Pearson Executive Office 5601 Green Valley Drive Bloomington, MN 55437Copyright 2013 NCS Pearson, Inc. All rights reserved.Warning: This manual is protected by copyright, and permissions should be obtained from thecopyright owner prior to any prohibited reproduction, storage in a retrieval system, or transmission inany form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or likewise. Pearsonhereby grants permission to print these pages, in part or in whole, or download to the user’s computerfor instructional purposes only and not for resale. For information regarding permission(s), contactPearson’s Rights and Permissions department.Pearson and the BOSS logo are trademarks in the U.S. and/or other countries of Pearson Education,Inc., or its affiliate(s).Portions of the user’s manual were adapted from Academic Skills Problems Fourth Edition Workbook byEdward S Shapiro, Copyright 2011 by The Guilford Press, 72 Spring Street, New York, NY 10012www.guilford.com.
About BOSSSystematically observing students in classrooms is an essential part in theassessment of the academic environment. This is true whether the referralproblem is not completing assignments, having difficulty in reading, or beingunable to add quickly and accurately.Behavioral Observation of Students in Schools (BOSS) software enables usersto observe students in a school environment and record students’ behaviors inreal time. This method for recording behaviors is efficient and eliminates theneed for hand calculations of behavioral statistics.The BOSS software uses interactive, customizable buttons labeled to a particularbehavior for the observer to press while observing a student during a givenduration. The software keeps track of the intervals within which a behavioralbutton is selected during an observation. The statistics (percentage of intervals inwhich the behavior occurred) are then calculated and displayed at the end of theobservation. This recorded information can be viewed in the app or shared via email in both .csv and .pdf formats.Before Getting Started Before observing in a classroom, the observer will need to becomefamiliar with the daily schedule, class routine, and physical layout of theclassroom.The observer should meet briefly with the teacher before the observation,to learn about classroom rules or procedures that may be in effect duringthe observation.The observer should ask the teacher where the best place to sit or standis to directly observe the target student.The observer needs to have a clear view of the student, but should not betoo obtrusive nor be in major traffic areas for other students.During the observation, the teacher should teach as he/she normally does.The observer should minimize any interactions with students or theteacher during the observation period.The teacher should not introduce the observer to the class when he/shearrives, but should be instructed to tell the students (prior to the observer’sarrival) that someone is coming to observe what goes on in the classroom.If the assessment will include working individually with the target student,it is recommended that the direct observations be conducted first.The observer’s entrance into the classroom should be as naturalistic aspossible. It can help if he/she enters the classroom during a natural breakin the instructional routine.
Using the BOSS SoftwareWhen the BOSS icon is touched on your device, it will open the home screen.iOS Home ScreenThe home screen provides a list of fieldsassociated with a new observation. Touching anyof the fields allows the user to input the relevantinformation by either typing it in on a new screen orselecting it from the pull-down menu that appears.The home screen also provides access to“Previous” observations and information “About”the BOSS software via buttons along the bottom ofthe screen.Android Home ScreenThe home screen offers three options: NewObservation, Previous Observations, and NewTemplate.Selecting “New Observation” will open a newwindow that provides a list of fields associated witha new observation. Touching any of the fieldsallows the user to input the relevant information byeither typing it in on a new screen or selecting itfrom a pull-down menu that appears.Selecting “Previous Observations” opens a listingof all observations already completed and saved.Selecting “New Template” takes the user to aseries of screens to label the template and buttonsassociated with that template, defining their names and indicating whether theyare momentary (left side of screen) or partial (right side of screen).Entering Observation InformationOn the New Observation screen, BOSS provides a list of fields to describe theobservation. The user selects a given field by touching it, which opens a newwindow to either select the relevant information for a pull-down menu or definethe information by typing it into a field.For devices using Android platforms, after a selection is made or an entry saved,the software auto-advances to the next field. For devices using iOS platforms,the user selects “Done” to save and close the window.2
Observer, Student, and SchoolWhen the user touches these fields, a new window in BOSS opens allowing theuser to type in the relevant information for each field.Grade, Duration, and IntervalWhen the user touches these fields, a pull-down window appears offering theuser options for selecting the student’s grade level, the total anticipated durationof the observation session, and the number of seconds between eachobservation.The duration menu ranges from 2 minutes to 60 minutes, with 10 minutesselected as the default. Users should select a duration that is likely to be longerthan the planned observation. Stopping the observation short of the full plannedduration will provide calculations of observed intervals based on what wasactually collected. Otherwise, BOSS will calculate the percentages based on thefull duration once it has been attained.The interval menu ranges from 2 seconds to 60 seconds, with the default set to15 seconds. At 2 seconds, users are close to observing the number of times abehavior actually occurs, and at 60 seconds, users would be examiningbehaviors that are fairly high frequency.Task, Setting, TemplateSelecting the Task field opens the screen for selecting or defining the task beingobserved. Language Arts, Mathematics, Reading, and Writing are already listedas tasks. These tasks cannot be changed by the user, and represent the mostcommon tasks that occur when an observation of academic skill is conducted.The default task is Reading.Selecting the Setting field opens a menu with four basic observational settings.Specifically, these are:Target student engaged in individual seatwork, the teacher ispresent and circulating around the room.ISW:TpSmGp Target student engaged in individual seatwork, the teacher isworking with a small group of which the student is not a part.SmGp:Tpsnt Target student is part of a small group with which the teacheris working. Small group is defined as a group involving lessthan half of the class.Target student is part of a large group with which the teacherLgGp:Tpsntis working. Large group is defined as a group involving half ormore of the class.ISW:TpsntThe default selection for setting is ISW:Tpsnt.3
