Providing Immediate Feedback to Co-Teachers Through Bug-in-Ear Technology: An Effective Method of Peer Coaching in Inclusion Classrooms

Feb. 28, 2010

Source: Teacher Education and Special Education, v. 33 no. 1,(February 2010) p. 83-96.
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)

More children with special needs are educated in general education classrooms than ever before. Ideally, special education and general education teachers work together in these settings as instructional teams, but a "one teaching, one assisting" model is often in place with the special education teacher assuming a subordinate role.

The purpose of this research project was to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention in which co-teachers provided immediate corrective feedback to each other through peer coaching in co-taught settings.
BIE technology was used to deliver immediate feedback during lessons.
The authors also evaluated acceptability of the intervention to teachers to determine its practicality and usefulness in applied settings.

Research Questions

Based on the purpose of the study, the two research questions examined were as follows:
Does immediate corrective feedback delivered by co-teachers in inclusion settings increase a specific effective teaching technique (i.e., completion of three-term contingency [TTC] trials)?
Do teachers receiving immediate corrective feedback via BIE technology find this method to be acceptable and practical to use in the classroom while teaching?

Participants and Settings

Three dyads of co-teachers participated (five women, one man).
Each dyad was consisted of a general education teacher and a special education teacher.

Each teacher met criterion (three consecutive sessions at 90% or higher) in just three sessions, maintained the behavior at high levels post-intervention, and generalized the behavior to a different setting without the peer coach present. Teachers rated the treatment as a beneficial technique that they would recommend to others.


Findings suggest that (a) immediate corrective feedback, as delivered by peer coaches using BIE technology, was effective in increasing each teacher's percentage completion of TTC trials to criterion and
(b) the behavior was maintained and generalized over time and across settings. In addition, participants rated the BIE device as an acceptable, nonintrusive, efficient way to deliver feedback in real time.


In this study, co-teachers delivered immediate feedback to each other on one effective teaching behavior: completion of TTC trials.
This treatment has implications for use by co-teachers in inclusion classrooms, namely, because participants deemed the technique user-friendly, behavior change was rapid, it lasted after treatment was faded, and it generalized to other settings in the absence of the co-teaching partner. It can be one of many techniques designed to help teachers learn to teach together, instead of regressing to the default model of "one teach, one assist," which underutilizes the special education teacher's expertise in specially designed instruction and the general education teacher's content expertise.

Boudah, Logan, and Greenwood (1997) suggested that research should be done to determine whether changes can be made in teacher instruction so that both teachers in a collaborative team are highly engaged in the instructional process during almost the entire lesson. This intervention provides an effective way to do this through active participation in the lesson, through peer coaching. Most important, the students become the beneficiaries of improving teaching techniques.

Boudah, D. J., Schumacher, J. B., & Deshler, D. D. (1997). Collaborative instruction: Is it an effective option for inclusion in secondary classrooms? Learning Disability Quarterly, 20, 293-316.

Updated: Jun. 15, 2010