Morphology Instruction in the Science Classroom for Students Who Are Deaf: A Multiple Probe Across Content Analysis

Morphology Instruction in the Science Classroom for Students Who Are Deaf: A Multiple Probe... Abstract Deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students have exhibited a morphological knowledge delay that begins in preschool and persists through college. Morphological knowledge is critical to vocabulary understanding and text comprehension in the science classroom. We investigated the effects of morphological instruction, commonly referred to as Word Detectives, on the morphological knowledge of college-age DHH students in a science course. We implemented a multiple probe across behaviors single-case experimental design study with nine student participants. The student participants attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. A functional relation was found between the morphological instruction and the student participants’ improvement of morphological knowledge regarding the morphemes taught during instruction. These findings indicate that DHH students benefit from morphological instruction to build their vocabulary knowledge in content-area classrooms, such as science courses. Interest in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) college students’ reading abilities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is growing. Recent focus in STEM reading abilities for DHH individuals is due to the significant need to increase the U.S. workforce in STEM fields. Further, the STEM workforce needs to be diversified by including those from minority groups (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2012), such as a linguistic-minority like DHH people. This population is under-represented in STEM careers (15.5%) when compared to hearing people (17.9%; Walter, 2010). Although the gap between DHH and hearing people represented in STEM careers appears minimal, the statistics alone are misleading. DHH people engaged in STEM careers are more likely to work in manual occupations (e.g., agriculture, construction) while hearing people are more likely to work in emerging STEM fields (e.g., information technology, healthcare). These emerging STEM fields carry higher degree requirements (Walter, 2010). The disparity is most noticeable between the DHH and hearing population when comparing STEM bachelor’s degree attainment rates (15.5% DHH vs. 24.9% hearing; Walter, 2010). DHH college-age students may struggle to attain STEM bachelor’s degrees because of their reading comprehension of STEM materials. Reading comprehension is often compromised by a lack of vocabulary knowledge (Kelly, 1996). DHH college-age readers exhibit vocabulary knowledge that is not commiserate with their hearing peers (Sarchet et al., 2014) and need STEM vocabulary instruction at the college-level (Borgna, Convertino, Marschark, Morrison, & Rizzolo, 2011). Vocabulary Interventions and Older DHH Readers Vocabulary intervention studies with DHH participants at the postsecondary level have focused on providing a vocabulary support, such as a list of important words and definitions (Borgna et al., 2011) or a link to a definition, pictorial representation, or concept map (Stinson & Stevenson, 2013), during reading. In both cases, these vocabulary support strategies did not increase the DHH college-age readers’ ability to answer comprehension questions about the text (Borgna et al., 2011; Stinson & Stevenson, 2013). These findings indicate that college-age DHH readers require more than vocabulary supports, they require vocabulary instruction. Due to the dearth of vocabulary instruction research at the postsecondary level for DHH readers, we reviewed the vocabulary instruction research-base for DHH secondary students (12-year old and older; Hamilton, 2012; Haptonstall-Nykaza & Schick, 2007; Paatsch, Blamey, Sarant, & Bow, 2006; Robbins & Hatcher, 1981). Hamilton (2012) found that DHH high schoolers’ ability to answer multiple choice vocabulary-related questions increased when they used an online bi-lingual (American Sign Language [ASL] and English) dictionary that included picture support. However, the effects of the dictionary support did not persist and within 2 days the students had forgotten what they had learned. Haptonstall-Nykaza and Schick (2007) discovered that DHH students could recognize and produce unfamiliar words more readily when the word was presented using the ASL sign, English print and lexicalized fingerspelling. Paatsch and colleagues (2006) propose that vocabulary instruction for older readers should be implemented in context of discussion and reading materials to be effective. While all these studies addressed some important aspects of vocabulary instruction for secondary and potentially postsecondary readers (e.g., multiple representations and instruction in context), none of the studies addressed STEM vocabulary in particular, which is critical to reading at the secondary and postsecondary levels. STEM Vocabulary and Morphology Instruction Older DHH students’ struggle with STEM vocabulary is partially due to delayed morphological knowledge that begins at an early age (Gaustad, 1986) and persists through college (Gaustad & Kelly, 2004). Morphemes are the smallest units of language that retain meaning (Reed, 2008). Morphological knowledge is the ability to: (a) recognize component morphemes within multi-morphemic words, (b) understand the morphemes’ and root words’ meanings, and (c) apply the rules used to combine morphemes to make words (Harris, Schumaker, & Deshler, 2011). For example, a text may contain the word immunology. Immunology can be broken down into immune and –ology. Immune is the root word meaning resistant to a particular infection and –ology is the suffix meaning the study of. First, the student recognizes these two parts of the word. Second, the student defines the word parts. Third, the student puts the meanings together to define the full word (i.e., immunology means the study of resistance to infection). Lastly, the student attempts to decode the word with meaning in context. In general, a reader’s morphological knowledge consistently predicts reading comprehension above and beyond phonological skills (hearing: Deacon & Kirby, 2004; Nagy, Berninger, & Abbott, 2006; DHH: Nunes, Burman, Evans, & Bell, 2010) and makes a unique contribution to reading comprehension via vocabulary (Kieffer & Lesaux, 2012). Further, morphological knowledge continues to develop well past fourth grade, where phonological skills plateau (Berninger, Abbott, Nagy, & Carlisle, 2010). When reading abilities beyond fourth grade is the target, morphological knowledge appears to be an essential component of reading and reading instruction. For STEM texts, in particular science texts, morphological knowledge, in the form of Latin and Greek affixes and roots, is critical to tackling unfamiliar science vocabulary (Zygouris-Coe, 2012). Vocabulary Instruction in the Science Classroom Scientists report analyzing Latin and Greek morphemes (Zygouris-Coe, 2012) during reading. They utilize a meaning-oriented decoding strategy that provides clues about the unknown words meaning (Arnbak & Elbro, 2000; Reichle & Perfetti, 2003) and generates vocabulary knowledge (Goodwin, Lipsky, & Ahn, 2012). For instance, the word constellation can be separated into three morphemes: con- meaning with, stella, meaning star, and -tion meaning state or condition of. Constellation roughly means the state or condition of stars being together. Although the definition is not exact, the morphemes in the words gives the reader information to support their understanding of the word in context (Goodwin et al., 2012). Morphology instruction is important to science literacy. First, direct instruction of science vocabulary is limited (Wysocki & Jenkins, 1987). Teaching 10–20 words a week (360–620 words a year) in the science classroom will not close the vocabulary knowledge gap for DHH students (Sarchet et al., 2014). Conversely, students who are taught morphological word analysis skills (i.e., breaking apart words into their constituent morphemes) can learn approximately 540–1260 words every year (Sullivan, 2008) because this skill generates word knowledge. Nagy and Anderson (1984) estimated that 60% of the novel vocabulary older students encounter while reading could be morphologically analyzed for meaning. Also, many morphemes are spelled the same across words even when their pronunciation changes (e.g., heal and health; McCutchen, Logan, & Biangardi-Orpe, 2012) and are combined in a rule-based manner (Chomsky, 2005). Word families based on morphemes (e.g., biology, psychology, and toxicology) assist in the recognition of new words with a large effect size for morphological word families (Carlisle, 2000). This regularity allows readers to look for orthographic patterns (Griva & Anastasiou, 2009) and generalize their morphological knowledge. Morphology instruction is consistent with the lexical quality hypothesis (Perfetti, 2002). The lexical quality hypothesis assumes that reading comprehension is supported by vocabulary knowledge. Vocabulary knowledge is defined as retrieving a detailed orthographic, phonologic, or morphologic and semantic representation of a word while reading. Proficient readers can engage in high-quality lexical retrieval supporting their text comprehension (Verhoeven & Perfetti, 2008). Proficient readers have high-quality word retrieval allowing them to expend cognitive resources on understanding the text itself (Verhoeven & Perfetti, 2008). One can see how high-quality lexical retrieval would be critical to reading science and other STEM texts. However, the morphological delay experienced by DHH students affects their ability to read with high-quality lexical retrieval for science vocabulary and ultimately affects their reading comprehension of science texts. Morphological instruction may improve the current situation. The purpose of the present study was twofold. First, we wanted to address the gaps in the literature-base regarding the lack of STEM vocabulary instructional strategies for postsecondary DHH readers. Second, we wanted to improve DHH students’ morphological knowledge regarding scientific vocabulary from the astronomy curriculum through direct morphological instruction. The primary research questions were: What effect does morphological instruction have on the morpheme meaning knowledge of DHH college-age science students? The secondary research question was: Will gains maintain for 2 weeks? Methods Participants and Setting Nine DHH college-age students participated in the study. All participants had a hearing loss of at least 65 dB or greater in their better ear, were enrolled in a general science course (astronomy), had delayed morphological knowledge determined by a researcher-created roots and affixes pretest, and consented to participate in the study. See Table 1 for further description of the student participants. The present study was conducted in speech supported sign language (i.e., spoken English and American Sign Language signs used simultaneously following English word order) because the second author taught the astronomy class using speech supported sign to best meet the needs of the student participants who used various communication modalities and languages. Table 1 Student participants’ demographics Students  CA  HA or CI  Lang. at college?  Lang. at Home?  Major  Years in college?  Score on Pretest  Felicity  19;5  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng.  Bus.  1  4%  Vick  21;1  None  ASL, Eng.  ASL, Eng.  Comp. Tech.  3  12%  Gina  19;6  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng  Bus.  1  9%  Annalea  26;8  None  ASL  ASL  Acct.  1  12%  Maria  18;4  None  ASL  ASL  Bus. Acct.  1  6%  Cecelia  20;1  HA  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  1  9%  Hermosa  20;2  HA  ASL  ASL, Eng.  Hospitality  1  3%  Jacque  20:11  HA  Eng.  S.E.E.  Lab Sciences  3  13%  Sia  21;11  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  2  0%  Students  CA  HA or CI  Lang. at college?  Lang. at Home?  Major  Years in college?  Score on Pretest  Felicity  19;5  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng.  Bus.  1  4%  Vick  21;1  None  ASL, Eng.  ASL, Eng.  Comp. Tech.  3  12%  Gina  19;6  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng  Bus.  1  9%  Annalea  26;8  None  ASL  ASL  Acct.  1  12%  Maria  18;4  None  ASL  ASL  Bus. Acct.  1  6%  Cecelia  20;1  HA  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  1  9%  Hermosa  20;2  HA  ASL  ASL, Eng.  Hospitality  1  3%  Jacque  20:11  HA  Eng.  S.E.E.  Lab Sciences  3  13%  Sia  21;11  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  2  0%  Note. CA, chronological age; years; months, HA, hearing aid, CI, cochlear implant, Lang., language, ASL, American Sign Language, Eng., English, Spa., Spanish, S. E. E., Signed Exact English, Bus., business, Comp., computer, Tech., technology, Acct, accounting. Pretest score is based on number correct/68 possible points. Table 1 Student participants’ demographics Students  CA  HA or CI  Lang. at college?  Lang. at Home?  Major  Years in college?  Score on Pretest  Felicity  19;5  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng.  Bus.  1  4%  Vick  21;1  None  ASL, Eng.  ASL, Eng.  Comp. Tech.  3  12%  Gina  19;6  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng  Bus.  1  9%  Annalea  26;8  None  ASL  ASL  Acct.  1  12%  Maria  18;4  None  ASL  ASL  Bus. Acct.  1  6%  Cecelia  20;1  HA  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  1  9%  Hermosa  20;2  HA  ASL  ASL, Eng.  Hospitality  1  3%  Jacque  20:11  HA  Eng.  S.E.E.  Lab Sciences  3  13%  Sia  21;11  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  2  0%  Students  CA  HA or CI  Lang. at college?  Lang. at Home?  Major  Years in college?  Score on Pretest  Felicity  19;5  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng.  Bus.  1  4%  Vick  21;1  None  ASL, Eng.  ASL, Eng.  Comp. Tech.  3  12%  Gina  19;6  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng  Bus.  1  9%  Annalea  26;8  None  ASL  ASL  Acct.  1  12%  Maria  18;4  None  ASL  ASL  Bus. Acct.  1  6%  Cecelia  20;1  HA  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  1  9%  Hermosa  20;2  HA  ASL  ASL, Eng.  Hospitality  1  3%  Jacque  20:11  HA  Eng.  S.E.E.  