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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Paper Session #232
Procedures to Promote Success in Academic Content Areas
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Regency Ballroom B, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC
Keyword(s): Academic Success
Chair: Scott P. Ardoin (University of Georgia)

Setting the Stage for Academic Success Through Antecedent Intervention

Domain: Applied Research
ALICIA KRUGER (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Elisabeth Kane (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Nicole C Bricko (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Edward J. Daly (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Natalie Hoff (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Whitney Strong (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Mackenzie Sommerhalder (University of Nebraska-Lincoln), Jill Holtz (University of Nebraska--Lincoln)

Antecedent control strategies are often neglected when behavior analysts select interventions. Consequences are certainly more powerful and cause behavior change. Yet, antecedent strategies set the stage for maximizing the effectiveness of those consequences by altering the reinforcing value of the consequences. Three strategies in particular (choice, preference, and indiscriminable contingencies) invoke motivating operations that are easily incorporated into intervention packages. Providing students a choice of task, sequence, or reinforcement serves as a motivating operation by altering existing reinforcement schedules, introducing variety across sessions, and accounting for momentary fluctuations in motivational levels. Indiscriminable contingencies, often presented as Mystery Motivators, create a schedule of reinforcement which explicitly signals reinforcement availability while masking the reinforcer or criterion for reinforcement. Reinforcer preference allows access to higher-preference consequences, which, when stated prior to task completion, can establish reinforcement as being more effective It is unfortunate that these motivating operation strategies have received little attention in the academic intervention literature, as they can boost intervention effects without adding much complexity to a treatment package. This presentation will review the literature and instruct participants in how to add elements of choice, indiscriminable contingencies, and preference to academic intervention packages.

Think Aloud Problem Solving: Research in Reading and Content Area Skills
Domain: Applied Research
GINNY DEMBEK (Brooklyn College )
Abstract: Students develop the ability to verbalize their thinking process through classroom problem solving experiences and everyday encounters. Verbalizing the problem solving process allows students to gain feedback. More emphasis has been placed on the higher order thinking process in the Common Core State Standards. Developing research supports the need for this instruction, such as Think Aloud Problem Solving, in younger students who struggle in problem solving skills (Dembek, 2015; Dembek & Kubina, 2014; Ferris & Fabrizio, 2009; Witcoski- Dembek & Kubina, 2012). Current single case design research has demonstrated improvements in problem solving skills and the ability to talk aloud with explicit lessons and structured practice. Acquisition was obtained through scripted lessons and frequency building (i.e., practice) strengthened the student’s verbal repertoire making the problem solving process a durable behavior. A multiple baseline design with five students with disabilities demonstrated an improvement in problem solving when compared to baseline. All students became more accurate in the problem solving task as shown in immediate changes upon the start of the intervention or accuracy improvement overtime. Maintenance in learning was demonstrated and generalization probes indicated improvement in student performance. Additionally, a changing criterion design with five students with disabilities demonstrated similar improvements.
Meta-Analysis of Single-Case Research Design Studies on Instructional Pacing: Findings and Conclusions
Domain: Applied Research
MATTHEW TINCANI (Temple University), Marilyn De Mers (Temple University)
Abstract: More than four decades of research on instructional pacing has yielded varying and, in some cases, conflicting findings. This presentation reports a meta-analysis of single-case research design (SCRD) studies on instructional pacing to determine the relative benefits of brisker or slower pacing. Tau – U, a non-parametric statistic for analyzing data in SCRD studies, was used to determine effect-size estimates. The article extraction yielded 13 instructional pacing studies meeting contemporary standards for high quality SCRD research. Eleven of the 13 studies reported small to large magnitude effects when two or more pacing parameters were compared, suggesting that instructional pacing is a robust instructional variable. Brisker instructional pacing with brief inter-trial interval (ITI) produced small increases in correct responding and medium to large reductions in challenging behavior compared to extended ITI. Slower instructional pacing with extended wait-time produced small increases in correct responding, but also produced small increases in challenging behavior compared to brief wait-time. Neither brief ITI nor extended wait-time meets recently established thresholds for evidence-based practice. Additional research to determine optimal parameters of instructional pacing given specific student characteristics, skills, and instructional arrangements is needed.
Using Relational Frame Theory to Guide Instruction in Chemistry Concepts
Domain: Applied Research
KARLI SILVERMAN (Florida Institute of Technology), Joshua K. Pritchard (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: In this study, we examined the effect of a match to sample preparation on the development of emergent derived relations of high school chemistry concepts with neuro-typical adults across a broad spectrum of education and experiences. We used relational frame theory to create a task to teach the number of valence electrons, atomic number, and location on the Periodic Table for a subset of elements. Relational frame theory has provided a framework within which methods to train and measure the emergence of untrained relational framing due to stimulus transformation ala Steele and Hayes. We trained with an automated computerized match-to-sample procedure that taught relations between elements, rules that govern the periodic table, and certain valence and atomic numbers using response contingent feedback. We then evaluated the emergence of non-trained relations using pretests and posttests. Using relational frame theory allowed us to increase learning efficiency in teaching chemistry concepts and the paper will end with a discussion of the relevance of this type of training and research to other educational applications.
Keyword(s): Academic Success



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