Active Engagement in Inclusive Pre-School Classrooms During Distance Learning Open Access

Murthy, Harshini (Spring 2021)

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The current study aims to understand the interaction between online learning environments and active social engagement as a measure of effective learning in children with and without Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This was done by observing a sample of 4 preschool-aged students in a research laboratory based inclusive classroom. Parent interviews were also conducted, to investigate the parental perception of distance learning on the child’s engagement and development. Parents also discussed the impact of distance learning on family life. Quantitative coding for attention and communication was carried out by analyzing 30-second intervals of WebEx call recordings for eye gaze and verbalizations. The children were observed across three classroom contexts, namely, 1:1, small group and whole group formats for a period of 9 weeks. Parent interviews suggested that the distance learning program had some effective elements, but also had some limitations. Social attention and communication scores indicated discrepancies in how attentive the children were to distance learning. Future directions include incorporating a traditional in-person classroom as a control group and a larger sample size.

Table of Contents

Introduction 8

Methods 10

Setting 10

Measures 12

Participants 13

Procedure 15

Observational Coding of Instructional Sessions 15

Exit Parent Interviews 17

Results 18

Parent Interviews 18

Active Engagement Coding 20

Discussion 22

References 26

Tables 29

Figures 35

Appendices 37

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