Lab Sciences  3  13%  Sia  21;11  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  2  0%  Note. CA, chronological age; years; months, HA, hearing aid, CI, cochlear implant, Lang., language, ASL, American Sign Language, Eng., English, Spa., Spanish, S. E. E., Signed Exact English, Bus., business, Comp., computer, Tech., technology, Acct, accounting. Pretest score is based on number correct/68 possible points. The DHH student participants attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The study took place in the general science astronomy classroom. The students were positioned in a U-shape. The research teacher presented from the front of the room using two projectors and two whiteboards during instruction. Recruitment After receiving IRB approval, the student participants were recruited. The primary author came to the classroom, described the study, and explained to the student participants that deciding to participate in the study would not affect their grades. If they decided to participate in and completed the study, there was a drawing for two twenty-five-dollar gift cards at the end of the study. The primary and secondary author (professor of record) left the room and two graduate research assistants (GRAs) gathered consent for participation in the study. Research design We utilized a multiple probe across behaviors single-case experimental design (Gast, Llyod, & Ledford 2014). Multiple probe across behaviors designs are useful for measuring the effects of skill instruction that cannot be withdrawn. Further, single-case experimental designs mirror educational settings because everyone receives instruction and the instruction can be manipulated to better meet the needs of the student (Gast, Llyod, & Ledford, 2014). The design had one baseline phase, three intervention phases, and a maintenance phase. Independent variable The independent variable was the morphological intervention modeled after Word Detectives instruction (Goodwin et al., 2012). A research teacher delivered the intervention instruction 2 days a week (Tuesday and Thursday) for 15–20 min. The intervention included word analysis instruction (eccentricity = ec + centric + ity) as well as morpheme meaning instruction (ec- means “away from”). After the research teacher taught word analysis and morpheme meaning for a word explicitly (see Figure 1), the student participants were asked if they knew any other words that contained the taught morphemes. If the students did not have any examples to share, the research teacher would provide examples in attempts to scaffold the students’ knowledge. Also, the student participants engaged in practice activities that included word analysis and matching morphemes to their meanings. These activities were mediated by the research teacher. Last, the research teachers used speech supported sign to teach the lessons. The morphemes were fingerspelled (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015). Figure 1 View largeDownload slide An example slide from a lesson. Figure 1 View largeDownload slide An example slide from a lesson. Dependent variable The researcher-created assessment probe had two parts: Part A focused on morphological word analysis (_____ + _____ = spectrum) and Part B focused on writing the definition of the morphemes (spectra means ____________). The dependent variable was the percentage correct on a research-created probe assessment measure on Part B alone. The student participant’s word analysis skills were of interest and were measured to determine if word analysis skills explained differences in their abilities to define the morphemes. This was not the case; therefore, the word analysis data are not included in the results. The dependent variable focused on writing the definition of the morphemes (spectra means ____________). See Table 2 for target morphemes and their meanings. At the beginning of each session, the student participants completed a researcher-created measure and did not receive any feedback from the research teacher. The third author scored the measures and the primary author graphed the data. Table 2 Target morphemes Set  Morpheme  Meaning  1  Celest  Sky    -ial  Relating to    Circum-  Around    Pole  North or south pole    -ar  Relating to    Helios  Sun    Centre  Center    -ic  Having characteristics of  2  Electro  Electricity    Magnet  A body, a piece of iron/steel that can attract certain substances    Radiate  To spread in rays, as light or heat    -tion, -ion, -ation  State or condition of    Part-  One small portion of matter    -icle  Something or someone is small    Spectra  Continuums that resemble a color spectrum and is arrange by specific characteristics    -um, -trum  A single  3  Ec-  Out from or away    Centric-  Center    -ity  State or condition of    Ellipse  A shape that resembles a flattened circle    Peri-  Around or about    Geos  Earth    -al  Having or related to    rotate  Turn around on an axis or center  Set  Morpheme  Meaning  1  Celest  Sky    -ial  Relating to    Circum-  Around    Pole  North or south pole    -ar  Relating to    Helios  Sun    Centre  Center    -ic  Having characteristics of  2  Electro  Electricity    Magnet  A body, a piece of iron/steel that can attract certain substances    Radiate  To spread in rays, as light or heat    -tion, -ion, -ation  State or condition of    Part-  One small portion of matter    -icle  Something or someone is small    Spectra  Continuums that resemble a color spectrum and is arrange by specific characteristics    -um, -trum  A single  3  Ec-  Out from or away    Centric-  Center    -ity  State or condition of    Ellipse  A shape that resembles a flattened circle    Peri-  Around or about    Geos  Earth    -al  Having or related to    rotate  Turn around on an axis or center  Table 2 Target morphemes Set  Morpheme  Meaning  1  Celest  Sky    -ial  Relating to    Circum-  Around    Pole  North or south pole    -ar  Relating to    Helios  Sun    Centre  Center    -ic  Having characteristics of  2  Electro  Electricity    Magnet  A body, a piece of iron/steel that can attract certain substances    Radiate  To spread in rays, as light or heat    -tion, -ion, -ation  State or condition of    Part-  One small portion of matter    -icle  Something or someone is small    Spectra  Continuums that resemble a color spectrum and is arrange by specific characteristics    -um, -trum  A single  3  Ec-  Out from or away    Centric-  Center    -ity  State or condition of    Ellipse  A shape that resembles a flattened circle    Peri-  Around or about    Geos  Earth    -al  Having or related to    rotate  Turn around on an axis or center  Set  Morpheme  Meaning  1  Celest  Sky    -ial  Relating to    Circum-  Around    Pole  North or south pole    -ar  Relating to    Helios  Sun    Centre  Center    -ic  Having characteristics of  2  Electro  Electricity    Magnet  A body, a piece of iron/steel that can attract certain substances    Radiate  To spread in rays, as light or heat    -tion, -ion, -ation  State or condition of    Part-  One small portion of matter    -icle  Something or someone is small    Spectra  Continuums that resemble a color spectrum and is arrange by specific characteristics    -um, -trum  A single  3  Ec-  Out from or away    Centric-  Center    -ity  State or condition of    Ellipse  A shape that resembles a flattened circle    Peri-  Around or about    Geos  Earth    -al  Having or related to    rotate  Turn around on an axis or center  Materials Morphology lessons The morphological instruction lessons were created with Google slides™ (see Figure 1). Each lesson was developed by the primary author using the Word Detectives approach (Goodwin et al., 2012) and vetted by the secondary author. Each slide displayed the target vocabulary word, how to break the word apart into its morphemes, and what the morphemes meant. The lessons included 12 slides with a slide covering the lesson objectives at the beginning and a review of the objectives at the end of the lesson. Pre-assessment The pre-assessment consisted of 24 vocabulary words from the astronomy curriculum. The pre-assessment was separated into two parts (Part A and B) on two different papers. Part A was morphological word analysis. The students were asked to break the words apart into their constituent morphemes (e.g., constellation = ____ + ____ + ___). Once the student participants completed Part A. They were given Part B. Part B was defining the morphemes (con means _____, stella means ________, -tion means ________). The reason the assessment had Part A separated from Part B is because Part B provided the answers for Part A. From the pre-assessment, 10 words, or 24 morphemes, were chosen for the study. Probe assessments The probe assessments were given every session and assessed only the target words or morphemes. Depending on the phase of the study, the probe assessment would have varying number of words from 5 to 10 words that were included in the study. For instance, if we were in the first intervention phase but needed to probe the third set of word or morphemes also, the probe assessment would include Set 1 and 3 of the target words. Similar to the pre-assessment, the probe assessments had a Part A and B. When the student participants completed Part A, they were given Part B. Digital-recording technology The research teachers used an 8” tablet and a SWIVL base to record the assessment probe and intervention sessions. The SWIVL is a robotic tracking base. It houses the tablet, controls the recording feature in the tablet, and connects to a remote worn by the research teacher. The SWIVL base follows the remote thereby following the teacher. When the recording is complete, the SWIVL application uploads the video to a secure cloud server to download at a later time. Projectors The research teachers projected the lesson onto a whiteboard during instruction. The projectors were connected to a desktop computer. The research teacher moved between the projected lesson and the computer to change the slides and control the pace of the lesson. Procedures Planning The primary author, a certified teacher of the deaf/hard-of-hearing (TODHH), and the second author, a trained theoretical astrophysicist, collaborated to develop a list of vocabulary taught during the second author’s astronomy class. The primary author selected potential target vocabulary for the astronomy curriculum that could easily be taught through morphological instruction. Further, all of the potential morphemes were found in a K-12 prefix–suffix–root lists (Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, 2010; Ebbers, 2010; Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, 2009; Syracuse City Schools, no date). Schools or curriculum developers create these lists to delineate what morphemes should be learned by what grade level. The second author, the professor of record who taught the class yearly, approved the potential vocabulary words. Words containing morphemes that met the following criteria were chosen as target morphemes: could not be fully defined by the students, roots contained five letters, and affixes contained two to three letters, and their spelling changed minimally (i.e., less than two letters were dropped; spectra become spectrum) when combined to form the word. Due to the present investigation being a pilot study, the primary and secondary authors decided to use research teachers to teach the morphological instruction. The primary author prepares teachers of the DHH to teach in science, mathematics, and English classrooms. The third and fourth authors were teacher candidates in their second year of studying to become teachers of the DHH. The first, third, and fourth authors acted as research teachers. Research teachers are used during the initial iterations of intervention development to ensure procedural fidelity (Gast, Llyod, & Ledford, 2014). Research teachers are not considered study participants because they are often affiliated with the research team and are not the student participants’ typical instructor (Beal-Alvarez, Lederberg, & Easterbrooks, 2011). The primary, third, and fourth authors rotated in the order noted previously to collect data and teach the intervention. Students at the college level often have several different instructors, and rotating research teachers mirrored that typical setup. Professional development Before the study, the first author trained the third and fourth authors to teach the intervention. The research teachers met for 4 h on 1 day and reviewed how the intervention would be taught. The primary author demonstrated how to teach the lesson. The third and fourth authors taught a lesson once during the 4-h training. They were digitally recorded. The research teachers watched the recordings together and collected procedural fidelity. The results were discussed and each teacher took note on what they needed to improve. After training, each research teacher taught a second lesson and digitally recorded the lesson. Each research teacher rated the other research teachers on the procedural fidelity checklist (see Figure 2.) All of the research teachers obtained procedural fidelity scores of more than 90% on both ratings by others and were deemed ready to teach. Figure 2 View largeDownload slide A portion of the procedural fidelity checklist. Figure 2 View largeDownload slide A portion of the procedural fidelity checklist. Data collection Pre-assessment The primary author developed a pretest that included word analysis (_____ + _____ = spectrum) and root or affix meaning (spectra mean ____________). The pretest had two purposes. First, the pretest was developed using morphemes that were included in second grade through 12th-grade curriculums (Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, 2010; Ebbers, 2010; Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, 2009; Syracuse City Schools, no date). As college students, the student participants should know these morphemes. If they did not know them, then they would be considered in need of morphological instruction. Second, the assessment was administered to determine the target morphemes or words for the study. Baseline phases During the baseline phase, morphological instruction was not implemented. The student participants attended their astronomy class and received instruction on the predetermined topics. At the beginning of each class, the research teacher collected baseline data on all of the target morphemes and words using the probe assessment describe earlier. First, the research teacher handed the student participants Part A (morphological word structure analysis- eccentricity = ec + centric + ity) face down. The student participants were asked to put their initials at the top of the page, answer each item to the best of their ability, and flip over Part A. Part B was given to the student participant after Part A was complete (morpheme definitions - ec- means _____). The research teacher stayed at the front of the room and did not offer any performance-based feedback. If the student participants asked questions unrelated to the assessment, the research teacher would answer them. If the student participants asked questions related to the assessment, the research teacher would remind them to try their best. When the student participants completed the baseline probe assessment Parts A and B, the