Validation of the Instructional Consultation Teams Level of Implementation Scale- Revised

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2005-04-19

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Consultation has been proposed as a viable indirect service delivery system for schools (Sheridan & Gutkin, 2000), enabling teachers and other professionals to assist students by receiving support through collaborative problem solving. Researchers have delineated components and characteristics thought to be important in consultation processes (Conoley, 1981). It is challenging to ensure if the process of consultation is being implemented in the way it was intended, or if it is being implemented with integrity.

There is growing recognition that many research studies have not examined the treatment integrity of consultation (Gutkin, 1993). Researchers are increasingly required to assess the integrity with which consultees implement interventions designed within consultation. However, there is a gap in the literature on the treatment integrity of the consultation process itself.

Instructional Consultation Teams is a collaboration model that has been used in a variety of schools (Rosenfield & Gravois, 1996). Critical components were delineated and a Level of Implementation (LOI) scale was developed (Fudell, 1992). The collaborative process element of the scale assesses consultant behaviors and determines if the consultant has implemented the critical components. However, the data are collected via self-report interviews, which may be distorted based on the respondents' perceptions (Gutkin, 1993).

This study analyzed the match between 20 consultant/consultee dyads consultation behaviors and their self-reports of the behaviors in the consultation sessions. By listening to audiotaped consultation sessions created for on-line coaching, and scoring a verification measure of consultation behaviors, consultant/consultee dyad's interactions were assessed to determine the presence of instructional consultation critical components. The scores from listening to the audiotapes were then compared to the LOI-R interviews conducted after cases were completed. Results indicated that self-report, as measured by the LOI-R, and implemented behaviors, as measured by coding audiotapes of the sessions, were significantly related. All 23 items indicated no significant discrepancy between the self-reported behaviors and the observed behaviors. The LOI-R and audiotape scoring both indicated high levels of implementation for the 7 dimensions investigated. The LOI-R was thus considered a valid measure of instructional consultation process implementation.

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