Intensive Intervention (Part 1): Using Data-Based Individualization To Intensify Instruction
Students with severe and persistent academic difficulties often do not respond adequately to targeted instruction (i.e., Tier 2 instruction, secondary level instruction). These students need more intensive intervention to demonstrate an improvement in academic performance. Data-based individualization, or DBI, offers a systematic approach to intensive intervention. DBI is a research-based process for gradually individualizing and intensifying interventions through the systematic use of assessment data, validated interventions, and instructional adaptations. DBI consists of five steps:
|Step 1:||Validated Intervention Program (with adaptations)|
|Step 2:||Progress Monitoring|
|Step 3:||Diagnostic Assessment|
|Step 4:||Intervention Adaptation|
|Step 5:||Progress Monitoring|
This graphic illustrates both the steps of data-based individualization, as well as they ways in which those steps interact. Step 1, “Validated Intervention Program,” is represented by an orange rectangle. This box connects via a vertical grey line to Step 2, “Progress Monitoring,” which is illustrated as a green oval. Both steps, in turn, are connected to a horizontal line with labeled circles at each of its ends. The circle on the left, “Nonresponsive,” has a red minus sign at its center, while the circle on the right, “Responsive,” has a red plus sign. A grey arrow connected to the “Nonresponsive” circle points toward Step 3 of the DBI process, “Diagnostic Academic Assessment/Functional Assessment,” which is represented as a green oval, similar to Step 2. The “Responsive” circle also has a grey arrow, this one pointing back up toward Step 2, “Progress Monitoring.”
Step 3 is connected via a vertical grey arrow to Step 4, “Intervention Adaptation,” represented as an orange rectangle. Another grey arrow connects Step 4 to Step 5, “Progress Monitoring,” another green oval. As above, these latter steps are connected to a horizontal line with labeled circles at each of its ends. The circle on the left, “Nonresponsive,” has a red minus sign at its center, while the circle on the right, “Responsive,” has a red plus sign. A large grey arrow connected to the “Nonresponsive” circle points back to Step 3, “Diagnostic Academic Assessment/Functional Assessment,” while the “Responsive” circle directs instructors back to Step 5, “Progress Monitoring.”
This module page focuses on Steps 1 and 4, so those orange boxes are highlighted whereas the rest of the graphic is slightly faded out.
This module addresses the two steps related to intensifying and individualizing instruction (Steps 1 and 4).
- Step 1: Validated Intervention Program—Teachers should intensify the secondary intervention by making quantitative changes (e.g., increase amount of instructional time, decrease group size).
- Step 4: Intervention Adaptation—After progress monitoring and a diagnostic assessment, teachers can adapt the intervention by making quantitative changes and/or qualitative changes (e.g., way in which content is delivered).
There are four main ways to intensify or individualize instruction. As the graphic below illustrates, these methods of adapting instruction range from the least intensive to the most intensive. To meet a student’s needs, the teacher might need to use a combination of quantitative and qualitative adaptations to intensify and individualize an intervention.
Vaughn, et al., 2013
This graphic represents the four main ways to intensify or individualize an instructional intervention, ranging from the least intensive to the most intensive. There are two quantitative changes and two qualitative ones, all represented as overlapping circles. Increasing intensification is represented by darkening colors; the circles start off light pink on the left and turn orange at the right. The first quantitative change is “Change Dosage or Time.” This circle overlaps with “Change the Learning Environment To Promote Attention and Engagement,” which in turn overlaps with the first qualitative change, “Combine Cognitive Processing Strategies with Academic Learning.” The final circle is labeled “Modify Delivery of Instruction.”
Listen as Chris Lemons discusses making quantitative and qualitative instructional adaptations during the DBI process (time: 1:54).
Chris Lemons, PhD
Assistant Professor of Special Education
Revisiting Initial Thoughts
Think back to your initial responses to the following questions. After working through the resources in this module, do you still agree with your Initial Thoughts? If not, what aspects of your answers would you change?
What is data-based individualization?
How can school personnel intensify and individualize instruction?
When you are ready, proceed to the Assessment section.