Author ORCID Identifier

Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Special Education

First Advisor

Dr. Yaoying Xu

Second Advisor

Dr. Donna Gilles

Third Advisor

Dr. Laron Scott

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Matthew Bogenschutz


Paraeducators serving students with disabilities outnumber special education teachers in the United States (Stewart, 2019; U. S. Department of Education et al., 2018). Paraeducators regularly provide instruction without the benefit of regular and effective training. One of the duties associated with instruction is the collection of instructional data. The purpose of this study was to examine a combination of training and coaching on the accuracy of recording student responses. In addition, a teacher-as-coach model was examined for feasibility with existing time and resources. A multiple baseline across participants design was planned. Special education teachers and paraeducators at a public separate day school for students with autism spectrum disorder were recruited. Shortly after recruitment began, the school district closed in response to the COVID-19 global pandemic. The study was completed once the school reopened for in-person learning. Only one teacher, one paraeducator, and one student completed the baseline, intervention, and follow-up phases. After a brief data recording training and ten intermittent coaching sessions, each including a pre-coaching session, an observation, and a post-coaching session, the paraeducator’s accuracy of recording improved in consistency and accuracy, moving from variable accuracy, averaging 58% in baseline, to a mean of 91% across the intervention sessions, and maintained100% in the follow-up phase. Social validity data and perceptions reported indicate that the participants valued the coaching sessions and found them to be effective. Implications for practice, policy, and research surrounding the support of paraeducators and special education are discussed.


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