Document Type


Date of Degree

Summer 2016

Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)

Degree In

Psychological and Quantitative Foundations

First Advisor

Kristen Missall

Second Advisor

Stewart Ehly

First Committee Member

Brenda Bassingthwaite

Second Committee Member

Kathryn Gerken

Third Committee Member

John Westefeld


A Brief Experimental Analysis (BEA) is used to quickly and simultaneously evaluate two or more interventions so that the most effective intervention is selected for on-going implementation (Daly, Witt, Martens, & Dool, 1997; Martens & Gertz, 2009). Oral reading fluency interventions have been successfully evaluated using a BEA, yet minimal research studies have evaluated early literacy interventions within this context (Daly, Martens, Hamler, Dool, Eckert, 1999; Eckert, Ardoin, Daly, & Martens, 2002; McComas & Burns, 2009). The primary goal of the current study was to examine the effectiveness of a BEA in selecting a letter-sound correspondence intervention for individual students. A comparison of early intervention strategies was also completed as part of an extended analysis. The study was conducted in two phases with three kindergarten students.

First, a BEA was used to evaluate performance-based and skill-based interventions designed to increase letter-sound correspondence in three kindergarten students. Specifically, four experimental conditions were evaluated: baseline, reward, incremental rehearsal (IR) + reward, and systematic incremental rehearsal (SIR) + reward. Effectiveness of the interventions was measured using early literacy curriculum-based measurement probes. Following the BEA, an extended analysis was completed in which IR + reward and SIR + reward were both implemented with each student to compare effectiveness and evaluate whether the BEA identified the more powerful intervention to improve letter-sound correspondence.

Results indicated that in all three participants there was minimal differentiation across BEA conditions. It appears that LSF probes were not sensitive enough to measure growth or progress in the BEA. As suggested by Petursdottir and colleagues (2014), individualized probes may be required when completing a BEA of early literacy skills. During the extended analysis, all three participants made gains in letter-sound correspondence with SIR and IR interventions. When comparing the two interventions, participants appeared to make more immediate gains with SIR. Overall, both interventions appeared to be viable options for teaching students letter-sound correspondence.


xii, 139 pages


Includes bibliographical references (pages 119-125).


Copyright 2016 Jennifer Lynn Kuhle