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.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Poster Session #429
EDC monday evening poster session
Monday, May 28, 2012
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
Exhibit Hall 4AB (Convention Center)
1. Professional Development That STICKS: Meeting Teacher Learning Needs to Improve Student Outcomes
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Sunday Dove (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Maura Linas (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), HOWARD P. WILLS (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Joseph Furman Buzhardt (Juniper Gardens Children's Project), Debra M. Kamps (Juniper Gardens Children's Project)
Abstract: This presentation addresses the need for teachers in inclusive classrooms to acquire the skills necessary to manage challenging student behavior. The literature reports results of numerous empirical studies exploring the factors most effective in improving student outcomes, yet provides few methods of verifying that delivery of professional development improves or sustains teacher skills necessary for this improvement. This lack of evidence provides considerable opportunity for development of professional development curriculum that enhances teacher practice and promotes student success. We developed Professional Development that is Systemic, focused on Teacher growth, Incorporates Coaching, collaboration, cohorts, & increased Knowledge to create Student Success (STICKS) as a response to this gap. Professional Development that STICKS is specifically designed to provide teachers in inclusive K-8 classroom settings both methodology and interventions to support students with challenging behaviors and enhance overall classroom management. Results from intervention testing in 3 urban elementary school buildings indicate positive outcomes. This poster will provide an overview of the STICKS curriculum, data from six teacher participants, and discussion of implications for teacher professional development and future research.
2. Scripted Versus Task-Analyzed Lessons to Teach Science to Elementary Students With Moderate/Severe Disabilities/Autism Spectrum Disorders
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
VICTORIA KNIGHT (University of Kentucky)

In the era of evidence-based practices, practitioners need to know which methods are the most effective and efficient for certain populations of students. This poster session will provide results of a study that compared the use of task analytic instruction to scripted lesson plans on comprehension of science concepts during an inquiry lesson for elementary students with MSD. In this presentation, results of a study in which researchers used a multiple probe across lesson type counterbalanced across students to compare the effects of task analytic instruction versus scripted lessons on the comprehension of science content by elementary school students with MSD will be discussed. Four teachers and eleven students participated in the study. Although both interventions were beneficial, visual inspection of the graphed data showed the most effective and efficient intervention for all students was the task analytic instruction. The social validity measures taken by the special education teachers and the students suggest the program was beneficial; however, teachers showed a clear preference for the task analytic instruction over the scripted lessons. Finally, presenters will discuss the limitations, practical implications for teachers, and future research. Participants will learn which approach was more effective and efficient for student acquisition.

3. Modifications in the Matching-to-Sample Procedure to Teach Identity Relations to Children With Intellectual Disabilities
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
MARIA CLARA DE FREITAS (Universidade federal de Sao Carlos), Julio C. De Rose (Universidade Federal de Sao Carlos)
Abstract: Although widely used both in teaching and research environments, the matching to sample procedure (MTS) may sometimes result in less than optimal scores, particularly with participants with intellectual disabilities. We investigated a variant of the basic MTS procedure called dragging-to-sample (DTS), with three children with intellectual disabilities who had imperfect scores in an identity matching task with two or three letter-words. DTS requires participants to click and move the identical comparison stimulus towards the sample, to cover it completely; across trials, the extent the stimulus could move was gradually shortened, until participants had only to click on the comparison, as in conventional MTS. All students showed immediate increases in accuracy when the DTS was implemented. Accuracy tended to vary when the regular MTS task was reintroduced. In conclusion, the procedure was successful to teach the identity task, but further investigation is necessary to ensure transfer of control from DTS to MTS tasks. It is also important to design experiments in order to isolate the variables and identify the DTS primary source of control, which is yet ambiguous.
