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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Symposium #335
Using Applied Behavior Analysis to Meet the Academic Needs of 21st Century Learners
Monday, May 26, 2014
9:00 AM–10:50 AM
W195 (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Katelyn M. Fishley (Ohio Dominican University)
Discussant: Katelyn M. Fishley (Ohio Dominican University)

Applied Behavior Analysis can offer much in the way of helping students and teachers, alike, to meet the increasingly stringent academic standards and accountability measures. Although schools already use behavioral principles as a base for many interventions, behavior analysis continues to be seen in a negative light in K-12 educational settings. Because educational reform is putting such a large emphasis on outcome-based measures and the use of evidence-based practices in academic instruction, we feel that behavior analysis has the potential to become widely accepted into these settings. In this symposium, we will begin by discussing the link between educational reform and Applied Behavior Analysis and make a case for why schools should be looking to Applied Behavior Analysis to improve their practices. We will discuss the research to practice gap and theories regarding why K-12 educational settings have been hesitant to embrace behaviorism in a more public way. Three presentations will present research that illustrates the effectiveness of these behavioral techniques.

Keyword(s): Educational Reform, Explicit Instruction, Research-to-Practice Gap

ABA and K-12 Education Reform: How ABA Approaches Can Increase Student Achievement and Teacher Effectiveness

KATELYN M. FISHLEY (Ohio Dominican University), Kristall J. Day (The Ohio State University)

Traditionally, those in K-12 settings have been hesitant to seek out and/or acknowledge their use of behavioral techniques to improve school environments. However, with educational reform pushing K-12 educators to new levels of accountability, the principles of behaviorism and evidence-based interventions based on behaviorism offer much assistance in meeting these demands for high levels of accountability. This presentation outlines the link between ABA and educational reform and introduces behavioral interventions that can be used daily in K-12 settings to improve teacher and student performance.


Computer-Assisted Instruction: A Supplementary Tool for Learners At Risk for Reading Failure

STARR E. KEYES (Bowling Green State University)

Using technology embedded with evidence-based strategies (i.e., repeated reading, model reading, progress monitoring, etc.) promotes learning for all students, especially those who require supplemental services. Computer-assisted interventions empower students by increasing their academic skills and confidence, which will impact their success in school and later life. This presentation will describe the effects of a computerized reading program to increase oral reading fluency (ORF). The study used changing criterion tactics embedded in a multiple-baseline design. Dependent variables included ORF, oral retell, and comprehension questions on treatment and generalization passages. Participants included five low-income African-American students, four of whom were at-risk for reading failure, and one who had a Speech and Language Impairment (SLI); as well as an English-Language Learner (ELL). The participants were required to reach an individualized criterion throughout the study. The students made gains across treatment and generalization probes.


The Effects of the Headsprout Early Reading Program on the Literacy Skills and On-task Behavior of At-risk Urban Kindergarten Students

SHANNON S. HAMMOND (The Ohio State University)

Young children who experience difficulty learning to read are at an increased risk for reading failure and behavior problems. Emerging evidence suggests that improving the literacy skills of young struggling readers also improves levels of on-task behavior. This study examined the effects of Headsprout Early Reading, a phonics-based online reading program, on the reading achievement and levels of on-task behavior of urban kindergarteners with concomitant reading and social behavior deficits. The study included six participants who received the intervention and one participant who did not, but whose performance data were used as a comparison tool to represent ideal achievement (reading and on-task behavior) for a kindergartener in the school in which the study occurred. A multiple probe across behaviors (i.e., Headsprout instructional targets) and participants was utilized. Data were collected on program-specific reading performance, generalized reading performance (e.g., AIMSweb Tests of Early Literacy), and levels of on-task behavior during classroom reading instruction. In general, the results of the study demonstrate that the Headsprout Early Reading program was effective at increasing the reading skills of at-risk kindergarten students, especially those students who experienced more of the program. Additionally, improved reading skills appear to be positively correlated with improved on-task behavior.


Using Word Box Instruction to Improve Literacy Skills for Emergent Readers and Older, Struggling Readers

SUSAN KEESEY (Western Kentucky University)

Accountability in the 21st century requires educators to incorporate evidence-based practices along with accurate and thorough data collection in an attempt to provide a quality education for all students. Demonstrating adequate progress for all students is a difficult challenge, especially for students possessing skills significantly below their peers. This is particularly true when it comes to reading. Improving literacy skills positively impact many areas of students learning. This presentation demonstrates how a word box intervention was implemented to develop important prerequisite reading skills in both young, emergent readers and older, struggling readers. Concurrent interventions, one for kindergartners and the other for fifth graders, utilizing a multiple probe across three phonemic awareness skills design that was sequentially replicated across subjects demonstrated the effectiveness of the word box intervention. Results demonstrated a functional relation between the word box instruction and increases in all eight students ability to segment and develop phoneme-grapheme relationships, along with demonstrated improvements in spelling and reading skills. Results of this study will be presented along with suggestions for using explicit instruction to improve the reading skills for struggling students of all ages.




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