research teacher thanked the students. Scoring the probe assessments. Parts A and B of the probe assessments were scored separately. In Part A, the student participant got one point for each morpheme in the target words that was spelled correctly. For instance, spectrum had two morphemes spectra and -um. If the student participants spelled both of those correctly (spectrum = spectra + um), then they received two points. The score on Part A was not used to determine the effectiveness of the intervention; therefore, the results on Part A were not reported. In Part B, the student participants could receive a 0, 1, or 2 for the definition they generated. “0” indicated the response was not related or incorrect, “1” indicated the definition is partially right, and “2” indicated the student participant wrote the definition exactly as it was instructed (Dimling, 2010). The primary author graphed the percentage correct on Part B (# of points/ # of possible points) for each student participant. Baseline phase-change criteria. The phase-change rule for a student participant to move from the first baseline to the first intervention phase was a minimum of three data points demonstrating a stable (i.e., 50% on either side of the mean; Kazdin, 2011) or decreasing trend. When a student participant met these criteria, the student participant moved to intervention phase. The phase-change rule for baselines two and three was meeting criteria for the previous intervention phase and a minimum of three baseline data points demonstrating a stable or decreasing trend. Intervention phases The baseline probe assessment was administered at the beginning of each intervention phase session as described above. After the research teacher praised the student participants for their effort on the baseline probe assessment, morphological instruction began. The research teacher taught the entire class at the same time. First, the research teacher introduced the goals for the session (e.g., we will learn 10 morphemes today). Next, the research teacher displayed the target word separated into its target morphemes (eccentricity = ec + centric + ity). The research teacher and student participants discussed the word structure analysis. If the morphemes changed their spelling to create the target word, the research teacher and student participants discussed the regularities of English spelling that governed the spelling change of the morphemes. Then, the research teacher displayed the meanings of the target morphemes (ec = away, centric = center, -ity = state or condition of). The meanings were reviewed with the student participant. Last, the research teacher would ask the student participants if they knew any other words that contained one of the target morphemes from the word. The research teacher would write down the response and discuss the words with the student participants. If the student participants did not respond, the research teacher would provide a few exemplar words and discuss these with the student participants. This process was repeated with each target word. There were four or five target words for each phase containing eight target morphemes. After each word was instructed, the research teacher reviewed the day’s goals with the student participants to determine if the group had met the goals. Last, the research teacher engaged the student participants in practice. During the practice, the research teacher walked around and corrected student participants’ work. When student participants made mistakes, the research teachers followed correction procedures that were paired with the mistake. For example, if the student separated the morphemes in the word incorrectly (e.g., eccentricity = e + ccentri + city). The research teacher would say/sign and write, “Remember, the first morpheme is ec, the second morpheme is centric and the last morpheme is ity. Now, you separate the word again. Great job correcting your work!” If the student wrote the wrong definition for a morpheme, the research teacher would use a model, test and delayed test procedure: (a) Model the answer. (Con- means with), (b) Ask the student participant to give the answer just given. (What does con- mean?), (c) Delay for a few seconds and ask again. (what does con- mean?), and (d) Ask student to correct their paper (Dixon & Englemann, 2007). The research teacher only gave feedback on the planned practice after morphological instruction. Intervention phase-change criterion. The student participants moved onto a new set of words and morphemes when their data demonstrated an increasing trend for a minimum of three data points or if their data did not increase after six sessions. After the conclusion of three intervention session with three different sets of words or behaviors, a maintenance data point was collected. Maintenance phase After the students met the criteria to move onto a new set of words, the student participant would not interact with the taught set of words for three sessions or 2 weeks. After 2 weeks or three sessions, the research teacher gave the maintenance probe in the same manner as described in the baseline phase above. Procedural Fidelity and Interrater Reliability All assessment probe and instructional sessions were digitally recorded to collect procedural fidelity and interrater reliability. For the assessment probe sessions, we measured the following behaviors: (a) asking participants to write their initials on the page, (b) providing no feedback during the session, (c) allowing the student participants to work no more than 10 minutes, (d) collecting the papers, and (e) expressing gratitude for their efforts. To ensure the assessment probe session procedures were consistent, the third author watched 50% of the probe assessment sessions. For interrater reliability, the fourth author watched 30% of the 50% of sessions viewed and scored by the third author. Two sessions were chosen as practice sessions and not included in the calculations. Procedural fidelity for the assessment probe sessions was 90% on average with a range of 57–100% across the sessions. The research teachers omitted the following behaviors the most: expressing gratitude for the student participants’ efforts, and asking the student participants to write their initials on the page. The interrater reliability was 94% with a range of 71–100%. For the instruction sessions, we measured the following behaviors: (a) explaining the goals of the lesson, (b) teaching/reviewing why morphemes are important, (c) teaching/reviewing the target morphemes explicitly, (d) asking for words that contain the taught morphemes, (e) reviewing the goals of the lesson, and (f) engaging in planned practice. The third author viewed and scored 50% of the instructional sessions to collect procedural fidelity. The fourth author viewed and scored 30% of the 50% of the sessions viewed by the third author to collect interrater reliability. Two sessions were chosen as practice sessions and not included in the calculations. Sessions viewed were selected randomly but were equally-spaced during the baseline, intervention and maintenance phases. Procedural fidelity for the instructional sessions was 91% on average with a range of 81–96%. The interrater reliability was 91% with a range of 77–92%. Last, we collected fidelity and reliability on scoring the definitions. The third author scored the assessment probe worksheets at the end of each session. Also, the fourth author scored 100% of the assessment probe worksheets to collect scoring fidelity. Scoring fidelity for the assessment probe worksheets was 96% with a range of 87–99%. Overall, scoring the students’ writing definitions was the area with the lowest fidelity. The interrater reliability was 91% with a range of 79–100%. Results Recruitment There were 12 students enrolled in the astronomy class. All of the students consented to participate in the study. Three students dropped the class prior to the beginning of the intervention. Nine student participants engaged in the morphological instruction. Pretest results All of the students completed a pretest to determine if they were eligible for the study based on their current derivational morphological knowledge. All of the students appeared to have derivational morphological knowledge in the upper elementary (fourth grade) to middle school range (eighth grade). Their scores on the pretest can be found in Table 1. They all required morphological knowledge instruction to improve their morphological knowledge. Intervention results See Figures 3–5, and Table 3. The data were analyzed at the individual level for the following features: stability (50% on each side of the mean; Kazdin, 2011), level (mean of scores in a phase; Gast, 2014), trend, immediacy of effect (last data point in baseline compared to the first data point in intervention; Gast, 2014), consistency (data paths look similar within phases [comparing baseline to baseline] and across phases [baseline to intervention of one tier compared to baseline to intervention of another tier]; Gast, 2014), and percentage of non-overlapping data. Missing data points indicate student absences and we did not provide make-up sessions. Also, the astronomy class was canceled once between sessions 8 and 9 as well as between 11 and 12. Those canceled class sessions are indicated by a hash mark. Figure 3 View largeDownload slide Felicity, Vick, and Gina’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 3 View largeDownload slide Felicity, Vick, and Gina’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 4 View largeDownload slide Annalea, Maria, and Cecelia’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 4 View largeDownload slide Annalea, Maria, and Cecelia’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 5 View largeDownload slide Hermosa, Jacque, and Sia’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 5 View largeDownload slide Hermosa, Jacque, and Sia’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Table 3 Participant data path means   Change in Level  PND  Student  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Name  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  %  %  %  Felicity  9  59  0  23  10  48  100  100  100  Vick  15  88  9  44  25  41  100  100  50  Gina  21  44  12  33  11  44  100  33  100  Annalea  17  75  6  48  28  60  100  100  100  Maria  13  90  15  46  26  50  100  100  33  Cecelia  13  60  5  6  17  23  100  100  33  Hermosa  4  29  2  19  17  23  66  100  66  Jacque  23  71  24  61  15  63  100  100  100  Sia  0  69  10  34  10  33  100  100  100    Change in Level  PND  Student  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Name  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  %  %  %  Felicity  9  59  0  23  10  48  100  100  100  Vick  15  88  9  44  25  41  100  100  50  Gina  21  44  12  33  11  44  100  33  100  Annalea  17  75  6  48  28  60  100  100  100  Maria  13  90  15  46  26  50  100  100  33  Cecelia  13  60  5  6  17  23  100  100  33  Hermosa  4  29  2  19  17  23  66  100  66  Jacque  23  71  24  61  15  63  100  100  100  Sia  0  69  10  34  10  33  100  100  100  Note. Change in Level = mean of the data points in the data path for phase indicated (BL or INT; Gast, 2014); PND, percentage of non-overlapping data; BL, baseline; INT, intervention. View Large Table 3 Participant data path means   Change in Level  PND  Student  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Name  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  %  %  %  Felicity  9  59  0  23  10  48  100  100  100  Vick  15  88  9  44  25  41  100  100  50  Gina  21  44  12  33  11  44  100  33  100  Annalea  17  75  6  48  28  60  100  100  100  Maria  13  90  15  46  26  50  100  100  33  Cecelia  13  60  5  6  17  23  100  100  33  Hermosa  4  29  2  19  17  23  66  100  66  Jacque  23  71  24  61  15  63  100  100  100  Sia  0  69  10  34  10  33  100  100  100    Change in Level  PND  Student  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Name  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  %  %  %  Felicity  9  59  0  23  10  48  100  100  100  Vick  15  88  9  44  25  41  100  100  50  Gina  21  44  12  33  11  44  100  33  100  Annalea  17  75  6  48  28  60  100  100  100  Maria  13  90  15  46  26  50  100  100  33  Cecelia  13  60  5  6  17  23  100  100  33  Hermosa  4  29  2  19  17  23  66  100  66  Jacque  23  71  24  61  15  63  100  100  100  Sia  0  69  10  34  10  33  100  100  100  Note. Change in Level = mean of the data points in the data path for phase indicated (BL or INT; Gast, 2014); PND, percentage of non-overlapping data; BL, baseline; INT, intervention. View Large As seen in Figures 3–5, the student participants displayed a stable baseline for the three sets of morphemes with the exception of Vick and Annalea. Both demonstrated an increasing trend in Set 3 that stabilized prior to the introduction of the intervention. When morphological instruction was introduced, all student participants’ data paths presented a change in level (see means in Table 3) and an increasing trend, except for Gina for Set 3. Due to Gina’s absences, her data for Set 3 do not display a trend. In regards to immediacy of effect (last data point in baseline compared to the first data point in intervention), the following student participants indicated an immediacy of effect for the intervention for all sets: Felicity, Gina, Annalea, and Jacque. Vick, Maria, Sia, Cecelia, and Hermosa did not demonstrate an immediacy of effect for one or more sets of morphemes. Once again, all student participants’ data paths were consistent within phases. Eight of the student participants’ data paths were consistent between phases with the exception of Maria for Set 1. For Set 1, all student participants had 100% of non-overlapping data. For Set 2, eight student participants had 100% non-overlapping data. For Set 3, four student participants had 100% non-overlapping data (see Table 3). Maintenance data were collected for each set of morphemes three sessions after the conclusion of the instruction. Felicity, Vick, Maria, and Jacque maintained what they learned during instruction. The remaining student participants forgot some of what they learned or had missing data points. Social Validity See Table 4 for mean ratings on the social validity questionnaire. The questionnaire included a Likert 5-point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. The questionnaire was administered in written form. The student participants were asked if they would like it read to them. None of the student participants requested the questionnaire be read to them using English or ASL. The student participants thought that the intervention was valuable and they would recommend the instruction for other DHH students. When asked what they would change about the instruction in an open-ended format, they made the following comments: “Play (create games) so we all might remember better. And I bet it would be more fun.”, “Bring handout and homework. I will learn more if I do outside at the class[sic] or handout I can study and remember how to spelling[sic]. (I’m really bad at spelling).”, “Use more variable word[sic] and avoid repeat word[sic].” Table 4 Student participants’ social validity ratings Statement  Mean rating  I liked using morphemes.  