4. The Effects of Concrete and Virtual Manipulatives on the Multiplication Fact Fluency of Urban Third-Graders With and Without Disabilities
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
JANICE A. GRSKOVIC (Indiana University Northwest), Dana H. Dodson (Indiana University Northwest), Sheila Marie Trzcinka (Indiana University Northwest), Suneeta Kercood (Butler University)
Abstract: This study investigated the effects of using either concrete or virtual math manipulatives on the math fact fluency of third graders with and without disabilities. Specifically, the study assessed math fluency in writing answers to single-digit multiplication problems on a 100-problem worksheet in a timed 8-minute administration. During a two week period, 54 third grade students in three classrooms were taught math concepts in one of three conditions: traditional instruction, concrete manipulatives, or virtual manipulatives. Pretest/posttest results suggest that participants in the Virtual Manipulatives group showed the greatest gains for students without disabilities, although differences were nonsignificant. A separate analysis of the performances of students with disabilities over time showed that those in the Virtual Manipulatives group also showed the greatest improvement. Although gains were small, they were consistent across two participants in the group. Results support the use of virtual maniplatives in the math instruction of third graders and especially those with disabilities.
5. Using Brief Experimental Analysis to Identify Effective Math Interventions
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA DELAPP (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Vincent E. Campbell (University of Oregon), Michael I. Axelrod (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: In 2009, the National Assessment of Educational Progress reported that the steady climb of fourth-grade mathematic achievement across the country had suddenly reversed. Only 39% of the nations fourth graders were rated proficient in math. The purpose of this study was to identify math computation fluency interventions for three low achieving elementary school students using Brief Experimental Analysis (BEA) methodology. BEA has been used primarily to identify individualized oral reading fluency interventions with little empirical research validating the procedure for math computation. The application of BEA to academic problems can provide a direct link between assessment and intervention. The current study involved two related experiments. Experiment 1 empirically evaluated several interventions to determine which produced the greatest increase in Digits Correct Per Minute over baseline. Experiment 2 investigated the effects of the empirically-selected interventions on the math computation fluency over two months. Results suggest that BEA of math computation fluency can empirically select interventions that improve math computation skill over time.
6. Using Technology to Improve Math Computation Fluency
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINA DELAPP (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Andrew Tiry (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Haley Steinhauser (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Myles Steinhauser (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Michael I. Axelrod (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: The present study sought to incorporate the use of technology in developing a program to increase the fluency rates of four fourth grade students completing 2-digit by 1-digit addition problems. Fluency was defined as the digits correct per minute (DCPM) students can complete in a 1-minute period and was measured using standard paper and pencil worksheets. During the intervention, students were first presented with an addition problem (e.g., 12+3=_) on a custom math application program designed for the Apple iPad. If the student erred on a problem, the student completed a procedure similar to the taped problems procedure similar to those used by Poncy, Skinner, and Jaspers (2007). The students were presented the full problem with the answer. Next, the student was presented the problem with a 1-second, and then a 3-second delay before the answer was presented. Students were instructed to do their best to answer the problem before the computer presented the answer. Students still had to enter the correct answer before advancing in the program. There were no consequences if the student answered the problem correctly on the first try. The effects of the intervention were evaluated using an ABA design with all participants.
7. Investigating the Consistency of Results Obtained From a Brief Experimental Analysis of Oral Reading Fluency
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CHRISTINE SCHOUNARD (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Maddie Sutton (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Michael Axelrod (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: Brief Experimental Analysis (BEA) refers to a set of procedures that assess various interventions used to improve Oral Reading Fluency (ORF). BEA has made it possible for educators to quickly select interventions for ORF by empirically identifying strategies that produce the highest levels of performance. Research on BEA of ORF suggests that BEA can be used to directly link assessment to intervention (Burns & Wagner, 2008). Research has not examined the consistency of BEA of ORF results over time. This study compared BEA of ORF results for participants from two different assessment periods conducted four months apart. Participants were 12 elementary age students referred because of poor reading achievement. Each participant was exposed to a BEA, once in October and once in February. During each session, Correct Words Per Minute (CWPM) were recorded by having the participants read an instructional-level reading passage for 1 minute. Procedural integrity and interobserver reliability rates were high for all sessions. BEA interventions were chosen based on the highest CWPM. Results indicated that for 9 participants, the empirically-selected BEA intervention changed from October to February assessment. These results suggest practitioners using BEA of ORF should consider conducting BEA assessments at least every four months.
