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 #512
Research on Writer Immersion: Developing Functional, Structural, and Aesthetic Writing in Elementary Age Students
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
9:30 AM–10:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon D (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC/EAB; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: JoAnn Pereira Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Discussant: Nirvana Pistoljevic (The Fred S Keller School and Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: In this symposium three papers will be presented that utilized the tactic writer immersion in a general education setting. Writer immersion is a motivating operation that involves students communicating only in written form for a designated period of time either with a peer or teacher. Research has shown that writer immersion creates the “need to write”, in which students learn both structural and functional components of writing because they must write until they affect the behavior of the reader. In the first paper, the writer immersion procedure was tested in two studies with third and fifth grade students. During the writer immersion procedure, students who were editors were paired with students who were not editors. Structural and functional components were measured for both groups of students. In the second paper, writer immersion was tested on fourth grade students’ functional, technical and aesthetic writing. Peer graders were used during the writer immersion procedure. In the final paper, a yoked writer immersion procedure was implemented to increase the rate of correct responses to math word problems emitted by second grade students. Results will be discussed in terms of the effects of the writer immersion procedure as a motivating operation to improve students’ writing.
The Effects of a Writer Immersion Procedure on Functional and Structural Components of Writing
JoAnn Pereira Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University), JOANNE M. HILL (Teachers College, Columbia University), Jessica Adele VanDerhoef (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: We conducted two studies with participants who were selected from an Accelerated Independent Learner classrooms that implemented the CABAS® model of instruction. The participants in the first study were six fifth grade students. Three of the participants served as the editors who were paired with respective writers who were non-editors. A delayed multiple probe design was implemented, in which during pre and post-probe sessions, all students were given a series of descriptive topics to write about. The treatment phase consisted of writer immersion, in which the participants were instructed to communicate only in written form on novel topics from the probe sessions for a pre-determined amount of time each day. Data were collected on the number of accurate structural components written during probe sessions, as well as the functional component of the participants’ writing. In the second study, we tested the effects of writer immersion on third grade students’ writing using a similar procedure. The results of both studies will be discussed in terms of writer immersion as a motivating operation to teach structural and functional writing across both groups of students.
The Effects of Writing Tactics on the Functional, Technical, and Aesthetic Writing of Fourth Grade Students
PETRA WIEHE (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: Two studies were conducted on student writing. The participants in both studies were fourth grade students from a behavior analytic inclusion model classroom. The purpose of the first study was to test the effects of peer grading on the technical and aesthetic writing of peer graders. The dependent variable was writing probes conducted pre and post intervention for the peer graders. Prior to the intervention peer grader writing samples showed that they did not have the target behaviors in their repertoire. Return to baseline results showed an increase in technical and aesthetic writing across participants. The purpose of the second study was to test the effects of writer immersion on functional and technical writing. The dependent variable was the effect the student writing had on the behavior of readers who were blind to the purpose of the study. Results for the study showed an increase in functional and technical writing across participants.
The Effects of a Yoked-Writer Immersion Protocol on Math Problem Solving
JOAN A. BROTO (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: This study tested the effects of multiple exemplars and a yoked-writer immersion protocol on the number of correct and incorrect responses per minute to math word problems. The participants in this study were eight 2nd-grade students who were enrolled in a regular education classroom. The participants were randomly assigned into two groups, writers and peer readers. Participants were then placed in matched pairs based upon the similarities of verbal capabilities in their repertoire. A delayed multiple probe design using matched pairs across participants was implemented. The dependent variables were the number of correct and incorrect responses per minute on 4 types of word problems, 2 problems from each type with 8 problems total. The independent variables were learn unit instruction using multiple exemplars and a yoked- writer immersion protocol. The 4 writers were taught how to solve word problems using multiple exemplars and then they were paired with their peer readers. The writers wrote algorithms on how to solve word problems and the peer readers followed the written algorithms. If the peer readers solved the word problems correctly, reinforcement was delivered to the pair. If the peer reader did not solve the word problems correctly, the writer had to made corrections in their written algorithm until the peer reader was able to solve the word problem.



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