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 #277
Four empirical investigations evaluating the efficacy of interactive technology in mastery-based college instruction.
Sunday, May 24, 2009
3:00 PM–4:20 PM
North 121 BC
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Daniel Reimer (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Eric J. Fox (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Historically, the large size of college instructional settings has made implementation of mastery based teaching difficult. Use of behavioral techniques in large scale class rooms has become more practical with the advent of readily available technology. The four studies discussed here provide empirical support for the use of interactive technology in college classrooms. The current studies aim to utilize technologies already available at most universities and supported by the institutions. The primary goal to increase levels of student course mastery through online chapter review quizzes, homework, on-line fluency training, active responding and immediate feedback during lectures. Data collection focused on student’s grades as well as the efficiency of course staff resource allocation. It is the primary goal of the researchers to provide empirically supported course materials and curriculum that have been shown to facilitate student success despite their entering repertoires and individual histories that may have previously led to poor performance.
Implementing a Mastery Model through Self Quizzing in an Online Learning Environment
AMY E. SCRIMA (Western Michigan University), Eric J. Fox (Western Michigan University), Megan Knight (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Mastery may or may not be a stated goal of instruction, but most instructors would agree it should be. Whether instructors hope for it or arrange for it is a choice they can make. To help instructors with this choice, two things must be established: how mastery can most efficiently and effectively be achieved and how such an arrangement can best be implemented. The use of technology is central to this investigation. The question is not whether technology is going to be a part of higher education instruction; it is whether sound educational methodology is going to be at the base of it. The current study is an evaluation of a format that uses a course management system, already in place at most colleges and universities, to encourage mastery of course content through frequent, online chapter review quizzes. The effectiveness of this strategy was measured using an alternating treatments design with conditions cross-balanced across two sections of an introductory psychology course at a community college. Chapter and final exam scores were examined to measure impact on learning, and social validity data was collected.
Impact of Clickers on Active Responding and Academic Performance
DANIEL REIMER (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the electronic voting devices (i.e., clickers) on immediate and delayed performance of students in an introductory psychology course. The clickers were used to promote students’ active responding in small-group lectures/discussion sessions during the target semester. The performance of this group was compared to the performance of a group of students from a previous semester that experienced the traditional style of instruction. We also conducted an analysis of students’ performance in accordance to their participation in discussion sessions (exposure vs. lack of exposure to active responding promoted by clickers) during the target semester. The dependent variables included students’ performance associated with discussion session quizzes, chapter quizzes, mid-term and final exams. In addition, we compared grade distribution across target semesters. Our findings will have implications for using clickers as an effective tool for promotion of active responding in educational settings.
Learning Based and Outcome Oriented Approach to Course Development: A Systematic Research Program to Improve Student Performance.
THOMAS WADE BROWN (University of nevada, Reno), Emily Michelle Leeming (University Of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The current studies aim to evaluate student performance in an undergraduate statistics course. Specifically, these studies utilized fluency modules and on-line pretests to evaluate the potential effects on performance in course exams. In one study, two courses received fluency modules in which one course’s materials were color coded, and the second group received the same materials in black and white. In the second study, a group received online pre-tests and was evaluated against a standard control group in order to assess the effects of guided study materials on course exams. These studies serves as a continuation in a series of course evaluations whose results discovered that student success may not be contingent upon mastery of prerequisite skills, but instead on efficient and correct study behavior. By utilizing course programming to institute homework, in the forms of fluency training and pre-tests, as well as utilizing basic behavioral principles it is the goal of the researchers to improve student’s grades when compared to historical data, and simultaneously improve the efficiency of the course system.



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