3.8  Learning about morphology was valuable  4  I can break apart words now  3.7  I would recommend learning about morphology to DHH students  3.8  I want to learn more about morphology  3.9  I can use what I learned about morphographs in other classes  3.8  Statement  Mean rating  I liked using morphemes.  3.8  Learning about morphology was valuable  4  I can break apart words now  3.7  I would recommend learning about morphology to DHH students  3.8  I want to learn more about morphology  3.9  I can use what I learned about morphographs in other classes  3.8  Table 4 Student participants’ social validity ratings Statement  Mean rating  I liked using morphemes.  3.8  Learning about morphology was valuable  4  I can break apart words now  3.7  I would recommend learning about morphology to DHH students  3.8  I want to learn more about morphology  3.9  I can use what I learned about morphographs in other classes  3.8  Statement  Mean rating  I liked using morphemes.  3.8  Learning about morphology was valuable  4  I can break apart words now  3.7  I would recommend learning about morphology to DHH students  3.8  I want to learn more about morphology  3.9  I can use what I learned about morphographs in other classes  3.8  Discussion The study empirically assessed if morphological instruction using science vocabulary terms would have an effect on college-age DHH students’ ability to define morphemes. Our primary research question was “What effect does morphological instruction have on the morpheme meaning knowledge of DHH college-age science students?” We addressed this question using a multiple probe across behaviors single-case experimental design. A functional relation was found between the morphological instruction and the increase in the student participants’ ability to define taught morphemes. Annalea’s data paths demonstrated a change in level and immediacy of effect from the baseline to intervention phase. This change was replicated across three sets of words. Also, Annalea’s ability to define the target morphemes increased during the intervention phase. Her data paths were consistent across phases. This was replicated across Jacque, Felicity, Vick, Sia, Hermosa, Maria, and Gina. The lack of replication for Cecelia requires further discussion. Our secondary research question was “Will gains maintain for two weeks?” The student participants’ data indicate that they maintained what they learned from the intervention instruction for at least 2 weeks. Similar to Gaustad et al. (2002), we found that some college-age DHH students have morphological knowledge equivalent to middle school age hearing students. Our findings support and extend previous research suggesting that morphological instruction can improve the morphological knowledge delay of DHH students (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015). Also, our findings extend previous research to indicate that morphological instruction can not only improve the morphological knowledge of upper elementary DHH students but of DHH college students as well (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015). Last, our findings extend previous findings (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015) to support morphological instruction for STEM classes, particularly science courses. Cecelia’s data indicated that the morphological instruction had a different effect on her morphological knowledge. One of the reasons Cecelia’s data may appear different is because she was working among three languages: English, American Sign Language, and Spanish. Previous studies have documented the need for modifying instruction for DHH students who are multilingual (Cannon, Fredrick, & Easterbrooks, 2009). Also, the student participants’ data paths indicated that morphological instruction may be more beneficial when implemented on a regular basis. The student participants appeared to learn more when they had three sessions in a row (the class met twice a week) compared to when sessions were canceled. This finding supports previous research indicating that morphological instruction should be a part of ongoing content-area reading instruction (Hurry et al., 2005; Zygouris-Coe, 2012). Most of the student participants learned more when studying the morphemes in Set 1 when compared to Sets 2 and 3. One explanation is that for both Sets 2 and 3, there was a canceled session or class. The class met weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When a class was canceled, the student participants went 7 days without interacting with the intervention materials. In addition, the student participants’ absences increased during Sets 2 and 3. A second explanation is that Sets 2 and 3 were more difficult than Set 1. The sets were made equivalent based on the number of letters in the morphemes (Gast, Llyod, & Ledford 2014). The words were put into Sets 1, 2, or 3 based on the curriculum. Similar to findings with hearing children with disabilities or at-risk (Apel, Brimo, Diehm, & Apel, 2013; Goodwin et al., 2012), discussion-based morphological instruction, often referred to as Word Detectives, appears to be effective for DHH college students who use ASL and English. The present study extends the research supporting morphological instruction for DHH students (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015; Bennett, Gardner, & Rizzi, 2014; Bow, Blamey, Paatsch, & Sarant, 2004; Looney & Rose, 1979) to college-age students and to the science classroom providing a little guidance on effective vocabulary instruction for postsecondary DHH readers. The procedural fidelity was high for the implementation of the intervention. However, the instruction was implemented by the primary author and GRAs (research teachers) and not the teacher of record. We decided to implement the intervention using research teachers because this was a pilot study and a new strategy that has not been tested with this population. Our intention was to introduce as little variability as possible to determine if the intervention should be investigated further. At the same time, using research teachers instead of the teacher of record does bring the ecological validity of the study into question (Gast, 2014). We cannot determine if a content-area teacher, for instance a science teacher, would be able to implement the intervention with similar procedural fidelity outcomes. Some of the student participants had variability in their baseline data. We did not offer any feedback on their answers during baseline and this may have cause the variability. Student participants may have been unsure of their answers and without feedback they changed their answers. Also, there is a slight possibility the student participants learned the morpheme meanings in other ways, but the data do not support this possibility. Although some student participants had some knowledge during baseline, they all learned more during intervention. The present study is important to science teachers who work with DHH students as well as science teachers of the DHH. The field of deaf education has a paucity of research regarding teaching strategies for secondary and postsecondary DHH readers in STEM subjects (see Luckner & Cooke, 2010; Luckner, Sebald, Cooney, Young, & Muir, 2006 for reviews). Intervention studies like this one give science teachers of the DHH guidance when planning science instruction for DHH students. Further, the number of students with disabilities attending college has increased (United States Department of Education 2016). Research needs to be conducted on how to best educate this population. Studies conducted with a single population, such as DHH students, can be replicated and extended to college students with disabilities or those who are acquiring English. Limitations and Future Directions The present study has several limitations: small sample size, morpheme set equivalence, intervention length, lack of praise during baseline, lack of a generalization phase, and student participants’ demographic information. Although appropriate for single-case experimental design, the sample size in the present study was small limiting the ability to generalize the results. Also, the number of absences, resulting in missing data, requires researchers to interpret the results of this study with caution. The results do not conclusively demonstrate a functional relation between the morphological instruction and the student learning. Future researchers may consider replicating the study to strengthen conclusions about the effect of morphological instruction and increase the generalizability. Also, providing make-up sessions should be considered. Sets 1, 2, and, 3 may not have been equivalent. Potentially, the morphemes in Sets 2 and 3 had definitions that were more difficult to learn when compared to Set 1. Future researchers should not only make the word sets equivalent on number of letters but also on the difficulty of the definition Also, this was a pilot study, therefore, the intervention was short (nine sessions), students were taught in one large group, and no true mastery criteria was set for the intervention phases. In most classrooms, teachers would set a learning objective of 80% mastery before a student could move on. We choose not to set mastery criteria similar to the previous example because we did not want to waste the students’ class time if the instruction did not appear to be effective. Keeping the students in an intervention phase for six or seven sessions to get 80% mastery would have been the equivalent of three weeks. Therefore, we required simply a data path demonstrating an ascending trend. The student participants moved along similarly in the baseline and intervention phases because it would have been very difficult to learn what we were teaching outside of class. They did not get to take home any materials to study outside of class. In the end, some of the students may have only learned 40% of what was taught. Future researchers may consider teaching the intervention for a semester (15 weeks) or a year to see how the students progress over a longer period of time as well as require a specific level of mastery. Also, we determined if the students’ maintained what they learned with one data point collected after two weeks without instruction. Due to the time limits in a college semester (14 weeks of available instruction time), gathering more maintenance data was difficult in the present study. Future researchers may consider gather more than one maintenance data point at points in time such as 4 weeks, 6 weeks, or a year after instruction has ceased. Further, we chose not to follow the recommendation, from Kratochwill et al. (2013), to have five data point per phase in multiple baseline design studies. First, we did not want to take time away from their science curriculum if the morphology instruction did not appear to be effective. Five data points per phase would have been the equivalent to 2.5 weeks per set of morphemes. Further, the What Works Clearinghouse Single Case Design Technical Document (Kratochwill et al., 2010) provides a framework for including studies in synthesis endeavors and not a guide for designing SCED studies (Wolery, 2013). We chose to follow the Single-Case Reporting Guideline in BEhavioral Interventions (SCRIBE; Tate et al., 2016) checklist for designing and reporting the current study. SCRIBE (Tate et al., 2016) is a framework for evaluating single-case research for publication, which fit our current research questions and desire outcome. Future researchers may want to investigate both documents, WWC Single Case Design Technical Document and SCRIBE checklist, to determine which framework is more critical to their answering their research questions and meeting their desired outcomes. We did not include praise or feedback on the student participants’ morphological knowledge during baseline. Gast (2014) suggest that praise be included in the assessment sessions if praise is a dependent variable. Future researchers should include some type of praise or reinforcement in assessment phases. Including praise or feedback may produce more stable baselines. Also, we did not include a generalization phase. A generalization measure would indicate how well the student participants would be able to apply what they learned to unfamiliar science vocabulary. Future researchers should include a generalization phase to determine if the morphological knowledge the student participants gained can be applied to new material or in other contexts. Last, we did not report the students’ reading levels in the study. Since the present study was a pilot study, we did not want to ask the student participants to give up a lot of time with the possibility that the instruction would not be successful. Future researchers may want to collect more demographic and educational data on the student participants to further describe their population as well as determine factors that may have an effect on the student’s performance during the intervention phase. Conclusion DHH students, like all students, are encouraged to enroll in STEM degree programs in college. However, DHH students experience a morphological knowledge delay that begins at an early age and continues through college. Morphological knowledge is critical to STEM vocabulary learning, particularly in science. Past studies indicated that morphological instruction could improve the morphological knowledge of upper elementary DHH students. Potentially, college-age DHH students would have a similar outcome when provided with morphological instruction. The purpose of the present study was to improve DHH students’ morphological knowledge regarding scientific vocabulary from the astronomy curriculum through direct morphological instruction. Our findings suggest that discussion-based morphological instruction has a positive effect on DHH students’ ability to define taught morphemes. College professors who work with students with disabilities may consider morphological instruction when they want to increase a student’s vocabulary or morphological knowledge in science. Future researchers should consider replicating this study to address the limitations and create more generalizable results. 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This article is published and distributed under the terms of the Oxford University Press, Standard Journals Publication Model (https://academic.oup.com/journals/pages/about_us/legal/notices) http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Journal of Deaf Studies and Deaf Education Oxford University Press