Selecting the Template field opens a screen forchoosing the behaviors to track.The default BOSS template provides twomomentary time samples on the left side of screenand three partial interval time samples on the rightside of the screen. These are:MomentaryActive Engaged Time (AET)Passive Engaged Time (PET)PartialOff-Task Motor (OFT-M)Off-Task Verbal (OFT-V)Off-Task Passive (OFT-P)Adding a New Task, Setting, or TemplateFor each of these fields users have an option to add a new task, setting, ortemplate by touching “Add New” instead of selecting one of the available options.“Add New” opens a window where the user can define/name the new element.Once the new element has been defined it will appear in the list of options. Usersthen have the option of selecting the newly defined task, setting, or template forfuture observations. Unlike the BOSS-defined elements, user-defined elementscan also be deleted from their respective lists.To add a template, touch “Add New ” to label the template and buttons definetheir names and indicate whether they are momentary (left side of screen) orpartial (right side of screen).One important limitation is that button labels are limited to 6 characters.The user receives an error message if button names exceed this limit andare directed to change the label to no more than 6 characters.Users can add an infinite number of behaviors. It is recommended, however, thatno more than four user-defined behaviors be identified. If more than fourmomentary or partial sampling behaviors are added, users will need to scrollthrough the observation screen to see the additional behaviors listed.When a user-defined template is selected for an observation session, the buttonsthat have been defined for the new template will be displayed when the sessionbegins.4
Setting the Date (iOS only)BOSS uses the current date as the default date forthe observation. Tap the date field in order to changethe date.Once the date has been entered, touch “Done” tosave the date and return to the home screen.Touching “New Observation” will return the user tothe home screen without saving changes to the date.There is not an option for changing the date inAndroid platforms, the default is the current date.TDI On/Off Option (iOS only)The Teacher Directed Instruction (TDI) field offersthe user the opportunity to select the Use TDIButton, which appears on every fifth interval when apeer is observed. The default is YES.The user can change this to “No” by selecting thefield and turning TDI off.For Android platforms turning TDI off is not an option,it will appear at every fifth interval.5
Coding Academic EngagementThe BOSS template divides academic engagement into two subcategories:active (AET) or passive engaged time (PET). In either case, the student isconsidered to be on-task. Each of these behaviors is recorded as a momentarytime sample. At the beginning of each cued interval, the observer looks at thetargeted student: determines whether the student is on task, and, if so, whetherthe on-task behavior constitutes an active or passive form of engagement asdefined below.At the start of each interval, the BOSS makes a soft “click” sound and vibrateslightly, cueing the user to record the momentary behavior evident by touchingeither AET or PET. Touching the button turns the button blue. If the user feelsthey made an error, retouching the button within the interval returns the button toa white background. The user can only record either AET or PET at the start ofthe interval. These buttons work as either one or the other. If neither AET norPET is present at the start of the interval, neither button should be touched. The“clicking” or tone sound can be turned off by muting the sound on the device.The occurrence of the behavior at that moment is recorded by tapping theappropriate button on the observation screen.Recording Behaviors – MomentaryActive Engaged Time (AET)Active engaged time (AET) is defined as those times when the student is activelyattending to the assigned work. Examples of AET include: Writing Reading aloud Raising a hand Talking to the teacher about the assigned material Talking to a peer about the assigned material Looking up a word in a dictionaryAET should not be scored if the student is: Talking about nonacademic material (verbal off task) Walking to the worksheet bin (motor off task) Calling out (verbal off task) unless it is considered an appropriateresponse style for that classroom Aimlessly flipping the pages of a book (motor off task) Engaging in any other form of off-task behaviorPassive Engaged Time (PET)Passive engaged time (PET) is defined as those times when the student ispassively attending to assigned work. Examples of PET include: Listening to a lecture Looking at an academic worksheet Silently reading assigned material Looking at the blackboard during teacher instruction Listening to a peer respond to a questionPET should not be scored if the student is:6
Aimlessly looking around the classroom (passive off task)Silently reading unassigned material (passive off task)Engaging in any other form of off task behaviorAt times it may be difficult to determine immediately whether a child is passivelyengaged or daydreaming at the first moment of an interval. In this case, it isappropriate to code PET if it becomes apparent later during that interval that thestudent was indeed passively engaged.Coding NonengagementWhen a student is not engaged in academic behavior, three possible categoriesof off-task behavior are coded. These behaviors are recorded by means of apartial interval observation method: if any of the three behaviors occurs at anypoint during the interval, tap the appropriate button on the observation screen.Multiple occurrences of the same behavior within a single interval are noted onlyonce.Recording Behaviors – PartialOff-Task Motor (OFT-M)Off-task motor behaviors (OFT-M) are defined as any instance of motor activitythat are not directly associated with an assigned academic task. Examples ofOFT-M include: Engaging in any out-of-seat behavior (defined as buttocks not in contactwith the seat) Aimlessly flipping the pages of a book Manipulating objects not related to the academic task (e.g., playing with apaper clip, throwing paper, twirling a pencil, folding paper) Physically touching another student when not related to an academic task. Bending or reaching, such as picking up a pencil on the floor Drawing or writing not related to an assigned academic activity Turning around in seat, oriented away from the classroom instruction Fidgeting in seat (i.e., engaging in repetitive motor movements for