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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Symposium #230
CE Offered: BACB
Evaluating Variations of the Good Behavior Game: Effects on Student Behavior and Integrity of Teacher Implementation
Monday, May 30, 2016
10:00 AM–11:50 AM
Regency Ballroom C, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jennifer L. Austin (University of South Wales)
Discussant: Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Jennifer L. Austin, Ph.D.
Abstract: The Good Behavior Game is a classroom management strategy arranged around an interdependent group contingency for meeting classroom expectations. Despite the wealth of research demonstrating its powerful effects on improving student behavior, some teachers may be reluctant to implement the Game in their classrooms or fail to do so with integrity. Further, the effects of altering particular components of the game have not been fully evaluated. This symposium will present four papers aimed at exploring different aspects of the Good Behavior Game, in terms of effects on student behavior and integrity of teacher implementation. The papers also will examine the preferences of children and their teachers for various alternatives for playing the game. The first study will evaluate the effects of teacher- versus student-led versions of the Game. The second study will evaluate the effects of known and unknown criteria for winning the Game. The third study will evaluate the effectiveness of a “low effort” version of the Game, and the fourth study will evaluate a system for increasing teacher integrity of implementation via a faded feedback procedure.
Keyword(s): classroom management, group contingencies, schools, treatment integrity

Effects of and Preference for Teacher- Versus Student-Led Implementation of the Good Behavior Game

JEANNE M. DONALDSON (Texas Tech University), Ashley Matter (Texas Tech University), Katie Wiskow (Texas Tech University)

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is a classwide group contingency that has been shown to reduce disruptive student behavior. Previous research has shown that teachers can successfully implement the GBG in their classrooms. Although students have successfully implemented other classroom-based behavioral interventions (e.g., peer tutoring, self-management), previous research has not examined student implementation of the GBG. The current study examined the effectiveness of the GBG in 1 first-grade and 3 kindergarten classes when implemented by an experimenter, the classroom teacher, and a student. In the 3 kindergarten classes, we also examined teacher preference for teacher-led GBG, student-led GBG, or no GBG using a concurrent chains procedure. In all classes, the GBG effectively reduced disruptive behavior regardless of who implemented the GBG. We did not observe differences in the level of disruptive behavior across experimenter-, teacher-, and student-led GBG conditions. Preference for who implements the game varied across teachers. One teacher preferred student-led GBG, one teacher preferred teacher-led GBG, and one teacher did not show a consistent preference. Results of this study suggest that students as young as kindergarten-age can effectively implement the GBG and that teacher preferences should be taken into account when determining how classwide interventions are implemented.

Effects of Known and Unknown Criteria for Winning the Good Behavior Game
EMILY GROVES (University of South Wales), Jennifer L. Austin (University of South Wales)
Abstract: The good behavior game (GBG) is a classroom management intervention whereby children work toward meeting a particular criterion to “win” the game. Usually, the criterion for winning the game is communicated to the children at the outset. However, this may have a negative impact on children’s behaviour, particularly if they do not behave well at the start of the game (and therefore believe there is no way to still win the game). In the current study, we investigated the effects of stating the criterion for winning the game at the start of the game (i.e., known criterion) with announcing the criterion at the end of the game (i.e., unknown criterion), within an alternating treatments design. Results indicated that both the known criterion and unknown criterion conditions reduced target children’s disruption to levels within the range of their non-target peers. Teachers reported that they preferred playing the GBG with an unknown criterion, however the children’s preferences were mixed. Advantages and limitations to using unknown criteria are discussed, as well as areas for future research.

Evaluation of a Low-Effort Classroom Management Procedure in an Alternative School

P. RAYMOND JOSLYN (University of Florida), Timothy R. Vollmer (University of Florida)

The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is a well-documented classroom management procedure that is effective in reducing disruptive classroom behavior. Although it has been demonstrated to be extremely effective, some teachers and educators have reported that the game can be too disruptive and effortful to implement consistently in their classroom. In this study, a multiple baseline across classrooms design was used to evaluate a modified, low-effort variation of the GBG at an alternative school for children who engage in delinquent behavior. In this procedure, the experimenter explained simple rules to the class (i.e., you have to raise your hand and receive permission to talk or leave your seat) and informed them that he would be in the back of the classroom marking when rules were broken. Students were told that if they got fewer than a certain number of marks, they would win the game and receive an edible reinforcer. The experimenter then sat in the back of the class and monitored behavior intermittently. Every 5 minutes, student behavior was recorded for 30 seconds. Whenever a student broke a rule during the 30 second window, a mark was placed by their name in a book. Unlike the typical GBG, students were not informed when they broke a rule or what the mark limit was. Sessions lasted approximately 25 minutes with a total monitoring time of approximately 2 minutes per session. Substantial reductions in disruptive behavior were seen in all classrooms. Implications and future directions will be discussed.

Impact of Faded Feedback on Implementation of the Good Behavior Game
APRAL FOREMAN (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)
Abstract: The Good Behavior Game (GBG) is an effective class-wide behavior management strategy. However, the extent to which the GBG is implemented correctly in naturalistic contexts is unclear. The purpose of our study was to investigate how instructors naturalistically implement GBG, if feedback improves GBG implementation, and if improved implementation maintains over time. Instructors (lead classroom teachers or classroom assistants) in a special-education classroom for students with chronic or severe problem behavior participated. To investigate how instructors naturalistically implemented the game, we observed instructors implement the game without intervention from the experimenters (baseline). Then, if performance was consistently lower than 100%, we evaluated effects of written feedback in a reversal design. Once implementation was consistently at 100%, we systematically faded feedback to examine the maintenance of implementation over time. These data add to the existing literature by evaluating if fading the frequency of feedback may help to maintain accurate implementation across time.



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