Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Paper Session #393
Strategies for Improving Student Outcomes in Higher Education
Monday, May 31, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon E (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC
Chair: Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
The Effects of Differential Reinforcement Procedures on the Quiz Submission of College Students
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
MELODY BERKOVITS (The Graduate Center of the City University of New York), Alicia M. Alvero (Queens College, The City University of New York)
Abstract: This study compared the motivational effects of certain and uncertain rewards on the quiz submission rates of students in two introductory psychology classes (N=200). In baseline, quizzes were available for practice only; in the guaranteed condition, extra credit was available for completely accurate quizzes; and in the lottery condition, perfectly accurate quizzes were entered into a lottery, in which only the winner received extra credit. Submission rates for the baseline, guaranteed, and lottery conditions, averaged 36%, 68%, and 57% respectively for Class 1, and 37%, 62%, and 52% respectively for Class 2. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA, followed by Fisher’s LSD found the differences in submission rates between all conditions in both classes to be significant at the .05 level. It is possible that these results are due to the uncertainty inherent in the lottery condition, as compared to the certainty of reward following the target behavior in the guaranteed condition. These findings may have implications for business settings that use lotteries or other uncertain rewards (e.g. employee of the month procedures).
Using On-Line Mastery Quizzing to Improve Essay Writing Skills
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Megan Knight (Western Michigan University), HEATHER M. MCGEE (Western Michigan University), Amy E. Scrima (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Previous research suggests that adding online mastery quizzes to a college-level content class can and improve scores on multiple-choice unit exams (Brothen & Wombach 2000; Johnson & Kiviniemi, 2009). The current study attempts to determine whether providing essay writing instruction and practice via a course management system will impact scores on unit essay exams in a community college Psychology course. Exam scores will be compared across groups to determine the impact of the different instructional conditions. A between-groups design will be used to determine whether or not the addition of instruction and content-based essay skills mastery quizzes affects performance on unit essay exams, as measured by exam scores. Unit exams will be administered to measure student learning and social validity will be assessed via a questionnaire that requires students to rate their impressions of the different treatments.
Increasing the Effectiveness of Interteaching: Capitalizing on the Testing Effect
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
TONYA LAMBERT (James Madison University), Bryan K. Saville (James Madison University)
Abstract: In recent years, educational systems, especially higher education, have come under great scrutiny, but these criticisms of education are by no means new. In 1954, B. F. Skinner identified three main problems with typical classroom environments. These include constant avoidance of aversive consequences, rare opportunities for positive reinforcement, and lack of a sufficient shaping program. Over the years, researchers have developed many behavioral education methods in response to these issues, the most recent being interteaching (Boyce & Hineline, 2002). Interteaching has proven to be more effective than more traditional methods of instruction (e.g., Saville, Zinn, & Elliott, 2005; Saville, Zinn, Neef, Van Norman, & Ferreri, 2006), but little research has examined ways to make interteaching even more effective. Recent research on the testing effect suggests that having students frequently take tests may improve student-learning outcomes. In this presentation, I will discuss research in which participants completed interteaching in a simulated classroom setting. Some participants were asked to complete a post-discussion quiz, whereas others were not. Our preliminary results suggest that adding post-discussion quizzes to interteaching may increase the effectiveness of this instructional method.
An Analysis of Goal Setting and Values-Based Training Modules on Student Retention Rates
Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
JARED A. CHASE (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno), Jennifer Plumb (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Student retention has become a primary interest for university administrators nationally. Low retention rates have financial implications for universities and reflect poorly on the quality and credibility of the institution. Moreover, there are serious implications in terms of future employment possibilities and earning capacity for students who withdraw from higher education. Research has demonstrated that students who are successful at implementing strategies that lead to personal control of their learning are more likely to be successful learners. Training students to effectively set academic goals and/or clarify their academic values has the potential to decrease attrition rates and lead to academic success. Accordingly, the purpose of the current investigation was to provide students with online tutorials to help them generate strategies to achieve their academic goals and clarify their academic values with an aim of improving academic performance and student retention rates. Three groups of undergraduate psychology majors participated in this study. Group A received online academic goal setting training while Groups B and C (a wait-list control) received goal-setting plus Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) values-clarification training. This presentation will provide an overview of the method and results of the study. Findings and implications for future applications will be discussed.



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