Examining the Relationship between Educator Knowledge, Implementation Frequency, and Perceived Feasibility of Utility of Evidence-Based Practices Following a Training Paradigm of in-Person and Teleconferenced Training, Coaching, and Mentorship

Poster Presentation
Thursday, May 10, 2018: 5:30 PM-7:00 PM
Hall Grote Zaal (de Doelen ICC Rotterdam)
W. Loring1, C. McQueen1, T. E. Foster2, A. Dubin2 and P. Juárez1, (1)Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, TN, (2)Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington, DE
Background: Federal legislation calls for educators serving students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) to use evidence-based practices (EBPs). Educator feedback indicates that correctly identifying and implementing EBPs has become increasingly challenging, and the amount of pre-service information regarding EBP’s and ASD varies greatly. Therefore, training in EBPs for educators is a pressing national need. In response, we partnered with our state’s Department of Education in which collaborative planning of systems of professional development and program evaluation result in opportunities for students and educators to receive best-practice support and training. Through this, three-day workshops are provided in a fixed-model, experiential training paradigm designed for the unique support needs for staff educating students with ASD and provides in-person and teleconferenced training, coaching, and mentorship. During the year examined for this poster, 6 workshops were conducted in 3 versions for early childhood, elementary/middle, or high school educators. These workshops focus on the impact of ASD on learning and strategies to implement EBPs feasibly and successfully in optimizing learning.

Objectives: 1. To assist school districts statewide in moving towards more inclusive and evidence-based practices, 2. To develop nationally replicable models of high-quality educator professional development, 3. To advance policies and practices related to successfully building capacity and sustainability in educating students with ASD

Methods: Data collected evaluates: 1. Increased knowledge of targeted EBPs, 2. Implementation frequency and fidelity of targeted EBPs and 3. Perceived satisfaction, feasibility, and utility in optimizing student outcomes post-workshop. Knowledge and satisfaction data are collected immediately post-workshop. Reported implementation, feasibility, and utility are collected immediately post-workshop, during a classroom consultation 2 months post-workshop, and via survey 6 and 12 months post-workshop. Implementation fidelity is coded by consultants during the classroom consultation. The focus on this poster is examining the correlation between EBP knowledge and reported implementation, feasibility, and utility 2 months post-workshop.

Results: Across all workshop versions, there was a significant increase in EBP knowledge post-workshop. There was a significant correlation between EBP knowledge and reported implementation in one EBP in the High School version. There were no significant correlations between EBP knowledge and reported feasibility, utility, or implementation for any other EBPs across workshops. Reported implementation and perceived feasibility and utility were high 2 months post-workshop and implementation fidelity was moderate. There were significant correlations between feasibility and utility for all EBPs and between both feasibility and implementation and implementation and utility for 86% of targeted EBPs (see table).

Conclusions: This training paradigm results in increased EBP knowledge with moderate levels of implementation fidelity 2 months post-workshop. EBP’s were perceived as feasible to implement and useful in optimizing student outcomes. While minimal correlations were seen between EBP knowledge and implementation, feasibility, and utility, these 3 factors were highly correlated post-workshop, indicating that perceived feasibility and utility are directly related to the frequency of EBP implementation. These data are of great value in developing effective and efficient forms of professional development to support the critical need for educator training in the provision of EBP’s in working with students with ASD.