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.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #311
CE Offered: BACB
Promoting Real-World Application After Instruction: Cognitive Strategy Instruction, Think-Alouds, and Delayed Prompting
Sunday, May 29, 2022
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205A
Area: EDC/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Allaina Douglas (University of Oregon )
CE Instructor: Kent Johnson, Ph.D.

Successful people engage in behaviors they were previously taught under a vastly wider variety of contexts than those presented in during initial instruction. After instruction, some learners need only a few models to successfully apply the skills that they have been taught. However, even if they performed well during instruction, many learners require explicit instruction in knowing both how and when to apply their instructed skills. At Morningside Academy we have developed a Generative Instruction model for teaching learners to engage in application as well as novel behavior. First, Kent Johnson will describe that Generative Instruction model, and urge behavioral educators to broaden their focus beyond knowledge and skill acquisition to meet the demands of our current technology and information society. Second, Andrew Kieta will define and illustrate how orient instruction toward application by using Cognitive Strategy Instruction (CSI) with teacher think-alouds, and using think-alouds during opportunities for application. Third, Bailee Scheuffele will provide data to illustrate how application of initially taught vocabulary words can be increased with CSI and think-alouds. Finally, Leah Herzog will provide data to illustrate how to use think-alouds and delayed prompting procedures to promote application of initially taught sentence writing skills to many novel contexts.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Application, Generative Responding, Instruction, Language
Target Audience:

Teachers, school psychologists, behavioral educators

Learning Objectives: 1. At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to define, describe, and illustrate simple generative responding. 2. At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to define, describe, and illustrate cognitive strategy instruction. 3. At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to define, describe, and illustrate delayed prompting.

Promoting Application With Generative Instruction

KENT JOHNSON (Morningside Academy), Andrew Robert Kieta (Morningside Academy)

Effective people engage in behaviors they were previously taught under a vastly wider variety of contexts than those presented in classrooms. We call applying the same behavior we were taught in a new context or circumstance simple generative responding. To promote simple generative responding, most teachers provide suggestions or wisdom to students about applying the behaviors elsewhere. However, a fully functional analysis must include more than hope for application. How do we promote simple generative responding? For example, how do we guarantee that students will apply newly learned decoding skills to read a magazine or newspaper article? Apply column addition & subtraction skills while grocery shopping? Apply persuasive writing skills to write a letter to a newspaper editor? Watch videos, and read articles and books related to the social studies and science that we teach? Questions like these pertain to the sustainability of behavior. Many students require direct instruction in both knowing how and knowing when to apply what they have learned. We have designed two procedures to facilitate application: Cognitive Strategy Instruction with teacher think-alouds to broaden the context in which a skill is initially taught, and delayed prompting to guide application of the skill in new contexts.

Using Teacher Think-Alouds During Cognitive Strategy Instruction and to Facilitate Simple Generative Responding of Previously Taught Concepts, Principles, and Strategies to Novel Contexts.
ANDREW ROBERT KIETA (Morningside Academy), Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Teacher Think-Alouds refer to the instructional practice wherein the teacher vocalizes his or her thought process in order to go beyond simple modeling. Think-Alouds are effective because they prompt empathetic listening; they invite the learner into the thinking process rather than telling the learner what to do. One area where Think-Alouds are particularly effective is during Cognitive Strategy Instruction (CSI). Instead of focusing on explicit steps or algorithms, students learn a series of heuristics, guidelines, or “procedural facilitators” to support problem solving. Learning the cognitive strategy is just the first step, as successful learners apply the behaviors they were previously taught to a vastly wider variety of contexts than those presented in classrooms, a process called Simple Generative Responding. While the broad nature of cognitive strategies make them particularly useful in engineering for Simple Generative Responding, teachers must do more than hope for application. The second important function of teacher Think Alouds is to facilitate simple generative responding by modeling the thinking of an expert as they apply a concept, rule, or strategy to a new context. This presentation will describe CSI, the role of Think-Alouds during instruction of cognitive strategies, and how to Think-Aloud to encourage Simple Generative Responding.
Simple Generativity of Language Using a Targeted Vocabulary Intervention and Cognitive Strategy Instruction
(Applied Research)
BAILEE SCHEUFFELE (Morningside Academy), Andrew Robert Kieta (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Adolescents already show an aptitude for generating language learned in one context while engaged in another. For instance, internet gaming slang terms such as “sus” and “yeet” occur repeatedly throughout a school day. How can we tap this propensity for application, or simple generative responding, to increase learners’ application of targeted vocabulary objectives? Using the Story Champs multi-tiered Direct Instruction language program—specifically the Blitz Vocabulary and Spot the Sparkle tracks—we monitored a group of 4th-7th grade students’ application of vocabulary words taught in the program. Generativity probes for vocabulary application were conducted during other periods of the instructional day: group story reading, Monday morning “weekend retells,” and written work samples. Data revealed that adding cognitive strategy instruction with think-alouds to the teacher routines in Story Champs substantially increased generative responding with the vocabulary words taught in the program. Language expansion via simple generative responding is applicable, accessible, and achievable.
Using Teacher Think-Alouds and Delayed Prompting Procedures to Facilitate Simple Generative Responding of Sentence Writing
(Applied Research)
LEAH HERZOG (Morningside Academy), Kent Johnson (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: In a mixed-age reading and language arts class, the Strategic Instruction Model’s (SIM) Sentence Writing Strategy curriculum was used to teach Tier 2 elementary and middle school students cognitive strategies for writing four types of sentences: simple, compound, complex, and compound-complex. Once students learned the cognitive strategies, we probed for the occurrence of application, or simple generative responding in other contexts. One context was writing sentences in the Reading Mastery: Language Arts curriculum, which teaches paragraph writing in a variety of genres (i.e., narrative, informative, opinion, persuasive, and poetry). Another context was writing answers to comprehension questions in the Reading Mastery: Reading program. Generative responding was also probed in less structured contexts, such as writing in math classes and writing outside of the school environment. Teacher led think-alouds were used to initially teach the cognitive strategies, and to show students how to apply those strategies in novel contexts. Delayed prompting procedures were also used to facilitate application. Data will show the substantial effects of teacher led think-alouds and delayed prompting on simple generative responding.



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