8. Using ClockLight to Affect Student On-Task Behavior in an Afterschool Setting: Effectiveness, Sustainability, and Teacher Satisfaction
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
RIKKI KAE WHEATLEY-WARDLE (Utah State University), Richard P. West (Utah State University), Cade T. Charlton (Utah State University)
Abstract: This research employed ClockLight as a discriminative stimulus, in conjunction with group reward contingencies, to increase the on-task behavior of students during academic tasks in an after-school program. Students in this study consisted of second and fifth graders in a northern Utah elementary school. The research addressed the following three questions: 1) Is the ClockLight system effective for increasing on-task behavior of diverse learners in an after-school program setting? 2) Are program results comparable and is fidelity maintained when the responsibility for implementation is shifted from researchers to teachers and other program staff members? 3) How do teachers and other staff members rate satisfaction with the ClockLight program and its practicality for classroom implementation? To answer these questions the ClockLight, accompanied by group reward contingencies, was employed during three conditions: a) Baseline, b) research staff running ClockLight, and c) teachers and afterschool program staff members running the ClockLight. Results showed positive outcomes for all three questions across both grades and in both intervention conditions.
9. The Effects of a Positive-to-Negative Ratio on Task Performance
Area: EDC; Domain: Basic Research
Matt Taylor (Utah State University), RIKKI KAE WHEATLEY-WARDLE (Utah State University), Eric Hastings (Utah State University), Blaire Nelson (Utah State University)
Abstract: Across many social content areas, it is believed the ratio of positive to negative interactions is an important contributor to both inter-personal relationship development and task performance. This relationship may be particularly relevant in the context of student-teacher interactions that seek to promote both positive relationships and improved task performance. This research sought to determine the ideal ratio of positive to negative interactions as related to task performance (i.e. accuracy, efficiency, and speed). Participants were given a simple maze task located behind a barrier and were guided through it with the help of an instructor who could view the maze while giving instructions on their progress. Feedback was delivered under the conditions: positive only, negative only, and both positive and negative. Results show that performance is significantly improved when both positive and negative feedback are given and that performance is further improved when the ratio of positive to negative feedback is increased.
10. A Multi-School Assessment of the Efficacy of Several National High School Prom Alcohol Interventions
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
RYAN C. SMITH (Virginia Tech), Dabney Topp (Virginia Tech), Zach Mannes (Virginia Tech), Angelica Melvin (Virginia Tech)
Abstract: The proliferation of alcohol consumption in our nations schools is a highly documented concern. Of high school seniors, 77% have used alcohol (Johnson et al., 2005). While the negative consequences of student alcohol consumption are prevalent throughout the academic year, they are particularly notable during high school prom season. In an attempt to address this problem, national and local intervention and prevention programs have emerged to reduce prom night alcohol consumption. This study empirically assessed the efficacy of several prominent intervention and prevention programs across several hundred high school students across four different schools. The week after prom, surveys were administered to participants soliciting information about their involvement in prevention and intervention programs and at-risk prom night activities. The results have major implications for the validity of several major programs. The findings indicated that students who signed pledge cards were significantly less likely to consume alcohol on prom night, but this effect disappeared when accounting for prior alcohol history. Students who participated in an intervention with FatalVision or drunk goggles consumed significantly more alcohol on prom night. A school-sponsored assembly and school-sponsored after prom party produced the greatest results in decreasing student alcohol consumption. Further results will be discussed.
11. Cultivating Attendance in a Secondary Classroom Using a Token Economy
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
AMANDA J. MANN (Escambia County School District), Jessica Truett (Escambia County School District)
Abstract: Attendance is crucial to student success. Positive reinforcement has successfully decreased rates of absenteeism in past research, but little research has been conducted with the secondary aged student. In this study, a reversal design was used to assess the effects of a token economy with contingency management to decrease the rate of absenteeism with forty-five chronically absent, secondary aged students. During the intervention, students used a time clock to clock-in and were rewarded with back up reinforcers on a fixed interval schedule. In addition, the magnitude of reinforcers increased with each week of maximum attendance until the reinforcement was at the maximum level. The results indicate a decrease in the percentage of students with unexcused absences and the specific number of absences across students. This study supports the use of token economy with contingency management to reduce the rate of absenteeism in chronically absent, secondary aged students.
