Online versus in-person training: Is modality associated with improved fidelity? Process evaluation findings from a large-scale implementation of LifeSkills Training
Katie Combs, Karen Drewelow
The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence has supported implementation of LifeSkills Training (Blueprints Model+ program) for over a decade. Implementation research demonstrates that fidelity is critical to maintaining successful outcomes of an EBP. This body of research also shows that training is an important predictor of fidelity (Durlak, 2015). Considering the evolution of web-based learning and the financial and pragmatic barriers to providing in-person training, online training offers a promising solution to EBP scale-up challenges. Studies generally suggest that outcomes from online training are comparable to traditional training (Calder et al., 2017; Cook & Steiner, 2013); however, no studies have explored outcomes in regard to training for the implementation of EBPs.
Implementation of LST was measured through four fidelity outcomes: adherence (percentage of content taught), dosage (average time spent on lessons), quality of delivery (mean rating across 7 instructional items), and student responsiveness (mean rating across 3 items assessing understanding, participation, and response). Each fidelity outcome was measured using data collected from classroom observers over a three-year period. Teachers were observed several times during their first year delivering LST, and average scores were calculated for each fidelity outcome.
The effect of online training was examined using a generalized estimating equation, comparing the four fidelity outcomes across two groups (i.e., online vs. in-person trained) after adjusting for site-level clustering. Results showed that teachers trained online had no significant differences on adherence, dosage, and student responsiveness. However, online-trained teachers were less likely to receive higher ratings on quality of delivery during their first year of implementation.
This poster will describe how in-person and online training experiences may differ, display study methods and findings, and consider how online training may be a viable solution to scaling up EBPs.