Morphology Instruction in the Science Classroom for Students Who Are Deaf: A Multiple Probe Across Content Analysis

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Abstract

Abstract Deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) students have exhibited a morphological knowledge delay that begins in preschool and persists through college. Morphological knowledge is critical to vocabulary understanding and text comprehension in the science classroom. We investigated the effects of morphological instruction, commonly referred to as Word Detectives, on the morphological knowledge of college-age DHH students in a science course. We implemented a multiple probe across behaviors single-case experimental design study with nine student participants. The student participants attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. A functional relation was found between the morphological instruction and the student participants’ improvement of morphological knowledge regarding the morphemes taught during instruction. These findings indicate that DHH students benefit from morphological instruction to build their vocabulary knowledge in content-area classrooms, such as science courses. Interest in deaf and hard-of-hearing (DHH) college students’ reading abilities in the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) is growing. Recent focus in STEM reading abilities for DHH individuals is due to the significant need to increase the U.S. workforce in STEM fields. Further, the STEM workforce needs to be diversified by including those from minority groups (President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, 2012), such as a linguistic-minority like DHH people. This population is under-represented in STEM careers (15.5%) when compared to hearing people (17.9%; Walter, 2010). Although the gap between DHH and hearing people represented in STEM careers appears minimal, the statistics alone are misleading. DHH people engaged in STEM careers are more likely to work in manual occupations (e.g., agriculture, construction) while hearing people are more likely to work in emerging STEM fields (e.g., information technology, healthcare). These emerging STEM fields carry higher degree requirements (Walter, 2010). The disparity is most noticeable between the DHH and hearing population when comparing STEM bachelor’s degree attainment rates (15.5% DHH vs. 24.9% hearing; Walter, 2010). DHH college-age students may struggle to attain STEM bachelor’s degrees because of their reading comprehension of STEM materials. Reading comprehension is often compromised by a lack of vocabulary knowledge (Kelly, 1996). DHH college-age readers exhibit vocabulary knowledge that is not commiserate with their hearing peers (Sarchet et al., 2014) and need STEM vocabulary instruction at the college-level (Borgna, Convertino, Marschark, Morrison, & Rizzolo, 2011). Vocabulary Interventions and Older DHH Readers Vocabulary intervention studies with DHH participants at the postsecondary level have focused on providing a vocabulary support, such as a list of important words and definitions (Borgna et al., 2011) or a link to a definition, pictorial representation, or concept map (Stinson & Stevenson, 2013), during reading. In both cases, these vocabulary support strategies did not increase the DHH college-age readers’ ability to answer comprehension questions about the text (Borgna et al., 2011; Stinson & Stevenson, 2013). These findings indicate that college-age DHH readers require more than vocabulary supports, they require vocabulary instruction. Due to the dearth of vocabulary instruction research at the postsecondary level for DHH readers, we reviewed the vocabulary instruction research-base for DHH secondary students (12-year old and older; Hamilton, 2012; Haptonstall-Nykaza & Schick, 2007; Paatsch, Blamey, Sarant, & Bow, 2006; Robbins & Hatcher, 1981). Hamilton (2012) found that DHH high schoolers’ ability to answer multiple choice vocabulary-related questions increased when they used an online bi-lingual (American Sign Language [ASL] and English) dictionary that included picture support. However, the effects of the dictionary support did not persist and within 2 days the students had forgotten what they had learned. Haptonstall-Nykaza and Schick (2007) discovered that DHH students could recognize and produce unfamiliar words more readily when the word was presented using the ASL sign, English print and lexicalized fingerspelling. Paatsch and colleagues (2006) propose that vocabulary instruction for older readers should be implemented in context of discussion and reading materials to be effective. While all these studies addressed some important aspects of vocabulary instruction for secondary and potentially postsecondary readers (e.g., multiple representations and instruction in context), none of the studies addressed STEM vocabulary in particular, which is critical to reading at the secondary and postsecondary levels. STEM Vocabulary and Morphology Instruction Older DHH students’ struggle with STEM vocabulary is partially due to delayed morphological knowledge that begins at an early age (Gaustad, 1986) and persists through college (Gaustad & Kelly, 2004). Morphemes are the smallest units of language that retain meaning (Reed, 2008). Morphological knowledge is the ability to: (a) recognize component morphemes within multi-morphemic words, (b) understand the morphemes’ and root words’ meanings, and (c) apply the rules used to combine morphemes to make words (Harris, Schumaker, & Deshler, 2011). For example, a text may contain the word immunology. Immunology can be broken down into immune and –ology. Immune is the root word meaning resistant to a particular infection and –ology is the suffix meaning the study of. First, the student recognizes these two parts of the word. Second, the student defines the word parts. Third, the student puts the meanings together to define the full word (i.e., immunology means the study of resistance to infection). Lastly, the student attempts to decode the word with meaning in context. In general, a reader’s morphological knowledge consistently predicts reading comprehension above and beyond phonological skills (hearing: Deacon & Kirby, 2004; Nagy, Berninger, & Abbott, 2006; DHH: Nunes, Burman, Evans, & Bell, 2010) and makes a unique contribution to reading comprehension via vocabulary (Kieffer & Lesaux, 2012). Further, morphological knowledge continues to develop well past fourth grade, where phonological skills plateau (Berninger, Abbott, Nagy, & Carlisle, 2010). When reading abilities beyond fourth grade is the target, morphological knowledge appears to be an essential component of reading and reading instruction. For STEM texts, in particular science texts, morphological knowledge, in the form of Latin and Greek affixes and roots, is critical to tackling unfamiliar science vocabulary (Zygouris-Coe, 2012). Vocabulary Instruction in the Science Classroom Scientists report analyzing Latin and Greek morphemes (Zygouris-Coe, 2012) during reading. They utilize a meaning-oriented decoding strategy that provides clues about the unknown words meaning (Arnbak & Elbro, 2000; Reichle & Perfetti, 2003) and generates vocabulary knowledge (Goodwin, Lipsky, & Ahn, 2012). For instance, the word constellation can be separated into three morphemes: con- meaning with, stella, meaning star, and -tion meaning state or condition of. Constellation roughly means the state or condition of stars being together. Although the definition is not exact, the morphemes in the words gives the reader information to support their understanding of the word in context (Goodwin et al., 2012). Morphology instruction is important to science literacy. First, direct instruction of science vocabulary is limited (Wysocki & Jenkins, 1987). Teaching 10–20 words a week (360–620 words a year) in the science classroom will not close the vocabulary knowledge gap for DHH students (Sarchet et al., 2014). Conversely, students who are taught morphological word analysis skills (i.e., breaking apart words into their constituent morphemes) can learn approximately 540–1260 words every year (Sullivan, 2008) because this skill generates word knowledge. Nagy and Anderson (1984) estimated that 60% of the novel vocabulary older students encounter while reading could be morphologically analyzed for meaning. Also, many morphemes are spelled the same across words even when their pronunciation changes (e.g., heal and health; McCutchen, Logan, & Biangardi-Orpe, 2012) and are combined in a rule-based manner (Chomsky, 2005). Word families based on morphemes (e.g., biology, psychology, and toxicology) assist in the recognition of new words with a large effect size for morphological word families (Carlisle, 2000). This regularity allows readers to look for orthographic patterns (Griva & Anastasiou, 2009) and generalize their morphological knowledge. Morphology instruction is consistent with the lexical quality hypothesis (Perfetti, 2002). The lexical quality hypothesis assumes that reading comprehension is supported by vocabulary knowledge. Vocabulary knowledge is defined as retrieving a detailed orthographic, phonologic, or morphologic and semantic representation of a word while reading. Proficient readers can engage in high-quality lexical retrieval supporting their text comprehension (Verhoeven & Perfetti, 2008). Proficient readers have high-quality word retrieval allowing them to expend cognitive resources on understanding the text itself (Verhoeven & Perfetti, 2008). One can see how high-quality lexical retrieval would be critical to reading science and other STEM texts. However, the morphological delay experienced by DHH students affects their ability to read with high-quality lexical retrieval for science vocabulary and ultimately affects their reading comprehension of science texts. Morphological instruction may improve the current situation. The purpose of the present study was twofold. First, we wanted to address the gaps in the literature-base regarding the lack of STEM vocabulary instructional strategies for postsecondary DHH readers. Second, we wanted to improve DHH students’ morphological knowledge regarding scientific vocabulary from the astronomy curriculum through direct morphological instruction. The primary research questions were: What effect does morphological instruction have on the morpheme meaning knowledge of DHH college-age science students? The secondary research question was: Will gains maintain for 2 weeks? Methods Participants and Setting Nine DHH college-age students participated in the study. All participants had a hearing loss of at least 65 dB or greater in their better ear, were enrolled in a general science course (astronomy), had delayed morphological knowledge determined by a researcher-created roots and affixes pretest, and consented to participate in the study. See Table 1 for further description of the student participants. The present study was conducted in speech supported sign language (i.e., spoken English and American Sign Language signs used simultaneously following English word order) because the second author taught the astronomy class using speech supported sign to best meet the needs of the student participants who used various communication modalities and languages. Table 1 Student participants’ demographics Students  CA  HA or CI  Lang. at college?  Lang. at Home?  Major  Years in college?  Score on Pretest  Felicity  19;5  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng.  Bus.  1  4%  Vick  21;1  None  ASL, Eng.  ASL, Eng.  Comp. Tech.  3  12%  Gina  19;6  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng  Bus.  1  9%  Annalea  26;8  None  ASL  ASL  Acct.  1  12%  Maria  18;4  None  ASL  ASL  Bus. Acct.  1  6%  Cecelia  20;1  HA  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  1  9%  Hermosa  20;2  HA  ASL  ASL, Eng.  Hospitality  1  3%  Jacque  20:11  HA  Eng.  S.E.E.  Lab Sciences  3  13%  Sia  21;11  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  2  0%  Students  CA  HA or CI  Lang. at college?  Lang. at Home?  Major  Years in college?  Score on Pretest  Felicity  19;5  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng.  Bus.  1  4%  Vick  21;1  None  ASL, Eng.  ASL, Eng.  Comp. Tech.  3  12%  Gina  19;6  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng  Bus.  1  9%  Annalea  26;8  None  ASL  ASL  Acct.  1  12%  Maria  18;4  None  ASL  ASL  Bus. Acct.  1  6%  Cecelia  20;1  HA  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  1  9%  Hermosa  20;2  HA  ASL  ASL, Eng.  Hospitality  1  3%  Jacque  20:11  HA  Eng.  S.E.E.  Lab Sciences  3  13%  Sia  21;11  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  2  0%  Note. CA, chronological age; years; months, HA, hearing aid, CI, cochlear implant, Lang., language, ASL, American Sign Language, Eng., English, Spa., Spanish, S. E. E., Signed Exact English, Bus., business, Comp., computer, Tech., technology, Acct, accounting. Pretest score is based on number correct/68 possible points. Table 1 Student participants’ demographics Students  CA  HA or CI  Lang. at college?  Lang. at Home?  Major  Years in college?  Score on Pretest  Felicity  19;5  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng.  Bus.  1  4%  Vick  21;1  None  ASL, Eng.  ASL, Eng.  Comp. Tech.  3  12%  Gina  19;6  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng  Bus.  1  9%  Annalea  26;8  None  ASL  ASL  Acct.  1  12%  Maria  18;4  None  ASL  ASL  Bus. Acct.  1  6%  Cecelia  20;1  HA  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  1  9%  Hermosa  20;2  HA  ASL  ASL, Eng.  Hospitality  1  3%  Jacque  20:11  HA  Eng.  S.E.E.  Lab Sciences  3  13%  Sia  21;11  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  2  0%  Students  CA  HA or CI  Lang. at college?  Lang. at Home?  Major  Years in college?  Score on Pretest  Felicity  19;5  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng.  Bus.  1  4%  Vick  21;1  None  ASL, Eng.  ASL, Eng.  Comp. Tech.  3  12%  Gina  19;6  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng  Bus.  1  9%  Annalea  26;8  None  ASL  ASL  Acct.  1  12%  Maria  18;4  None  ASL  ASL  Bus. Acct.  1  6%  Cecelia  20;1  HA  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  1  9%  Hermosa  20;2  HA  ASL  ASL, Eng.  Hospitality  1  3%  Jacque  20:11  HA  Eng.  S.E.E.  Lab Sciences  3  13%  Sia  21;11  CI  ASL, Eng.  Eng, ASL, Spa.  