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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #36
Recent Developments in Brief Experimental Analysis of Academic Performance
Saturday, May 23, 2009
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
North 121 A
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Matthew Burns (University of Minnesota)
Discussant: Brian K. Martens (Syracuse University)
Abstract: Brief experimental analysis (BEA) of academic performance is a technology that has been used to identify effective individualized interventions for students with academic difficulties and has been applied primarily to reading fluency. However, the development and application of this technology is in its infancy. This symposium will present some recent developments in the application of this technology. Matt Burns will present the first paper that will outline the utility of BEAs for math skills. Next, David Parker will present a paper describing a comparison of the effects of BED-identified interventions with the effects of the district summer school curriculum on reading fluency for a large group of elementary age summer school students in an urban setting. Finally, Breanne Byiers will present the results of a study that addressed reading skills of 6th grade students in an urban setting. Brian Martens will discuss the papers and provide ideas for future research.
Functionally Meaningful Indicators of Math Competence for Experimental Analyses of Math skills
MATTHEW BURNS (University of Minnesota), Amanda M. VanDerHeyden (Education Research and Consulting, Inc.)
Abstract: The presentation presents the utility of various curriculum-based assessment and measurement estimates of mathematics performance for predicting functional outcomes (i.e., retention of learned skills over time and faster learning of related content in the future) for children in grades 2-5. All children participated in a standardized intervention and skills were monitored on a regular basis with three measurements. Each week children completed a timed probe of the skill for which intervention was currently occurring and a timed probe of previously mastered skills from the sequence of computational skill objectives. Each month, all children completed a timed probe of mathematics skills representing computational skills that students were expected to master by year’s end at each grade level. At all grade levels, learning a skill that appeared early in the hierarchy or sequence of skills related positively to learning of future related and more complex computational skills. Fluency criteria were specified that predicted retention of the skill over several months. The application of these findings to experimental analysis of academic behavior will be discussed.
Systematic Analysis and Treatment for Reading Fluency
BREANNE JUNE BYIERS (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), David Parker (University of Minnesota), Jodie Mettee (University of Minnesota), Josh Goldberg (University of Minnesota), Mimi L. McDonnell (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to test the effects of individualized supplemental reading instruction on sustained oral reading. Participants were 6th grade students identified as having oral reading fluency deficits on grade level reading materials. Individualized instructional reading strategies were identified for 14 students based on the results of brief experimental analyses (BEA) in which incentives and levels of modeling were tested. These students received 1:1 tutoring for 30 min per day, approximately 3 days per week using the BEA-identified instructional strategies. Standardized timed reading passages were used to compare oral reading fluency from pre-intervention and following 6 months of tutoring. These results were compared with (a) the performance of 9 students at the same school who also displayed oral reading fluency deficits but were not provided supplemental instruction, and (b) the expected growth in reading fluency for 6th graders (Hasbrouk & Tindal, 2006). The participants showed an average increase of 1.94 words per week, far exceeding expected and non-participant growth rates. These results suggest that individualized reading instruction based on BEA results can be effective in improving oral reading fluency for students with identified reading deficits.
An Assessment and Application of Brief Experimental Analysis for Reading Fluency
DAVID PARKER (University of Minnesota), Jennifer J. McComas (University of Minnesota), Dana Wagner (University of Minnesota), Jessica L. Cherne (University of Minnesota), Emily R. Monn (University of Minnesota), Mimi L. McDonnell (University of Minnesota)
Abstract: The purpose of the current study was to extend support for the use of brief experimental analysis (BEA) procedures with oral reading fluency. Participating 1st through 5th graders in a 4-week summer school program received one of three treatment conditions. Two conditions consisted of interventions based fully or partially on the results of BEAs in which incentives and levels of modeling were tested. A third condition consisting of the district summer school curriculum served as a control. All students in the two treatment groups received 1:1 tutoring for 30 min per day, 4 days per week. Students who received treatment based solely on BEA-identified interventions performed significantly better than students in the control group, whereas students in the partial-BEA condition did not. Results for student response to intervention within the dual discrepancy model (Fuchs, 2003) are also reported. The findings are discussed in terms of the utility of BEA procedures in brief (i.e., 4 week) designs as well as for abbreviated interventions for elementary age students in an urban setting.



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