Universal Screening for Behavioral and Emotional Risk
Within a response-to-intervention (RTI) model for intervention for behavioral and emotional difficulties, there are typically three tiers of implementation with increasing levels of support. Although the RTI approach to service delivery is frequently used within school settings, a great deal of ambiguity remains related to the decision-making process when identifying students for prevention and intervention efforts at each tier. To aid in this decision-making, schools can implement universal screening measures to screen all students for emotional and behavioral problems. More specifically, universal screening is a method refers to the systematic assessment of all students in a given population in order to identify students who are at risk for behavioral, emotional, or related difficulties.
Our project uses a universal screener for behavioral and emotional risk among all students in one elementary school (grades Pre-K through 5th). Teachers (Pre-K through 2nd) or students (grades 3-5) complete the screener twice a year and our research team enters and analyzes the data in order to inform intervention efforts by the school. Additionally, with these data, we hope to examine how behavioral and emotional risk is related to academic and behavioral outcomes longitudinally.
Motivation is a key component of a student’s educational success and has been linked to numerous positive outcomes including curiosity, desire to learn, and academic performance. Additionally, student motivation is contingent on multiple factors and is highly variable; therefore, frequent screening of student motivation is needed for prevention purposes. Although there are numerous scales available to measure student motivation, there is a lack of assessments available that measure motivation overtime.
In order to address these barriers, our research team developed an electronic app to assess student motivation in mathematics. We specifically created an app aimed to assess motivation during middle school because middle school has been found to be a critical period of concern for academic engagement as students transition from small group to individually-focused learning environments. In addition, our app includes eye-catching and fun graphics to engage students in the assessment! Through this project, we hope to establish the psychometric properties of this new assessment, and to see how motivation is linked with mathematics achievement over time.