"Using the Optimizing Learning Opportunities for Students (OLOS) Observation System to Track Growth in Self-Regulation Skills"
SRCD 2019 Biennial Conference
March 21-23, 2019
Title: Using the Optimizing Learning Opportunities for Students (OLOS) Observation System to Track Growth in Self-Regulation Skills
Session: Self-Regulation in School: Classroom and Child Influences
Authors: Ashley Adams, Carol Connor
Abstract: Children’s self-regulation abilities including inhibitory control, working memory, and flexibility play an important role in their behavior in the classroom as well in their academic outcomes. The amount of time children spend off task while in the classroom may have a negative impact on growth of executive functioning skills, thereby compounding negative effects on academic outcomes. To determine whether children who spent more time off task showed less growth than children who were more engaged in classroom activities, we observed 93 children from 17 classrooms (eight 2nd grade and nine 3rd grade) at three time points during the 2015-2016 school year. Each child was observed using the Optimizing Learning Opportunities for Students (OLOS) observation tool which allows users to observe individual students and teachers and track the duration of each type of instruction (e.g. literacy, math, art, non-instruction), whether the student is engaged in instruction (i.e. on/off task), as well as student and teacher discourse moves (i.e. frequency of student and teacher talk). For example, children were coded for participation in the classroom each time they gave non-verbal or verbal responses to questions and prompts, read text out loud, asked questions, answered reasoning questions, used text to justify responses, voiced a disagreement, or used words or appropriate actions to avoid difficult social situations. Similarly, teachers were coded as engaging children in lower-level participation (e.g. inviting them to answer simple questions) and higher-level participation (e.g. challenging them to reason or draw conclusions), as well as engaging in positive behavioral management strategies in the classroom. Children were administered a measure of inhibitory control, the Head, Toes, Knees, Shoulders (HTKS, McClelland, Cameron, et al. 2014) in the fall and spring.
Using hierarchical linear modeling, we examined growth in HTKS while looking at the impact of the proportion of time spent off task (disengaged from instruction) and the proportion of time spent in non-instruction (time when no instruction was being provided by the teacher). Results showed that time spent in non-instruction did not impact HTKS scores. However, the effect of spending time off task varied by both grade and by fall HTKS. Children with lower fall HTKS scores tended to have lower spring HTKS scores as the proportion of time spent off task increased but only in second grade. For third graders, there was not a significant effect of time spent off task. These results suggest that keeping children engaged in instruction may be especially important among younger children.