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Evidence Based Practice University of Utah . Training School Psychologists to be Experts in Evidence Based Practices for Tertiary Students with Serious Emotional Disturbance/Behavior Disorders US Office of Education 84.325K H325K080308 University of Utah: High Incidence Grant Joe Viskochil.

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Evidence based practice university of utah

Evidence Based Practice University of Utah

Training School Psychologists to be Experts in Evidence Based Practices for Tertiary Students with Serious Emotional Disturbance/Behavior Disorders

US Office of Education 84.325K


University of Utah: High Incidence Grant

Joe Viskochil

Put up positives


Compli cards

Compli-Cards combines four evidence based components into a class-wide positive behavior intervention

Positive peer reporting (PPR)

Interdependent group contingency

Randomized criteria

Public posting

The goal of the Compli-Card intervention is to increase compliments between peers and facilitate a positive classroom environment

An intervention to increase positive comments

Who should use compli cards
Who should use Compli-Cards?

  • Compli-Cards are designed for elementary age kids

  • They can be used in both special and regular education

  • The ideal group size is 10-30 kids

    • Fewer than ten  Compli-Cards will not be as effective

    • More than 30  it may become too difficult to stay organized

  • Compli-Cards are perfect for any classroom that wants to increase positive peer interaction and decrease put downs, criticism and sarcasm

3 advantages of compli cards
3 Advantages of Compli-Cards

  • Time

    • Compli-Cards take less than 10 minutes per day

  • Cost

    • The only costs are paper, tape, and rewards of your choice

  • Ease

    • Compli-Cards are not complicated!!! After initial set up, the kids do all of the work!

What you will need
What you will need

  • Compli-Card template

  • Rewards: Small (daily) and large (weekly)

  • Internet access

  • 3 feet of board, wall or desk space

The compli card template
The Compli-Card template

  • The Compli-Card is a piece of paper that the witness fills out

  • When a witness hears a compliment, they ask the teacher for a Compli-Card, and fill out

    • Who the compliment was to

    • Who the compliment was from

    • What the compliment was

    • Their name

    • The date (time/period optional)

What you will need1
What you will need:

Small rewards

These will be used daily for everyone that gave a compliment that day, as well as one for the bonus witness

These should be small, inexpensive items such as treats, a few minutes of a desired activity, or a free homework question

Large rewards

These will be used weekly for the entire class if the criteria is met

These can be larger things like extra recess, one free homework assignment, a large treat (e.g. donuts)

For reward suggestions, see Rewards Index



What you will need2
What you will need:

Internet access

In order to randomize the criteria for a reward, you will need a random number generator (RNG). There are many free RNG’s online (www.random.org)


Once a witness has filled out a Compli-Card, they will post it up so everyone can see it. This posting space can be anywhere, even lined up along the side edge of the door, teachers desk, etc.

Internet access and space

Implementing compli cards
Implementing Compli-Cards!

  • Step one: Explain and set up the Compli-Card system

  • Step two: Daily Compli-Cards

  • Step three: Weekly Compli-Cards

Implementing compli cards1
Implementing Compli-Cards!

Determine a space for the Compli-Cards to be posted

Take 10 minutes to explain compliments

If using Compli-Cards with younger kids, the following may be helpful

What is praise?

Examples of Praise

Take a few more minutes to show kids how to fill out and post Compli-Cards

Tell kids how they will receive rewards for compliments if the random daily goal or weekly goal is met

Step One: Set up

Implementing compli cards2
Implementing Compli-Cards!

At the beginning of the day, determine a minimum and a maximum number of Compli-Cards you would like to see.

Input these numbers into the RNG. The resulting random number is the daily goal. Write this down but don’t show the class.

As the day progresses, praise witnesses for posting Compli-Cards.

Step Two: Daily (1)

Implementing compli cards3
Implementing Compli-Cards!

At the end of the day, reveal to the class the random goal.

If the goal has been met, each complimenter(the person who gave the compliment) that is posted receives a small reward for the day.

Make sure to record the number of daily Compli-Cards in a safe place.

Send all Compli-Cards home with the complimentee(the person who received the compliment)

Step Two: Daily (2)

Implementing compli cards4
Implementing Compli-Cards!

To encourage kids to witness and report compliments, a bonus reward should be given to one witness per day.

After determining the daily goal, create another random number using 1 for the minimum and the daily goal for the maximum. The resulting number is the bonus witness Compli-Card

If and only if the daily goal is reached, count the Compli-Cards until you find the bonus witness Compli-Card, and give that witness the reward as well

Step Two: Daily- The Bonus Witness

Implementing compli cards5
Implementing Compli-Cards!

At the beginning of each week, create a weekly goal using the same random number generator procedure as before.

At the end of the week, reveal the weekly goal to the class and add up the daily Compli-Card totals for the week.

If the weekly goal has been met, the entire class receives a large reward, even if they weren’t a part of a Compli-Card.

This is an important tool for motivating Compli-Cards because even if the daily goal isn’t met, the weekly goal is still possible.

Step Three: Weekly

Daily example
Daily Example


  • Daily goal

    • Minimum: 5

    • Maximum: 15

By jones kevin m young mary m friman patrick c school psychology quarterly vol 15 1 spr 2000 30 39
By Jones, Kevin M.; Young, Mary M.; Friman, Patrick C.School Psychology Quarterly. Vol 15(1), Spr 2000, 30-39

  • OIS training provides training in Positive Behavior Support for supporting people who engage in challenging and, potentially dangerous behavior.

  • OIS is grounded in the understanding and assessment of the "meaning" of the behavior.

  • A system of providing training to people who work with designated individuals to intervene physically or non-physically to keep individuals from harming self or others. The systemis based on a proactive approach that includes methods of effective evasion, deflection and escape from holding.