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 #190
Behavior Analysis in Higher Education: Economic Challenges and Technological Applications
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Texas Ballroom Salon A (Grand Hyatt)
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Chelsea Wilhite (University of Nevada, Reno)
Discussant: Jennifer L. Austin (University of Glamorgan)
Abstract: Historically, the large number of students in college instructional settings has complicated the implementation of quality teaching. Combined with the current economic state and the pressure for higher educational institutes to reduce operating budgets, the difficulties are compounded. Fortunately, behavior analysis has much to say on current educational practices, specifically the utilization of active student responding, interteaching, and personalized instruction. This symposium will discuss the state of education in Nevada as well as describe empirical examinations of the effects on student performance of in-class and supplemental behavioral techniques to enhance education in both psychology and mainstream undergraduate classes. Data collection focused on student’s grades as well as the efficiency of course staff resource allocation. Ideas for the use of behavioral techniques to enhance higher education in the face of the country’s economic downturn will also be proposed and future directions for research to identify potent factors and dissemination of these techniques explored.
Economic Stressors on Education and a Silver Lining in Behavior Education
EMILY MICHELLE LEEMING (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno), Thomas Wade Brown (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The economic downturn has had catastrophic consequences for multiple human service and education agencies across the country. The state of Nevada has suffered tremendously, presenting among the highest rates of foreclosure and unemployment in the country. In response to the current economic environment, the Governor of Nevada proposed budget revisions nearly cutting the budget for higher education to core operating levels. In these economic crises, the need for quality education and cost-effective teaching technologies becomes critical given the limited resources available for public education. This paper will focus on the perils that face students and instructors alike in the context of a stressed economy. Data are presented that indicate high rates of student D F and W grades in core courses. The combination of economic down turn and high failure rates provides a unique opportunity to implement behavioral education supplements into traditional educational settings.
Examining the Effects of Active Responding on Student Performance in an Introductory Psychology Course
DANIEL REIMER (University of Nevada, Reno), Ramona Houmanfar (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the electronic voting devices (i.e., clickers) on immediate and delayed performance of students in an introductory psychology course. The clickers were used to promote students’ active responding in small-group lectures/discussion sessions in an alternating reversal (exposure vs. lack of exposure to active responding promoted by clickers) design across two sections of students in this course. The performances of our experimental groups were also compared to the performance of a group of students from a previous semester that experienced an alternated exposure to clickers. The dependent variables included students’ performance associated with discussion session quizzes, chapter quizzes, mid-term and final exams. In addition, we compared grade distribution across target semesters. Our findings will have implications for using clickers as an effective tool for promotion of active responding in educational settings.
The Effects of Web-Based Supplements on Exam Performance in an Undergraduate Business Statistics Course
THOMAS WADE BROWN (University of Nevada, Reno), Mark P. Alavosius (University of Nevada, Reno), Schinria Islam (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: Over the past 60 years, behavioral education has been shown effective for improving student performance in a variety of different environments from pre-schools to universities. Despite decades of empirical evidence behavior analytic methods have not been widely adopted by the mainstream educational community. With the economic crisis most universities are facing, the need for effective and efficient instruction is at an all time high. Student support services like writing and math centers are being eliminated in cost-containment. Given the resistance with adopting behavioral methods of instruction, perhaps it would be best to introduce components of behavioral education into the educational system to supplement instruction rather than reform traditional methods. The present study used different components of established behavioral methods to produce supplements for students enrolled in a course on inferential statistics taught in a business school. The course is taught with traditional format, with heavy emphasis on lectures and the use of infrequent exams as the primary index for grading. Implications from this study inform educators of a cost effective and user-friendly form of instruction to be used in conjunction with traditional methods of education to enable student success.



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