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Stu Ryan and Beverly Yerg

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of feedback given to (a) target student(s) from same sector (close by) and (b) opposite sectors (at a distance) on the off-task behavior of middle school physical education students. The design used in this investigation was a reversal A-B-A-B with two treatments, single case design across subjects. The two treatments (independent variables) were same sector feedback and opposite sector feedback. Data were collected on the dependent variable of off-task behavior and the variables of rate and type of feedback, student and teacher location, and teacher movement. Results indicated consistency in the decline of off-task behavior for all classes when opposite sector (crossgroup) feedback was implemented, which suggests that teacher feedback at a distance can be an effective technique for reducing student off-task behavior. In all but one case, off-task behavior rates reduced markedly at the point when the intervention was introduced. The results also indicated both participating teachers tended to use more skill feedback and less management feedback with their classes when using crossgroup feedback.

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Hans van der Mars

The effects of specific verbal praise by an experienced male physical education specialist on off-task behavior of three second-grade students were studied. A multiple baseline research design across subjects was used to assess the intervention, consisting of teacher praise aimed at the subjects’ class conduct and motor skill performance. To ensure that (a) the intervention would be implemented, and (b) that the praise would be contingent upon appropriate student conduct and skill performance, audio-cues were provided by way of prerecorded cues on microcassettes. Two boys and one girl in a second-grade class served as subjects. Off-task behavior and teacher praise data were collected from videotapes of 15 regular physical education classes. Results showed that the baseline levels of off-task levels were reduced significantly after introduction of the intervention for each subject. Specific verbal praise was effective in reducing off-task behavior of second-grade students in physical education.

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Daniel Balderson and Tom Sharpe

This study examined the effects of personal accountability and personal responsibility instructional treatments on elementary-age, urban, at-risk physical education students. A multiple treatment ABAD, ACAD, ADA, control behavior analysis design was implemented across four distinct matched class settings to determine the separate and combined treatment effects of each instructional treatment on the number of occurrences and percentage of class time for the following: teacher management, student leadership, passive and disruptive student off-task, positive social behavior, and student conflict and conflict resolution behaviors. Study participants included fourth- and fifth-grade students from four elementary classes in an inner-city charter-school setting. Results indicated that both personal accountability and personal responsibility treatments were effective in the primary treatment setting for changing all managerial, off-task, and positive social measures in desirable directions. Recommendations include analysis of the potential long-range and generalized effects of social-skill instruction for underserved children and youth conducted in the context of physical education classes.

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Melanie J. Gregg, Dennis Hrycaiko, Jennifer B. Mactavish and Garry L. Martin

The purpose in this study was to replicate and extend the mental skills training (MST) package of Wanlin, Hrycaiko, Martin, and Mahon (1997) to Special Olympics track and field athletes with intellectual disabilities. Three participants ranged in age from 21 to 23 years. A multiple baseline design across individuals was used to assess the effects of the intervention on off-task behaviors and athletic performance (i.e., work output and competition results). The results were clearly beneficial for two participants, decreasing the frequency and duraton of off-task behaviors and increasing the percentage of laps completed for the third participant. A social validity assessment provided further support for the effectiveness of the intervention.

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K. Michelle Hume, Garry L. Martin, Patricia Gonzalez, Clayton Cracklen and Sheldon Genthon

Behavioral coaching techniques consisting of instructions, a self-monitoring checklist, and coach feedback were examined at freestyle practice sessions with three female prenovice figure skaters. These techniques were compared to normal coaching procedures for their effects on the frequency of jumps and spins performed, the number of times a skater practiced a routine to music, and the amount of time spent engaging in off-task behaviors during 45-min free-skating sessions. Within a reversal-replication design, the behavioral coaching techniques produced considerable improvement on all dependent measures. Social validation measures indicated that the procedures improved quality of skating and were rated positively by the coach and by two of the three skaters.

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Thomas L. Sharpe Jr., Andrew Hawkins and Robert Wiegand

This study examined one component of an individualized instructional setting specific to physical education in order to operationally define more clearly one instructional system. A comparison of model/practice and verbal/rehearsal teacher instruction of the systems skills (i.e., pupil non-subject-matter tasks) necessary to two individualized physical education classes was conducted, quantified in terms of academic learning time specific to physical education (ALT-PE). Concomitant variables of student on-task and student off-task were similarly analyzed. The study focused upon visual inspection of pupil graphic behavioral representations in determining significant level differences between and within classes. Analyses showed model/practice instruction of systems skills to produce marked reductions in student on-task and off-task behavior, allowing larger portions of classroom time to be devoted to academic content learning activities. ALT-PE was subsequently enhanced via the model/practice intervention. The verbal/rehearsal condition evidenced negligible changes across dependent measures from baseline to intervention stages.

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Peter A. Hastie

This study examined a sixth-grade physical education class during participation in a speedball unit using the “sport education” model (Siedentop, 1994). In this unit, students took varying roles, including player, coach, referee, scorer, and statistician. The unit was examined using systematic observation and qualitative techniques. Particular attention was placed on the tasks students were expected to complete and the degree of congruence between their actions and the stated task. Also under investigation were the students’ reactions to their differing roles. Quantitative results indicated high levels of student engagement in game play and scrimmage contexts, and particularly high levels of congruent behaviors in the nonplaying roles. Levels of off-task behaviors were minimal throughout. Students reported through questionnaires and interviews that they enjoyed taking administrative roles, and they showed distinct preference for remaining in the same team for the entire season. A strong preference for student coaches over teacher instruction was also reported.

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Tan Leng Goh, James Hannon, Collin Webster, Leslie Podlog and Maria Newton


Prolonged sitting at desks during the school day without a break may result in off-task behavior in students. This study was designed to examine the effects of a classroom physical activity intervention, using TAKE 10!, on elementary school students’ on-task behavior. Nine classes (3rd to 5th grades) from 1 elementary school participated in the program (4-week baseline and 8-week intervention).


The students’ on-task behavior was measured using systematic direct observation. Observations occurred once a week during weeks 1 to 4 (baseline) and weeks 8 to 12 (intervention). A two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to compare on-task behavior between observation periods.


There was a significant decrease (P = .001) in mean percentage on-task behavior from preno TAKE 10! (91.2 ± 3.4) to postno TAKE 10! (83.5 ± 4.0) during the baseline period, whereas there was a significant increase (P = .001) in mean percentage on-task behavior from pre-TAKE 10! (82.3 ± 4.5) to post-TAKE 10! (89.5 ± 2.7) during the intervention period.


Furthermore, students who received more daily TAKE 10! were found to be more on-task than students who received less TAKE 10!. The TAKE 10! program is effective in improving students’ on-task behavior in the classroom.

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Kelsey McEntyre, Matthew D. Curtner-Smith and Deborah S. Baxter

student interest , change of tasks to prolong practice , and change of tasks to prevent off-task behavior formed a category called positive negotiations initiated by PCTs . During Phase 3, the categories were collapsed into larger themes (e.g., the positive, negative, and consequence

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Insook Kim, Phillip Ward, Oleg Sinelnikov, Bomna Ko, Peter Iserbyt, Weidong Li and Matthew Curtner-Smith

include students being successful, staying on-task, and following directions. Examples of potential punishers would be a lack of student success, students complaining, and off-task behaviors. From a behavioral perspective, PCK can be observed and measured when teachers write lesson plans, talk about what