiveness of the two interventions was compared by way of an adapted alternating treatments design (Barlow & Hayes, 1979), taking into account instructional time required by each intervention and the resultant learning rates. The TSI condition included the use of a media device in the form of an iPhone while experimenter-created intervention worksheets were used during the CCC condition. Lists of grade level spelling words were compiled from AIMSweb, a tightly controlled for difficulty, curriculum-based measurement system. Three spelling word lists were used in the study (one word list per condition including a control condition) with each list consisting of 10 words made up of 75 correct letter sequences.

The effectiveness of the interventions was evaluated using visual analyses. Specifically, mean total words correct (TWC) and mean correct letter sequences (CLS) for each word list were graphed and visual analysis was used to compare the trends of the data. Both interventions (CCC and TSI) resulted in increased mean TWC and CLS for each of the students when compared to his initial baseline assessments. In terms of TWC, CCC was most effective for two of the students and TSI was most effective for another student. Regarding CLS, three students performed better by way of TSI when compared to CCC. Learning rate was higher in the CCC condition and students generally preferred CCC over TSI. Spelling gains were maintained on an assessment administered approximately two-weeks following the final intervention session. Discussion focuses on the importance of easily implemented, socially acceptable, time- and cost-efficient interventions for increasing the academic performance of students, and the value of comparative analyses for choosing appropriate interventions. Practical implications, recommendations for use, limitations, and direction for future research will be discussed.