Bus.  2  0%  Note. CA, chronological age; years; months, HA, hearing aid, CI, cochlear implant, Lang., language, ASL, American Sign Language, Eng., English, Spa., Spanish, S. E. E., Signed Exact English, Bus., business, Comp., computer, Tech., technology, Acct, accounting. Pretest score is based on number correct/68 possible points. The DHH student participants attended the National Technical Institute for the Deaf. The study took place in the general science astronomy classroom. The students were positioned in a U-shape. The research teacher presented from the front of the room using two projectors and two whiteboards during instruction. Recruitment After receiving IRB approval, the student participants were recruited. The primary author came to the classroom, described the study, and explained to the student participants that deciding to participate in the study would not affect their grades. If they decided to participate in and completed the study, there was a drawing for two twenty-five-dollar gift cards at the end of the study. The primary and secondary author (professor of record) left the room and two graduate research assistants (GRAs) gathered consent for participation in the study. Research design We utilized a multiple probe across behaviors single-case experimental design (Gast, Llyod, & Ledford 2014). Multiple probe across behaviors designs are useful for measuring the effects of skill instruction that cannot be withdrawn. Further, single-case experimental designs mirror educational settings because everyone receives instruction and the instruction can be manipulated to better meet the needs of the student (Gast, Llyod, & Ledford, 2014). The design had one baseline phase, three intervention phases, and a maintenance phase. Independent variable The independent variable was the morphological intervention modeled after Word Detectives instruction (Goodwin et al., 2012). A research teacher delivered the intervention instruction 2 days a week (Tuesday and Thursday) for 15–20 min. The intervention included word analysis instruction (eccentricity = ec + centric + ity) as well as morpheme meaning instruction (ec- means “away from”). After the research teacher taught word analysis and morpheme meaning for a word explicitly (see Figure 1), the student participants were asked if they knew any other words that contained the taught morphemes. If the students did not have any examples to share, the research teacher would provide examples in attempts to scaffold the students’ knowledge. Also, the student participants engaged in practice activities that included word analysis and matching morphemes to their meanings. These activities were mediated by the research teacher. Last, the research teachers used speech supported sign to teach the lessons. The morphemes were fingerspelled (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015). Figure 1 View largeDownload slide An example slide from a lesson. Figure 1 View largeDownload slide An example slide from a lesson. Dependent variable The researcher-created assessment probe had two parts: Part A focused on morphological word analysis (_____ + _____ = spectrum) and Part B focused on writing the definition of the morphemes (spectra means ____________). The dependent variable was the percentage correct on a research-created probe assessment measure on Part B alone. The student participant’s word analysis skills were of interest and were measured to determine if word analysis skills explained differences in their abilities to define the morphemes. This was not the case; therefore, the word analysis data are not included in the results. The dependent variable focused on writing the definition of the morphemes (spectra means ____________). See Table 2 for target morphemes and their meanings. At the beginning of each session, the student participants completed a researcher-created measure and did not receive any feedback from the research teacher. The third author scored the measures and the primary author graphed the data. Table 2 Target morphemes Set  Morpheme  Meaning  1  Celest  Sky    -ial  Relating to    Circum-  Around    Pole  North or south pole    -ar  Relating to    Helios  Sun    Centre  Center    -ic  Having characteristics of  2  Electro  Electricity    Magnet  A body, a piece of iron/steel that can attract certain substances    Radiate  To spread in rays, as light or heat    -tion, -ion, -ation  State or condition of    Part-  One small portion of matter    -icle  Something or someone is small    Spectra  Continuums that resemble a color spectrum and is arrange by specific characteristics    -um, -trum  A single  3  Ec-  Out from or away    Centric-  Center    -ity  State or condition of    Ellipse  A shape that resembles a flattened circle    Peri-  Around or about    Geos  Earth    -al  Having or related to    rotate  Turn around on an axis or center  Set  Morpheme  Meaning  1  Celest  Sky    -ial  Relating to    Circum-  Around    Pole  North or south pole    -ar  Relating to    Helios  Sun    Centre  Center    -ic  Having characteristics of  2  Electro  Electricity    Magnet  A body, a piece of iron/steel that can attract certain substances    Radiate  To spread in rays, as light or heat    -tion, -ion, -ation  State or condition of    Part-  One small portion of matter    -icle  Something or someone is small    Spectra  Continuums that resemble a color spectrum and is arrange by specific characteristics    -um, -trum  A single  3  Ec-  Out from or away    Centric-  Center    -ity  State or condition of    Ellipse  A shape that resembles a flattened circle    Peri-  Around or about    Geos  Earth    -al  Having or related to    rotate  Turn around on an axis or center  Table 2 Target morphemes Set  Morpheme  Meaning  1  Celest  Sky    -ial  Relating to    Circum-  Around    Pole  North or south pole    -ar  Relating to    Helios  Sun    Centre  Center    -ic  Having characteristics of  2  Electro  Electricity    Magnet  A body, a piece of iron/steel that can attract certain substances    Radiate  To spread in rays, as light or heat    -tion, -ion, -ation  State or condition of    Part-  One small portion of matter    -icle  Something or someone is small    Spectra  Continuums that resemble a color spectrum and is arrange by specific characteristics    -um, -trum  A single  3  Ec-  Out from or away    Centric-  Center    -ity  State or condition of    Ellipse  A shape that resembles a flattened circle    Peri-  Around or about    Geos  Earth    -al  Having or related to    rotate  Turn around on an axis or center  Set  Morpheme  Meaning  1  Celest  Sky    -ial  Relating to    Circum-  Around    Pole  North or south pole    -ar  Relating to    Helios  Sun    Centre  Center    -ic  Having characteristics of  2  Electro  Electricity    Magnet  A body, a piece of iron/steel that can attract certain substances    Radiate  To spread in rays, as light or heat    -tion, -ion, -ation  State or condition of    Part-  One small portion of matter    -icle  Something or someone is small    Spectra  Continuums that resemble a color spectrum and is arrange by specific characteristics    -um, -trum  A single  3  Ec-  Out from or away    Centric-  Center    -ity  State or condition of    Ellipse  A shape that resembles a flattened circle    Peri-  Around or about    Geos  Earth    -al  Having or related to    rotate  Turn around on an axis or center  Materials Morphology lessons The morphological instruction lessons were created with Google slides™ (see Figure 1). Each lesson was developed by the primary author using the Word Detectives approach (Goodwin et al., 2012) and vetted by the secondary author. Each slide displayed the target vocabulary word, how to break the word apart into its morphemes, and what the morphemes meant. The lessons included 12 slides with a slide covering the lesson objectives at the beginning and a review of the objectives at the end of the lesson. Pre-assessment The pre-assessment consisted of 24 vocabulary words from the astronomy curriculum. The pre-assessment was separated into two parts (Part A and B) on two different papers. Part A was morphological word analysis. The students were asked to break the words apart into their constituent morphemes (e.g., constellation = ____ + ____ + ___). Once the student participants completed Part A. They were given Part B. Part B was defining the morphemes (con means _____, stella means ________, -tion means ________). The reason the assessment had Part A separated from Part B is because Part B provided the answers for Part A. From the pre-assessment, 10 words, or 24 morphemes, were chosen for the study. Probe assessments The probe assessments were given every session and assessed only the target words or morphemes. Depending on the phase of the study, the probe assessment would have varying number of words from 5 to 10 words that were included in the study. For instance, if we were in the first intervention phase but needed to probe the third set of word or morphemes also, the probe assessment would include Set 1 and 3 of the target words. Similar to the pre-assessment, the probe assessments had a Part A and B. When the student participants completed Part A, they were given Part B. Digital-recording technology The research teachers used an 8” tablet and a SWIVL base to record the assessment probe and intervention sessions. The SWIVL is a robotic tracking base. It houses the tablet, controls the recording feature in the tablet, and connects to a remote worn by the research teacher. The SWIVL base follows the remote thereby following the teacher. When the recording is complete, the SWIVL application uploads the video to a secure cloud server to download at a later time. Projectors The research teachers projected the lesson onto a whiteboard during instruction. The projectors were connected to a desktop computer. The research teacher moved between the projected lesson and the computer to change the slides and control the pace of the lesson. Procedures Planning The primary author, a certified teacher of the deaf/hard-of-hearing (TODHH), and the second author, a trained theoretical astrophysicist, collaborated to develop a list of vocabulary taught during the second author’s astronomy class. The primary author selected potential target vocabulary for the astronomy curriculum that could easily be taught through morphological instruction. Further, all of the potential morphemes were found in a K-12 prefix–suffix–root lists (Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, 2010; Ebbers, 2010; Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, 2009; Syracuse City Schools, no date). Schools or curriculum developers create these lists to delineate what morphemes should be learned by what grade level. The second author, the professor of record who taught the class yearly, approved the potential vocabulary words. Words containing morphemes that met the following criteria were chosen as target morphemes: could not be fully defined by the students, roots contained five letters, and affixes contained two to three letters, and their spelling changed minimally (i.e., less than two letters were dropped; spectra become spectrum) when combined to form the word. Due to the present investigation being a pilot study, the primary and secondary authors decided to use research teachers to teach the morphological instruction. The primary author prepares teachers of the DHH to teach in science, mathematics, and English classrooms. The third and fourth authors were teacher candidates in their second year of studying to become teachers of the DHH. The first, third, and fourth authors acted as research teachers. Research teachers are used during the initial iterations of intervention development to ensure procedural fidelity (Gast, Llyod, & Ledford, 2014). Research teachers are not considered study participants because they are often affiliated with the research team and are not the student participants’ typical instructor (Beal-Alvarez, Lederberg, & Easterbrooks, 2011). The primary, third, and fourth authors rotated in the order noted previously to collect data and teach the intervention. Students at the college level often have several different instructors, and rotating research teachers mirrored that typical setup. Professional development Before the study, the first author trained the third and fourth authors to teach the intervention. The research teachers met for 4 h on 1 day and reviewed how the intervention would be taught. The primary author demonstrated how to teach the lesson. The third and fourth authors taught a lesson once during the 4-h training. They were digitally recorded. The research teachers watched the recordings together and collected procedural fidelity. The results were discussed and each teacher took note on what they needed to improve. After training, each research teacher taught a second lesson and digitally recorded the lesson. Each research teacher rated the other research teachers on the procedural fidelity checklist (see Figure 2.) All of the research teachers obtained procedural fidelity scores of more than 90% on both ratings by others and were deemed ready to teach. Figure 2 View largeDownload slide A portion of the procedural fidelity checklist. Figure 2 View largeDownload slide A portion of the procedural fidelity checklist. Data collection Pre-assessment The primary author developed a pretest that included word analysis (_____ + _____ = spectrum) and root or affix meaning (spectra mean ____________). The pretest had two purposes. First, the pretest was developed using morphemes that were included in second grade through 12th-grade curriculums (Bartholomew Consolidated School Corporation, 2010; Ebbers, 2010; Grapevine-Colleyville Independent School District, 2009; Syracuse City Schools, no date). As college students, the student participants should know these morphemes. If they did not know them, then they would be considered in need of morphological instruction. Second, the assessment was administered to determine the target morphemes or words for the study. Baseline phases During the baseline phase, morphological instruction was not implemented. The student participants attended their astronomy class and received instruction on the predetermined topics. At the beginning of each class, the research teacher collected baseline data on all of the target morphemes and words using the probe assessment describe earlier. First, the research teacher handed the student participants Part A (morphological word structure analysis- eccentricity = ec + centric + ity) face down. The student participants were asked to put their initials at the top of the page, answer each item to the best of their ability, and flip over Part A. Part B was given to the student participant after Part A was complete (morpheme definitions - ec- means _____). The research teacher stayed at the front of the room and did not offer any performance-based feedback. If the student participants asked questions unrelated to the assessment, the research teacher would answer them. If the student participants asked questions related to the assessment, the research teacher would remind them to try their best. When