U of O
The Center on Brain Injury
Research & Training

In the Classroom: Supporting Students with TBI


Funded by:

US Department of Education–National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research

Project Period:

October 1, 2014 - September 30, 2017

Project Contact, Project Director/Principal Investigator:

Ann Glang, Ph.D. aglang@uoregon.edu 541-346-0594


Bonnie Todis, Ph.D. bonniet@uoregon.edu


Research Team:


Melissa Nowatzke


Jody Slocumb




Although 700,000 children in the U.S. age 1–19 years annually sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI), TBI is still considered a low-incidence disability in schools. Due to lack of awareness and training, educators often fail to recognize the symptoms of TBI in students, accurately assess their needs, and provide appropriate supports. This project will develop In the Classroom (ITC), a comprehensive web-based educational and training resource offering specific strategies and techniques for managing the TBI-related cognitive, behavioral, and social problems in the school setting. The program will include:  a) interactive learning modules offering specific strategies and techniques for managing TBI-related cognitive, behavioral, and social problems in the school setting, b) Steps to Success, a tool for identifying and evaluating the effectiveness of support strategies and c) the TBI Educator resource center, with printable forms, resource links practical tools for classroom use. 

Initial development of the ITC series has already begun as part of the training activities conducted in collaboration with programs in Alabama, Colorado and Pennsylvania.  Further development will include focus groups with educators in several states and interviews with our educational consultants and Advisory Board members. Stakeholders will provide feedback on improvements in content, features, and delivery methods throughout the development process.

A randomized control study will be conducted to test the effectiveness of the ITC series and the extent to which it produces positive change in student outcomes.  Evaluation of the ITC series will test the following hypotheses: Compared with usual care, (1) Educators from intervention schools will show significantly greater improvement (controlling for pretest scores) on (a) knowledge, (b) attitudes regarding managing challenges in youth with TBI, (c) behavioral intention, and (d) self-efficacy regarding ability to manage challenges in youth with TBI; (2) students with TBI whose educators use the ITC system will (a) have higher rates of identification for special education, (b) receive a greater number of classroom accommodations, (c) have lower rates of absence, suspensions, and behavioral interventions, and (d) better academic outcomes as measured by GPA and achievement test scores. (3) Parents of these students will have higher ratings of satisfaction with their children’s school services compared with parents in the usual care group.