Identifying interventions for improving letter formation: A brief experimental analysis of students with intellectual disabilities

Main Article Content

E. Rüya Özmen Zehra Atbaşı


As a group, students with intellectual disabilities display difficulties in a wide range of academic skills, including the acquisition of basic academic skills such as literacy. Early writing and reading skills must be supported to prepare students with intellectual disabilities to learn to read and write. The goal of this study was to replicate and extend the current research on Brief Experimental Analysis with letter formation. Three students with intellectual disabilities participated in the study. A brief multi-element design was used to test effectiveness of four interventions on letter formation. These interventions included goal setting plus contingent reinforcement, graphical feedback, error correction and modeling. For one student, modeling was effective; for the two remaining students, goal setting plus contingent reinforcement was effective. The results of this study extend the BEA literature by investigating the effects of interventions for improving letter formation in students with intellectual disabilities. The study findings suggest that using BEA to assess the relative contribution of each intervention can identify the most effective interventions for improving letter formation in students with intellectual disabilities.


Download data is not yet available.

Article Details

How to Cite
ÖZMEN, E. Rüya; ATBAŞI, Zehra. Identifying interventions for improving letter formation: A brief experimental analysis of students with intellectual disabilities. International Electronic Journal of Elementary Education, [S.l.], v. 9, n. 1, p. 197-209, aug. 2017. ISSN 1307-9298. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 01 june 2020.


