Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Special Education

Committee Chair

Kim Floyd

Committee Co-Chair

Christan G. Coogle

Committee Member

Ugur Kale

Committee Member

Michael Mayton

Committee Member

Richard Walls


The effects of bullying on individuals involved in bullying situations (i.e., the bully, the target, and bystanders), has prompted nationwide interest in the field of education. Identifying students at-risk of being involved in bullying situations has led to awareness of high prevalence rates among students with disabilities. Understanding the potentially devastating effects of bullying on the academic, social, and emotional well-being of students with disabilities is disconcerting. Therefore, the goal of this study was to answer questions related to effectiveness of application activities designed to prepare preservice special education teachers for response and prevention of bullying behaviors. All activities related to this study took place on campus at West Virginia University. Participants who completed the full requirements of this study were eight undergraduate students enrolled in SPED 304, Special Education in Contemporary Society, during the Spring 2014 semester. A single subject alternating treatments design was employed to measure the effects of each type of application activity on participants' accuracy in responding to bullying behaviors. Data were analyzed utilizing quantitative and qualitative measures. Specifically, this study analyzed the effectiveness of Case Study/Automated Feedback activities, Role Play/Peer Discussion Activities, and Virtual Simulation/Instructor Feedback activities for preparing preservice special education teachers to respond appropriately when confronted with bullying behaviors. The results of individual participant analysis did not reveal significance of effect for specific types of intervention. However, analysis of all participants during pre- and post-feedback phases did reveal significance of effect. Prior to participating in feedback activities, statistical analysis demonstrated significance of effect for accuracy of responding during the Virtual Simulation condition. Further, analysis of theme collected from participant open-ended and likert-type responses on the social validity questionnaire, also indicated that participants preferred virtual simulation activities: they reported feeling more prepared for real interaction with students as a result of their experience in the TeachLive(TM) lab, which is where virtual simulation activities were conducted. Application activities were designed to include three different types of feedback (i.e., automated, peer discussion, and instructor). Analysis of effect during pre- and post-feedback phases did not provide evidence that any one type of feedback was better than the other, but it did report significance of effect across all activities from pre- to post-feedback. The results of this study support virtual simulation and participation in feedback activities as a highly effective means of preparing preservice special education teachers for response and prevention of bullying behaviors.