the student participants completed the baseline probe assessment Parts A and B, the research teacher thanked the students. Scoring the probe assessments. Parts A and B of the probe assessments were scored separately. In Part A, the student participant got one point for each morpheme in the target words that was spelled correctly. For instance, spectrum had two morphemes spectra and -um. If the student participants spelled both of those correctly (spectrum = spectra + um), then they received two points. The score on Part A was not used to determine the effectiveness of the intervention; therefore, the results on Part A were not reported. In Part B, the student participants could receive a 0, 1, or 2 for the definition they generated. “0” indicated the response was not related or incorrect, “1” indicated the definition is partially right, and “2” indicated the student participant wrote the definition exactly as it was instructed (Dimling, 2010). The primary author graphed the percentage correct on Part B (# of points/ # of possible points) for each student participant. Baseline phase-change criteria. The phase-change rule for a student participant to move from the first baseline to the first intervention phase was a minimum of three data points demonstrating a stable (i.e., 50% on either side of the mean; Kazdin, 2011) or decreasing trend. When a student participant met these criteria, the student participant moved to intervention phase. The phase-change rule for baselines two and three was meeting criteria for the previous intervention phase and a minimum of three baseline data points demonstrating a stable or decreasing trend. Intervention phases The baseline probe assessment was administered at the beginning of each intervention phase session as described above. After the research teacher praised the student participants for their effort on the baseline probe assessment, morphological instruction began. The research teacher taught the entire class at the same time. First, the research teacher introduced the goals for the session (e.g., we will learn 10 morphemes today). Next, the research teacher displayed the target word separated into its target morphemes (eccentricity = ec + centric + ity). The research teacher and student participants discussed the word structure analysis. If the morphemes changed their spelling to create the target word, the research teacher and student participants discussed the regularities of English spelling that governed the spelling change of the morphemes. Then, the research teacher displayed the meanings of the target morphemes (ec = away, centric = center, -ity = state or condition of). The meanings were reviewed with the student participant. Last, the research teacher would ask the student participants if they knew any other words that contained one of the target morphemes from the word. The research teacher would write down the response and discuss the words with the student participants. If the student participants did not respond, the research teacher would provide a few exemplar words and discuss these with the student participants. This process was repeated with each target word. There were four or five target words for each phase containing eight target morphemes. After each word was instructed, the research teacher reviewed the day’s goals with the student participants to determine if the group had met the goals. Last, the research teacher engaged the student participants in practice. During the practice, the research teacher walked around and corrected student participants’ work. When student participants made mistakes, the research teachers followed correction procedures that were paired with the mistake. For example, if the student separated the morphemes in the word incorrectly (e.g., eccentricity = e + ccentri + city). The research teacher would say/sign and write, “Remember, the first morpheme is ec, the second morpheme is centric and the last morpheme is ity. Now, you separate the word again. Great job correcting your work!” If the student wrote the wrong definition for a morpheme, the research teacher would use a model, test and delayed test procedure: (a) Model the answer. (Con- means with), (b) Ask the student participant to give the answer just given. (What does con- mean?), (c) Delay for a few seconds and ask again. (what does con- mean?), and (d) Ask student to correct their paper (Dixon & Englemann, 2007). The research teacher only gave feedback on the planned practice after morphological instruction. Intervention phase-change criterion. The student participants moved onto a new set of words and morphemes when their data demonstrated an increasing trend for a minimum of three data points or if their data did not increase after six sessions. After the conclusion of three intervention session with three different sets of words or behaviors, a maintenance data point was collected. Maintenance phase After the students met the criteria to move onto a new set of words, the student participant would not interact with the taught set of words for three sessions or 2 weeks. After 2 weeks or three sessions, the research teacher gave the maintenance probe in the same manner as described in the baseline phase above. Procedural Fidelity and Interrater Reliability All assessment probe and instructional sessions were digitally recorded to collect procedural fidelity and interrater reliability. For the assessment probe sessions, we measured the following behaviors: (a) asking participants to write their initials on the page, (b) providing no feedback during the session, (c) allowing the student participants to work no more than 10 minutes, (d) collecting the papers, and (e) expressing gratitude for their efforts. To ensure the assessment probe session procedures were consistent, the third author watched 50% of the probe assessment sessions. For interrater reliability, the fourth author watched 30% of the 50% of sessions viewed and scored by the third author. Two sessions were chosen as practice sessions and not included in the calculations. Procedural fidelity for the assessment probe sessions was 90% on average with a range of 57–100% across the sessions. The research teachers omitted the following behaviors the most: expressing gratitude for the student participants’ efforts, and asking the student participants to write their initials on the page. The interrater reliability was 94% with a range of 71–100%. For the instruction sessions, we measured the following behaviors: (a) explaining the goals of the lesson, (b) teaching/reviewing why morphemes are important, (c) teaching/reviewing the target morphemes explicitly, (d) asking for words that contain the taught morphemes, (e) reviewing the goals of the lesson, and (f) engaging in planned practice. The third author viewed and scored 50% of the instructional sessions to collect procedural fidelity. The fourth author viewed and scored 30% of the 50% of the sessions viewed by the third author to collect interrater reliability. Two sessions were chosen as practice sessions and not included in the calculations. Sessions viewed were selected randomly but were equally-spaced during the baseline, intervention and maintenance phases. Procedural fidelity for the instructional sessions was 91% on average with a range of 81–96%. The interrater reliability was 91% with a range of 77–92%. Last, we collected fidelity and reliability on scoring the definitions. The third author scored the assessment probe worksheets at the end of each session. Also, the fourth author scored 100% of the assessment probe worksheets to collect scoring fidelity. Scoring fidelity for the assessment probe worksheets was 96% with a range of 87–99%. Overall, scoring the students’ writing definitions was the area with the lowest fidelity. The interrater reliability was 91% with a range of 79–100%. Results Recruitment There were 12 students enrolled in the astronomy class. All of the students consented to participate in the study. Three students dropped the class prior to the beginning of the intervention. Nine student participants engaged in the morphological instruction. Pretest results All of the students completed a pretest to determine if they were eligible for the study based on their current derivational morphological knowledge. All of the students appeared to have derivational morphological knowledge in the upper elementary (fourth grade) to middle school range (eighth grade). Their scores on the pretest can be found in Table 1. They all required morphological knowledge instruction to improve their morphological knowledge. Intervention results See Figures 3–5, and Table 3. The data were analyzed at the individual level for the following features: stability (50% on each side of the mean; Kazdin, 2011), level (mean of scores in a phase; Gast, 2014), trend, immediacy of effect (last data point in baseline compared to the first data point in intervention; Gast, 2014), consistency (data paths look similar within phases [comparing baseline to baseline] and across phases [baseline to intervention of one tier compared to baseline to intervention of another tier]; Gast, 2014), and percentage of non-overlapping data. Missing data points indicate student absences and we did not provide make-up sessions. Also, the astronomy class was canceled once between sessions 8 and 9 as well as between 11 and 12. Those canceled class sessions are indicated by a hash mark. Figure 3 View largeDownload slide Felicity, Vick, and Gina’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 3 View largeDownload slide Felicity, Vick, and Gina’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 4 View largeDownload slide Annalea, Maria, and Cecelia’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 4 View largeDownload slide Annalea, Maria, and Cecelia’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 5 View largeDownload slide Hermosa, Jacque, and Sia’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Figure 5 View largeDownload slide Hermosa, Jacque, and Sia’s graphs. BL, baseline; Int, intervention; M, maintenance. Table 3 Participant data path means   Change in Level  PND  Student  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Name  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  %  %  %  Felicity  9  59  0  23  10  48  100  100  100  Vick  15  88  9  44  25  41  100  100  50  Gina  21  44  12  33  11  44  100  33  100  Annalea  17  75  6  48  28  60  100  100  100  Maria  13  90  15  46  26  50  100  100  33  Cecelia  13  60  5  6  17  23  100  100  33  Hermosa  4  29  2  19  17  23  66  100  66  Jacque  23  71  24  61  15  63  100  100  100  Sia  0  69  10  34  10  33  100  100  100    Change in Level  PND  Student  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Name  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  %  %  %  Felicity  9  59  0  23  10  48  100  100  100  Vick  15  88  9  44  25  41  100  100  50  Gina  21  44  12  33  11  44  100  33  100  Annalea  17  75  6  48  28  60  100  100  100  Maria  13  90  15  46  26  50  100  100  33  Cecelia  13  60  5  6  17  23  100  100  33  Hermosa  4  29  2  19  17  23  66  100  66  Jacque  23  71  24  61  15  63  100  100  100  Sia  0  69  10  34  10  33  100  100  100  Note. Change in Level = mean of the data points in the data path for phase indicated (BL or INT; Gast, 2014); PND, percentage of non-overlapping data; BL, baseline; INT, intervention. View Large Table 3 Participant data path means   Change in Level  PND  Student  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Name  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  %  %  %  Felicity  9  59  0  23  10  48  100  100  100  Vick  15  88  9  44  25  41  100  100  50  Gina  21  44  12  33  11  44  100  33  100  Annalea  17  75  6  48  28  60  100  100  100  Maria  13  90  15  46  26  50  100  100  33  Cecelia  13  60  5  6  17  23  100  100  33  Hermosa  4  29  2  19  17  23  66  100  66  Jacque  23  71  24  61  15  63  100  100  100  Sia  0  69  10  34  10  33  100  100  100    Change in Level  PND  Student  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Set 1  Set 2  Set 3  Name  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  BL (%)  INT (%)  %  %  %  Felicity  9  59  0  23  10  48  100  100  100  Vick  15  88  9  44  25  41  100  100  50  Gina  21  44  12  33  11  44  100  33  100  Annalea  17  75  6  48  28  60  100  100  100  Maria  13  90  15  46  26  50  100  100  33  Cecelia  13  60  5  6  17  23  100  100  33  Hermosa  4  29  2  19  17  23  66  100  66  Jacque  23  71  24  61  15  63  100  100  100  Sia  0  69  10  34  10  33  100  100  100  Note. Change in Level = mean of the data points in the data path for phase indicated (BL or INT; Gast, 2014); PND, percentage of non-overlapping data; BL, baseline; INT, intervention. View Large As seen in Figures 3–5, the student participants displayed a stable baseline for the three sets of morphemes with the exception of Vick and Annalea. Both demonstrated an increasing trend in Set 3 that stabilized prior to the introduction of the intervention. When morphological instruction was introduced, all student participants’ data paths presented a change in level (see means in Table 3) and an increasing trend, except for Gina for Set 3. Due to Gina’s absences, her data for Set 3 do not display a trend. In regards to immediacy of effect (last data point in baseline compared to the first data point in intervention), the following student participants indicated an immediacy of effect for the intervention for all sets: Felicity, Gina, Annalea, and Jacque. Vick, Maria, Sia, Cecelia, and Hermosa did not demonstrate an immediacy of effect for one or more sets of morphemes. Once again, all student participants’ data paths were consistent within phases. Eight of the student participants’ data paths were consistent between phases with the exception of Maria for Set 1. For Set 1, all student participants had 100% of non-overlapping data. For Set 2, eight student participants had 100% non-overlapping data. For Set 3, four student participants had 100% non-overlapping data (see Table 3). Maintenance data were collected for each set of morphemes three sessions after the conclusion of the instruction. Felicity, Vick, Maria, and Jacque maintained what they learned during instruction. The remaining student participants forgot some of what they learned or had missing data points. Social Validity See Table 4 for mean ratings on the social validity questionnaire. The questionnaire included a Likert 5-point scale from Strongly Disagree to Strongly Agree. The questionnaire was administered in written form. The student participants were asked if they would like it read to them. None of the student participants requested the questionnaire be read to them using English or ASL. The student participants thought that the intervention was valuable and they would recommend the instruction for other DHH students. When asked what they would change about the instruction in an open-ended format, they made the following comments: “Play (create games) so we all might remember better. And I bet it would be more fun.”, “Bring handout and homework. I will learn more if I do outside at the class[sic] or handout I can study and remember how to spelling[sic]. (I’m really bad at spelling).”, “Use more variable word[sic] and avoid repeat word[sic].” Table 4 Student participants’ social validity ratings Statement  Mean rating  I liked using morphemes.  