Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


School Psychology

Major Professor

Christopher H. Skinner

Committee Members

Christopher H. Skinner, David F. Cihak, Tara C. Moore, Carolyn A. Blondin


This study is designed to extend research on the Brief Sheets intervention. The Brief Sheets intervention involves taking a full-page assignment that is given to students to complete independently and breaking up this assignment into multiple, smaller assignments that still contain the same total number of problems cumulatively. An experiment was designed to see if students would complete more total problems when they were given Brief Sheets compared to a control assignment containing the same total number of problems, if the percentage of accurate responding would be higher for the Brief Sheets assignment, and if students would rate the Brief Sheets intervention as preferable to the control assignment. Our participants were 39 fourth-grade students in an elementary school in the southeastern United States. The experiment was conducted in one day with students completing a packet containing 2 of 3 possible assignments within it. One of these assignments was always a control 10-problem assignment presented on one sheet of paper. The other assignment was counter-balanced to be a 12-problem assignment on one sheet of paper, or a 12-problem assignment presented on 4 slips of paper with 3 problems per slip. A between-subjects design was chosen to answer our research questions. The results of this study did not support the hypothesis that the students who completed the Brief Sheets intervention would complete more work, as the number of problems completed and number of problems completed correctly were both not statistically significant between the Brief Sheets assignment and an alternative assignment of the same length. Likewise, the Brief Sheets intervention was not rated as statistically more favorable than the alternative assignment when comparing effort, time, difficulty, or preference for homework. A limitation of this study was that students did not complete as many problems as anticipated with the problems not being completed automatically, and that data collection took place in one day with a limited subject pool of 39 students. Future research on the Brief Sheets intervention should work with a larger subject pool and consider working with older students to see if the Brief Sheets intervention would cause more meaningful differences.

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