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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #437
CE Offered: BACB
The Design, Testing, and Implementation of Headsprout Reading Comprehension
Monday, May 31, 2010
2:00 PM–3:20 PM
Texas Ballroom Salon B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/TPC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Melinda Sota (Headsprout)
CE Instructor: David Lee, Ph.D.
Abstract: This symposium will highlight various conceptual and applied considerations involved in designing and delivering a reading comprehension program, as well as how Headsprout addressed those considerations in order to develop a sound program that can be scaled to wide-spread implementations, yielding data to be used in the program’s formative evaluation. The conceptual foundations, methodological approaches, and applied tools of behavior analysis were central to the program’s development and testing, and will be discussed in light of their contributions to the program’s content, sequence, and contingencies for learners and educators.
Design of a Reading Comprehension Program: Building Learner Repertoires
MARTA LEON (Headsprout), T. V. Joe Layng (Headsprout), Victoria Ford (Headsprout), Melinda Sota (Headsprout), April Heimlich Stretz (Headsprout), Hirofumi Shimizu (Headsprout), Cassie Donish (Headsprout), Janet S. Twyman (Headsprout)
Abstract: This presentation will describe the process whereby instructional designers at Headsprout determined the key skills and strategies necessary for a fundamental reading comprehension repertoire that can be recruited by reading comprehension tasks of varying complexity and topographic characteristics. The presentation will provide an overview of the fine-grained analysis of the component skills involved in the behavior of comprehending and how that analysis can be translated into systematic strategies that can be explicitly taught to young learners. Reading comprehension entails a complex repertoire that is highly dependent on the specific reading comprehension question or task at hand. The sub-repertoires for four distinct reading comprehension tasks (literal, inferential, summative, and vocabulary comprehension) will be described in light of their concept analysis and task analysis. Vocabulary knowledge is another key component of reading comprehension, and this presentation will describe a procedure for accelerated vocabulary acquisition drawing on behavior-analytic principles.
Design of a Reading Comprehension Program: Data Collection
HIROFUMI SHIMIZU (Headsprout), Melinda Sota (Headsprout), Janet S. Twyman (Headsprout)
Abstract: The ability to collect live, detailed data on learner performance was an intrinsic component of the program design. Learner performance data guided the evaluation of the program during development and will continue to do so as the program reaches more learners, resulting in additional, large amounts of individual and aggregated student data. This presentation will describe the data collected automatically by the program; the rationale for data selection, categorization, and analysis; and some of the behind-the-scenes structure of the data collection system. Symposium attendants will be able to see how the data collection system is linked to the concept analyses that shaped the program and how it is used to feed back into the formative evaluation of the program for further development and evaluation.
Formative Evaluation of a Reading Comprehension Program: From First Draft to Public
April Heimlich Stretz (Headsprout), MELINDA SOTA (Headsprout), Marta Leon (Headsprout)
Abstract: Formative evaluation, also known as user testing, occurs with one student at a time for extended periods of time at the Headsprout user-testing laboratory. The goal of user testing is to provide experimental control-analysis data as a basis for program revision in order to provide the targeted guidance of learner behavior. User testing of Headsprout’s reading comprehension program includes direct observation, analysis of videotaped learner sessions, analysis of performance data within the program, pre- and post-test measurements, and learner and parent interviews. These components of the user testing process will be described and related to the design, development, evaluation, and refinement of the program. Specific examples will be provided of how events which occurred during user testing impacted subsequent program development and revision.
Implementation of a Reading Comprehension Program: The Role of the Teacher
PAMELA G. OSNES (Headsprout), Janet A. Webb (Headsprout), Janet S. Twyman (Headsprout), Melinda Sota (Headsprout), Marta Leon (Headsprout), T. V. Joe Layng (Headsprout)
Abstract: This presentation will address the role of educators when implementing a reading comprehension program, as well as considerations about implementation that shaped the design of the program from its inception. Key components of implementation to be discussed include frequency of program usage, performance tracking, data-based decision making, and teacher-initiated activities to promote the transfer and extension of the reading comprehension skills taught by the program to other materials and subject matters. This presentation will describe Headsprout's approach to encouraging the behaviors required to ensure a good implementation. This approach includes a commitment to a simple, easy-to-use program, carefully constructed job aids and user guides, proactive customer support, training, professional development, and an ongoing contingency analysis that assumes that all stakeholder behaviors are sensible operants that are a function of the current alternative sets of contingencies operating to select those behaviors. Implementation strategies designed in accord with this approach will be discussed.



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