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Single Case Research Designs in Educational and Community Settings



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This is the 1st edition with a publication date of 4/27/2010.

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This practical nuts-and-bolts how-to guide to carrying out single case research is keenly focused on practicing this type of research in educational and community settings.Conceptualizing the background underlying this research approach, the book walks you through a step-by-step approach to the components involved in doing such research in this environment. You will learn a brief history on the development of these design approaches, with some of the basic logistical barriers to and solutions for carrying out research in applied settings. Additionally, you will become versed in the nuts-and-bolts procedures of carrying out such research with regard to designing and implementing measurements systems, choosing appropriate designs, and graphing and analyzing data. You will further learn the basics of disseminating research via various professional outlets such as conference presentations and journals for researchers and practitioners. The tables and graphics included list step-by-step procedures for carrying out various data collection and research design strategies, offering concise summaries of some key features of the main procedural elements of single case research, and a guideline to crucial features and concepts. Written for a broad range of educational and other human services professionals, including teachers in both general and special education, the book is also a suitable guide if you are a school psychologist or counselors, or even a social worker, communication disorders specialist, or recreation, occupational, or physical therapist. Unique and new to the market, this "how-to" guide fills a gap for a single case, single subject research design book focused on doing this type of research in educational and community settings, with a strong emphasis on practice versus theory.

Author Biography

Dr. Robert E. O'Neill is the coordinator of the Mild/Moderate Disabilities Program at the University of Utah, and also teaches courses in Severe Disabilities and master’s and doctoral program courses. He received his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara, after which he was a member of the faculty at the University of Oregon for nine years prior to coming to the University of Utah. Dr. O'Neill's recent work has focused on strategies for supporting persons exhibiting severe problem behaviors in a variety of community settings, including homes, classrooms, and work sites. His current work is concerned with the areas of functional assessment, teaching communication skills as alternatives to problem behaviors, school-wide behavioral support, and gender issues in emotional/behavioral disorders. Dr. O'Neill has received over half a million dollars in federal grant support for his research, development, and personnel preparation activities. He has published a number of articles, books, and book chapters, and has done presentations at a variety of state, national, and international conferences. His work has appeared in Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, Journal of the Association for Persons with Severe Handicaps, Education and Treatment of Children, Journal of Developmental and Physical Disabilities, Journal of Special Education, Remedial and Special Education and Journal of Positive Behavioral Support.


John McDonnell (Ph.D.) is a Professor in the Department of Special Education and Associate Dean for Faculty Research Support in the College of Education at the University of Utah. His research interests include curriculum and instruction, secondary/transition programs for students with severe disabilities, and inclusive education. Dr. McDonnell has published several textbooks including Successful Transition Programs:  Pathways for Students with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publishing (2010) and An Introduction to Persons with Severe Disabilities: Social and Educational Issues (2nd Edition). Boston: Allyn & Bacon, Inc. (2003). He is an avid fly fisherman and loves camping, hiking, and exploring the wilds of Utah and the intermountain area.


Dr. Felix F. Billingsley is a University of Washington Emeritus Professor. During his years with the College of Education's Area of Special Education, Dr. Billingsley taught courses in instructional methods for students with severe disabilities and in single-case research methods. He also published widely on those topics. When he is not playing blues on acoustic or electric guitar, he enjoys sailing and otherwise traveling with his wife, Patti, particularly in Mexico.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Historical Background and Development of Single Case Research Methods

Chapter 2: Defining What to Measure and How to Measure It

Chapter 3: Internal and External Validity and Basic Principles and

                    Procedures of Single Case Research (SCR) Designs

Chapter 4: Making Sense of Your Data: Using Graphic Displays to Analyze

                    and Interpret It

Chapter 5: Common Steps and Barriers You May Have to Deal With in

                   Conducting a Research Study

Chapter 6: Withdrawal and Reversal Designs

Chapter 7: Multiple Baseline and Multiple Probe Designs

Chapter 8: Changing Criterion Designs

Chapter 9: Multiple Treatment Designs (MTD)

Chapter 10: Alternating Treatment Designs

Chapter 11: Disseminating Your Research Results

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