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.


33rd Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2007

Event Details

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Symposium #246
Applications and Utility of Brief Experimental Analysis of Academic Performance
Sunday, May 27, 2007
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
America's Cup D
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Matthew Burns (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Children who are struggling to succeed academically can benefit from individualized academic interventions because different children learn in different ways. Like behavioral interventions, academic interventions should be selected based on the results of an individualized prescriptive assessment, such as brief experimental analyses. The use of brief experimental analyses (BEA) of academic performance holds promise for the response to intervention (RTI) movement taking place in K-12 education. The RTI model provides for early identification and instructional intervention when a student’s progress monitoring data show insufficient level and growth of academic performance. The premise of RTI is that practitioners intervene early and effectively, thereby preventing some children from needing segregated special education services. Three studies will be presented that describe application of BEA procedures with Kindergarteners through 3rd graders across early literacy, oral reading fluency, and written expression skills. The effects of the individualized academic interventions identified for the subjects will be demonstrated with progress monitoring data. The studies will be discussed in terms of their utility in an RTI model and future directions for research.
Brief Experimental Analysis of Early Reading Interventions.
ANNA-LIND PETURSDOTTIR (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Kristen McMaster (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: The study investigated how brief experimental analyses (BEAs) could be used to identify effective interventions for Kindergartners not responding to classwide evidence-based early reading instruction. Participants were two girls and two boys, 5 to 6 years old, with the lowest performance level and/or growth slope in letter sound fluency (LSF) of at-risk participants in three classrooms. Interventions were tested within a multielement design in a hierarchy from least to most intrusive and students’ responses were assessed with two specific subskill measures and one curriculum-based measure of LSF. Interventions identified as effective in BEAs were implemented during supplemental tutoring sessions for 5 to 9 weeks. A multiple baseline design across participants showed large generalized intervention effects (average d = 5.2) on four general outcome measures of early reading skills. The results provide additional evidence of the treatment validity of BEAs and extend the current literature base on BEAs to include a younger group of participants, early reading interventions, and early reading measures.
Reading Fluency: Prescriptive Assessment for Improved Outcomes.
DANA WAGNER (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Kerry Bolman (St. Croix River Education District ), Erin M. Holton (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: Reading fluency is an important skill for children to aquire Children who fail to become fluent readers rarely catch up to peers’ achievement level (Juel, 1988). Later school and career success largely depend on fluent reading skills (Snow, Burns & Griffin, 1998). Several variables can influence the rate at which a child’s reading fluency develops. Clearly, not all children learn the same way; what is unclear is what intervention strategies to use with which children when they experience academic difficulties or fail to acquire reading fluency at an adequate rate. The present study examined the utility of a brief experimental analysis of instructional strategies on the reading fluency of school aged children. Effects were measured in terms of correct words read per min during the experimental analyses and on progress monitoring probes over time. The results show differential effects among conditions, over time and across participants on all measures. Interobserver agreement data ranged from 89-100 percent. The results are discussed as a potentially useful element of a response-to-intervention model of assessment and intervention.
Brief Experimental Analysis of Written Expression.
ZOILA GANUZA (University of Minnesota), Rachel London (University of Minnesota), Matthew Burns (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: The brief experimental analysis (BEA) procedure directly tests interventions to efficiently identify those that will likely be successful, but research has mostly focused on reading difficulties. The current study developed a BEA framework based on the five components of written expression. A second-grade male student with writing difficulties was the participant for the study. Based on writing samples it was determined that the student lacked in both production and mechanics, and a BEA was conducted in both areas. The result of the BEA and subsequent extended analyses, using a multiple baseline design, suggested that the BEA led to effective interventions for this child. These data are promising, but only suggest an assessment technology that requires additional research.



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