12. Effects of Verbal and Video Feedback on the Treatment Integrity of Individual Behavior Support Plans
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
CECELIA R. MADERITZ (Youngstown State University), Mary Vallinger (Youngstown State University), Lindsay Morgart (The Rich Center for Autism), Rocio Rosales (Youngstown State University)
Abstract: Investigations on strategies for parent and staff training have demonstrated the importance of descriptive and immediate feedback on performance (Codding et al., 2005). In previous studies, feedback has been provided visually via graphs (Sanetti et al., 2007); verbally by a consultant or supervisor (DiGennaro et al., 2007); and via video, by providing participants the opportunity to view themselves implementing a procedure and evaluate their own performance (Phaneuf & McIntyre, 2007). In the present study, a withdrawal design (A-B-BC-B-BC) was implemented to evaluate the implementation of a behavior intervention plan designed to decrease problematic behaviors in a classroom setting for children with autism spectrum disorders. Teacher participants were presented with verbal feedback on their implementation, or provided with an opportunity to view a 5 min. video of their own implementation of the intervention in addition to verbal feedback. Preliminary results indicate increases in treatment integrity with the addition of video feedback. These results will be discussed with respect to the availability of resources to train staff working with children with autism, and the social validity of each feedback modality.
13. Training Special Education Teachers to Conduct Two Common Types of Preference Assessments
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
YI-CHIEH CHUNG (National Chnghua University of Education), Hua Feng (National Changhua University of Education)
Abstract: We evaluated the effects of role play and feedback on training four special education teachers to conduct two commonly used preference assessments. The four teachers were randomly assigned to two groups. One group was first taught to conduct paired-stimulus (PS) preference assessment, while the other group was taught to conduct multiple-stimulus-without-replacement (MSOW) preference assessment. Each trainee performed learned skilled with two students (one for practice and one for generalization). The results suggested that all trainees correctly implemented the procedures with 90-100% accuracy across subjects and assessments.
14. An Analysis of the Feasibility of Using a Choice Assessment Method in a Naturalized Preschool Setting
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ASHLEY SHIER (University of Cincinnati), Francis E. Lentz (University of Cincinnati), David Barnett (University of Cincinnati), Riane Berendt (University of Cincinnati), Nicole Miller (University of Cincinnati), Emily Stimpert (University of Cincinnati)
Abstract: Challenging behaviors are typical for many young children. Although most decrease through the preschool years, behaviors that persist can have long term negative outcomes. Previous studies have found concurrent choice assessment procedures effective in assessing the appropriate behaviors of children with developmental disabilities. The assessment procedure has been used to create interventions effective at reducing challenging behaviors. The present study examined the feasibility of conducting a choice assessment procedure as described by Harding et al. (2005), with typical preschoolers during free time with the teacher as the implementation agent. Subjects were recruited if they were referred for challenging behaviors and were not being suspected of a disability. Preliminary results indicate that it is feasible for teachers to conduct a reliable assessment during typical classroom routines. While there are limitations to conducting the assessment with typical children during class time, agency reports indicated that interventions developed from assessment results were effective in reducing the referral behavior.