3.8  Learning about morphology was valuable  4  I can break apart words now  3.7  I would recommend learning about morphology to DHH students  3.8  I want to learn more about morphology  3.9  I can use what I learned about morphographs in other classes  3.8  Statement  Mean rating  I liked using morphemes.  3.8  Learning about morphology was valuable  4  I can break apart words now  3.7  I would recommend learning about morphology to DHH students  3.8  I want to learn more about morphology  3.9  I can use what I learned about morphographs in other classes  3.8  Table 4 Student participants’ social validity ratings Statement  Mean rating  I liked using morphemes.  3.8  Learning about morphology was valuable  4  I can break apart words now  3.7  I would recommend learning about morphology to DHH students  3.8  I want to learn more about morphology  3.9  I can use what I learned about morphographs in other classes  3.8  Statement  Mean rating  I liked using morphemes.  3.8  Learning about morphology was valuable  4  I can break apart words now  3.7  I would recommend learning about morphology to DHH students  3.8  I want to learn more about morphology  3.9  I can use what I learned about morphographs in other classes  3.8  Discussion The study empirically assessed if morphological instruction using science vocabulary terms would have an effect on college-age DHH students’ ability to define morphemes. Our primary research question was “What effect does morphological instruction have on the morpheme meaning knowledge of DHH college-age science students?” We addressed this question using a multiple probe across behaviors single-case experimental design. A functional relation was found between the morphological instruction and the increase in the student participants’ ability to define taught morphemes. Annalea’s data paths demonstrated a change in level and immediacy of effect from the baseline to intervention phase. This change was replicated across three sets of words. Also, Annalea’s ability to define the target morphemes increased during the intervention phase. Her data paths were consistent across phases. This was replicated across Jacque, Felicity, Vick, Sia, Hermosa, Maria, and Gina. The lack of replication for Cecelia requires further discussion. Our secondary research question was “Will gains maintain for two weeks?” The student participants’ data indicate that they maintained what they learned from the intervention instruction for at least 2 weeks. Similar to Gaustad et al. (2002), we found that some college-age DHH students have morphological knowledge equivalent to middle school age hearing students. Our findings support and extend previous research suggesting that morphological instruction can improve the morphological knowledge delay of DHH students (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015). Also, our findings extend previous research to indicate that morphological instruction can not only improve the morphological knowledge of upper elementary DHH students but of DHH college students as well (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015). Last, our findings extend previous findings (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015) to support morphological instruction for STEM classes, particularly science courses. Cecelia’s data indicated that the morphological instruction had a different effect on her morphological knowledge. One of the reasons Cecelia’s data may appear different is because she was working among three languages: English, American Sign Language, and Spanish. Previous studies have documented the need for modifying instruction for DHH students who are multilingual (Cannon, Fredrick, & Easterbrooks, 2009). Also, the student participants’ data paths indicated that morphological instruction may be more beneficial when implemented on a regular basis. The student participants appeared to learn more when they had three sessions in a row (the class met twice a week) compared to when sessions were canceled. This finding supports previous research indicating that morphological instruction should be a part of ongoing content-area reading instruction (Hurry et al., 2005; Zygouris-Coe, 2012). Most of the student participants learned more when studying the morphemes in Set 1 when compared to Sets 2 and 3. One explanation is that for both Sets 2 and 3, there was a canceled session or class. The class met weekly on Tuesdays and Thursdays. When a class was canceled, the student participants went 7 days without interacting with the intervention materials. In addition, the student participants’ absences increased during Sets 2 and 3. A second explanation is that Sets 2 and 3 were more difficult than Set 1. The sets were made equivalent based on the number of letters in the morphemes (Gast, Llyod, & Ledford 2014). The words were put into Sets 1, 2, or 3 based on the curriculum. Similar to findings with hearing children with disabilities or at-risk (Apel, Brimo, Diehm, & Apel, 2013; Goodwin et al., 2012), discussion-based morphological instruction, often referred to as Word Detectives, appears to be effective for DHH college students who use ASL and English. The present study extends the research supporting morphological instruction for DHH students (Trussell & Easterbrooks, 2015; Bennett, Gardner, & Rizzi, 2014; Bow, Blamey, Paatsch, & Sarant, 2004; Looney & Rose, 1979) to college-age students and to the science classroom providing a little guidance on effective vocabulary instruction for postsecondary DHH readers. The procedural fidelity was high for the implementation of the intervention. However, the instruction was implemented by the primary author and GRAs (research teachers) and not the teacher of record. We decided to implement the intervention using research teachers because this was a pilot study and a new strategy that has not been tested with this population. Our intention was to introduce as little variability as possible to determine if the intervention should be investigated further. At the same time, using research teachers instead of the teacher of record does bring the ecological validity of the study into question (Gast, 2014). We cannot determine if a content-area teacher, for instance a science teacher, would be able to implement the intervention with similar procedural fidelity outcomes. Some of the student participants had variability in their baseline data. We did not offer any feedback on their answers during baseline and this may have cause the variability. Student participants may have been unsure of their answers and without feedback they changed their answers. Also, there is a slight possibility the student participants learned the morpheme meanings in other ways, but the data do not support this possibility. Although some student participants had some knowledge during baseline, they all learned more during intervention. The present study is important to science teachers who work with DHH students as well as science teachers of the DHH. The field of deaf education has a paucity of research regarding teaching strategies for secondary and postsecondary DHH readers in STEM subjects (see Luckner & Cooke, 2010; Luckner, Sebald, Cooney, Young, & Muir, 2006 for reviews). Intervention studies like this one give science teachers of the DHH guidance when planning science instruction for DHH students. Further, the number of students with disabilities attending college has increased (United States Department of Education 2016). Research needs to be conducted on how to best educate this population. Studies conducted with a single population, such as DHH students, can be replicated and extended to college students with disabilities or those who are acquiring English. Limitations and Future Directions The present study has several limitations: small sample size, morpheme set equivalence, intervention length, lack of praise during baseline, lack of a generalization phase, and student participants’ demographic information. Although appropriate for single-case experimental design, the sample size in the present study was small limiting the ability to generalize the results. Also, the number of absences, resulting in missing data, requires researchers to interpret the results of this study with caution. The results do not conclusively demonstrate a functional relation between the morphological instruction and the student learning. Future researchers may consider replicating the study to strengthen conclusions about the effect of morphological instruction and increase the generalizability. Also, providing make-up sessions should be considered. Sets 1, 2, and, 3 may not have been equivalent. Potentially, the morphemes in Sets 2 and 3 had definitions that were more difficult to learn when compared to Set 1. Future researchers should not only make the word sets equivalent on number of letters but also on the difficulty of the definition Also, this was a pilot study, therefore, the intervention was short (nine sessions), students were taught in one large group, and no true mastery criteria was set for the intervention phases. In most classrooms, teachers would set a learning objective of 80% mastery before a student could move on. We choose not to set mastery criteria similar to the previous example because we did not want to waste the students’ class time if the instruction did not appear to be effective. Keeping the students in an intervention phase for six or seven sessions to get 80% mastery would have been the equivalent of three weeks. Therefore, we required simply a data path demonstrating an ascending trend. The student participants moved along similarly in the baseline and intervention phases because it would have been very difficult to learn what we were teaching outside of class. They did not get to take home any materials to study outside of class. In the end, some of the students may have only learned 40% of what was taught. Future researchers may consider teaching the intervention for a semester (15 weeks) or a year to see how the students progress over a longer period of time as well as require a specific level of mastery. Also, we determined if the students’ maintained what they learned with one data point collected after two weeks without instruction. Due to the time limits in a college semester (14 weeks of available instruction time), gathering more maintenance data was difficult in the present study. Future researchers may consider gather more than one maintenance data point at points in time such as 4 weeks, 6 weeks, or a year after instruction has ceased. Further, we chose not to follow the recommendation, from Kratochwill et al. (2013), to have five data point per phase in multiple baseline design studies. First, we did not want to take time away from their science curriculum if the morphology instruction did not appear to be effective. Five data points per phase would have been the equivalent to 2.5 weeks per set of morphemes. Further, the What Works Clearinghouse Single Case Design Technical Document (Kratochwill et al., 2010) provides a framework for including studies in synthesis endeavors and not a guide for designing SCED studies (Wolery, 2013). We chose to follow the Single-Case Reporting Guideline in BEhavioral Interventions (SCRIBE; Tate et al., 2016) checklist for designing and reporting the current study. SCRIBE (Tate et al., 2016) is a framework for evaluating single-case research for publication, which fit our current research questions and desire outcome. Future researchers may want to investigate both documents, WWC Single Case Design Technical Document and SCRIBE checklist, to determine which framework is more critical to their answering their research questions and meeting their desired outcomes. We did not include praise or feedback on the student participants’ morphological knowledge during baseline. Gast (2014) suggest that praise be included in the assessment sessions if praise is a dependent variable. Future researchers should include some type of praise or reinforcement in assessment phases. Including praise or feedback may produce more stable baselines. Also, we did not include a generalization phase. A generalization measure would indicate how well the student participants would be able to apply what they learned to unfamiliar science vocabulary. Future researchers should include a generalization phase to determine if the morphological knowledge the student participants gained can be applied to new material or in other contexts. Last, we did not report the students’ reading levels in the study. Since the present study was a pilot study, we did not want to ask the student participants to give up a lot of time with the possibility that the instruction would not be successful. Future researchers may want to collect more demographic and educational data on the student participants to further describe their population as well as determine factors that may have an effect on the student’s performance during the intervention phase. Conclusion DHH students, like all students, are encouraged to enroll in STEM degree programs in college. However, DHH students experience a morphological knowledge delay that begins at an early age and continues through college. Morphological knowledge is critical to STEM vocabulary learning, particularly in science. Past studies indicated that morphological instruction could improve the morphological knowledge of upper elementary DHH students. Potentially, college-age DHH students would have a similar outcome when provided with morphological instruction. The purpose of the present study was to improve DHH students’ morphological knowledge regarding scientific vocabulary from the astronomy curriculum through direct morphological instruction. Our findings suggest that discussion-based morphological instruction has a positive effect on DHH students’ ability to define taught morphemes. College professors who work with students with disabilities may consider morphological instruction when they want to increase a student’s vocabulary or morphological knowledge in science. Future researchers should consider replicating this study to address the limitations and create more generalizable results. 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Published: Apr 17, 2018

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