Berninger, V. W., Mizokawa, D. T., & Bragg, R. (1991). Theory-based diagnosis and remediation of writing disabilities. Journal of School Psychology, 29, 57-79.
Berninger, V. W., Rutberg, J. E., Abbott, R. D., Garcia, N., Anderson-Youngstrom, M., Brooks, A., et al. (2006). Tier 1 and tier 2 early interventions for handwriting and composing. Journal of School Psychology, 44, 3-30.
Berninger, V. W., Vaughan, K. B., Abbott, R. D., Abbott, S. P., Rogan, L. W., Brooks, A., et al. (1997). Treatment of handwriting problems in beginning writers: Transfer from handwriting to composition. Journal of Educational Psychology, 89, 652-666.
Billingsley, F., White, O. R., & Munson, R. (1980). Procedural reliability: A rationale and an example. Behavioral Assessment, 2, 229-241.
Burns, M. K., & Wagner, D. (2008). Determining an effective intervention within a brief experimental analysis for reading: A meta-analytic review. School Psychology Review, 37, 126-136.
Burns, M.K., Ganuza, Z. M., & London, R. M. (2009). Brief experimental analysis of written letter formation: Single-case demonstration. Journal of Behavioral Education, 18, 20-34.
Carson, P. M., & Eckert, T. L. (2003). An experimental analysis of mathematics Instructional components: Examining the effects of student-selected versus empirically-selected interventions. Journal of Behavioral Education, 12, 35-54.
Chafouleas, S. M., Martens, B. K., Dobson, R. J., Weinstein, K. S., & Gardner, K. B. (2004). Fluent reading as the improvement of stimulus control: Additive effects of performance-based interventions to repeated reading on students' reading and error rates. Journal of Behavioral Education, 13, 67-81.
Codding, R. S., Baglici, S. , Gottesman, D. , Johnson, M. , Kert, A. S., & Lebeouf, P. (2012). Selecting intervention strategies: Using brief experimental analysis for mathematics problems. Journal of Applied School Psychology, 25, 146-168
Daly, E. J., III, Andersen, M., Gortmaker, V., & Turner, A. (2006). Using experimental analysis to identify reading fluency interventions: Connecting the dots. A Behavior Analyst Today, 7, 133-150.
Daly, E. J., III, Martens, B. K., Dool, E. J., & Hintze, J. M. (1998). Using brief functional analysis to select interventions for oral reading. Journal of Behavioral Education, 8, 203-218.
Daly. E. J. III, Murdoch. A., Lillenstein, L., Webber, L., & Lentz. F. E. (2002). An examination of methods for testing treatments: Conducting experimental analyses of the effects of instructional components on oral reading fluency. Education and Treatment of Children. 25, 288-316.
Daly, E. J. III., Witt, J. C, Martens, B. K., & Dool, E. J. (1997). A model for conducting a functional analysis of academic performance problems. School Psychology Review, 26, 554-574.
Duhon, G. J., Noell, G. H., Witt, J. C., Freeland, J. T., Dufrene, B. A., & Gilbertson, D. N. (2004). Identifying academic skill and performance deficits: The experimental analysis of brief assessments of academic skills. School Psychology Review, 33, 429-443.
Eckert, T. L., Ardoin, S. P., Daly, E. J., & Martens, B. K. (2002). Improving oral reading fluency: A brief experimental analysis of combining an antecedent intervention with consequences. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 35, 271-281.
Graham, S., & Harris, K. R. (2005). Improving the writing performance of young struggling writers: Theoretical and programmatic research from the center on accelerating student learning. The Journal of Special Education, 39, 19–33.
Graham, S., Harris, K. R., & Fink-Chorzempa, B. (2000). Is handwriting causally related to learning to write: Treatment of handwriting problems in beginning writers. Journal of Educational Psychology, 92, 620-633.
Graham, S., MacArthur, C. A., & Fitzgreald, J. (2007). Best practice in writing instruction. New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Guzel-Ozmen, R. (2011). Evaluating the effectiveness of combined reading interventions on improving oral reading fluency of students with reading difficulties. Electronic Journal of Research in Educational Psychology, 9, 1063-1086.
Güzel-Özmen, R. (2010) Yazma öğretimi. İ. H. Diken (Ed.), İlkogretimde kaynaştırma (pp. 403-441). Ankara: Pegem Yayınevi.
Güzel-Özmen, R., Yakın, M., & Kalkan, S. (2010). Otistik öğrencilerin harfleri ve harfleri oluşturan çizgileri çizme becerisinde iki farklı performans dönütünün etkililiğinin karşılaştırılması. Pamukkale Üniversitesi Sosyal Bilimler Enstitüsü Dergisi, 5, 97-107.
House, A. W., House, B. G., & Campbell, M. B. (1981). Measures of interobserver agreement: Calculation formula and distribution effect. Journal of Behavioral Assessment, 3, 37-57.
Jones, D., & Christensen, C. (1999). The relationship between automaticity inHandwriting and students’ ability to generate written text. Journal of Educational Psychology, 91, 44-49.
Jones, K. M., Wickstrom, K. F., Noltemeyer, A. L., Brown, S. M., Schuka, J. R., & Therrien, W. J. (2009). An experimental analysis of reading fluency. Journal of Behavioral Education, 18, 35-55.
McComas, J. J., Wacker, D. P., Cooper, L. J., Asmus, J. M., Richman, D., & Stoner, B. (1996). Brief experimental analysis of stimulus prompts for accurate responding on academic tasks in an outpatient clinic. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 29, 397-401.
Milli Eğitim Bakanlığı Tebliğler Dergisi. (1997). Retrived from
Mong, M. D., & Mong, K.W. (2012). The utility of brief experimental analysis and extended intervention analysis in selecting effective mathematics interventions. Journal of Behavioral Education, 21, 99-118.
Orçan, M., & Özmen, E. R. (2012). Zihinsel yetersizlikten etkilenmiş ögrencilerin okuma hızının artırılmasında sağaltım paketlerinden etkili olanın belirlenmesi. Özel Eğitim Dergisi, 13(1), 41-54.
Parker, D. C., Dickey, B.N., Burns, M.K., McMaster, K.L. (2012). An application of brief experimental analysis with early writing. Journal of Behavioral Education, 21, 329-349.
Wilber, A., & Cushman, T. P. (2006). Selecting effective academic interventions: An example using brief experimental analysis for oral reading. Psychology in the Schools, 43, 79-84.