15. Teaching Reading Skills to Deaf Children Using Teaching Software and a Frequency-Modulation System
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
HELOISA HELENA MOTTA BANDINI (Universidade Estadual de Ciencias da Saude de Alagoas), Rayssa de Andrade França (Universidade Estadual de Ciencias da Saude de Alagoas), Carmen Silvia Motta Bandini (Centro Universitario CESMAC)
Abstract: The Brazilian Educational System has not been effective in teaching reading and writing skills to deaf children, despite all the years these children spend going to school. Therefore, it is important to develop and test new reading and writing teaching strategies to help this population. The present study aimed to assess if a reading teaching software, that has been successfully used with hearing children, would have similar outcomes with deaf children using hearing aid. Participants were three children using bilateral hearing aids, aged 8 to15 years, who had low performance in reading and writing pre-tests. They were taught how to read words in Portuguese through the presentation of matching-to-sample procedure involving printed words, dictated words, pictures, and isolated letters or syllables (constructed-response-matching-to-sample). Reading and handwriting post-tests were conducted every four sets of teaching tasks. Only reading post-tests required 100% of correct responses. All the instructions were presented to participants through a frequency modulation system connected to the computer and to the hearing aid. Results indicate that all participants learned to read all target words and their handwriting also improved. This teaching software was effective to increase reading and writing skills among deaf children.
16. Interteaching With and Without Pair Discussion
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ANNA MARIE PRUITT (Jacksonville State University), Todd L. McKerchar (Jacksonville State University)
Abstract: Interteaching is a behavioral approach to education involving several components, including prep guides, pair discussions, record sheets, feedback lectures, and frequent testing. While the interteaching “package” has been shown to be effective compared to lecture-based instruction, little research has been conducted to determine whether the success of interteaching is due to one or all of its components, such as the pair discussion component from which interteaching derives its name. In the present study, the pair discussion component was analyzed using two conditions in two sections of a freshman course. During class, students participated in a discussion with a classmate during one condition, and studied on their own in another condition. Students were exposed to each condition twice in an alternating design. In both conditions students rated the quality and their enjoyment of the class time on their record sheets. Test scores and record sheets were examined to determine whether the change in conditions affected student’s performance and enjoyment of the course. Results indicated that pair discussion had little or no overall effect upon student’s test performance or their ratings of class time compared to studying alone. Several limitations are discussed.
17. The Collateral Effects of Social Skills' Intervention on Second-Grade Students' Academic Performance
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
ELIAN ALJADEFF-ABERGEL (Western Michigan University), Shiri Ayvazo (David Yellin College)
Abstract: The relation between social skills and academic achievement has been a topic for investigation. Specifically studies seek to determine whether the acquisition of social skills improves academic performance. This study was conducted in a second grade physical education class in an urban charter school for students at-risk. Participants were two girls and a boy who were considered by the educational team as moderate-to-highly disruptive. The intervention targeted the acquisition of social skills; this paper presents the collateral effects on students academic learning that occurred concurrently with the intervention (depicted in an A-B design). The collateral effects measured were (a) on-task (when intervening on following instruction) and (b) number of correct trials (when intervening on persistency). On-task findings are presented as percent of the lesson's time and correct trials are presented as rate per task. On task, subsequent to the following instruction intervention, increased in 27% on average for all students. Correct performance, following the persistency intervention, increased by 10 trials on average for all students. Overall, the findings suggest a possible relation between students display of social skills and collateral increase in academic performance.
18. Preteaching Decoding and Decoding + Vocabulary Upon Reading Fluency for Struggling Readers With Disabilities
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
GAIL COULTER (Western Washington University), Michael C. Lambert (Western Washington University), Tracy Thorndike-Christ (Western Washington University)
Abstract: Repeated readings have been the long-standing method of increasing reading fluency. It has been shown that reading fluency was highly correlated to reading comprehension. While research has shown that prior knowledge has a direct and indirect effect upon reading comprehension for students in regular education (Tarchi, 2010), studies have not addressed the impact of decoding and vocabulary words upon fluency itself in connected text, especially with struggling readers. The study explored the question of whether an intervention of preteaching wordlist and preteaching vocabulary increases fluency, which in turn may increase comprehension. A previous study (Coulter & Lambert, 2011) found that preteaching irregular words as a wordlist prior to students reading in connected text to regular education students increased fluency in connected text similar to the increase in fluency that can be attributed to repeated readings. The present study extends the work of Coulter and Lambert to struggling readers. While the methods were similar, changes to the prior study have been made to provide for greater external validity, measure of comprehension, and maintenance as well as generalization. In addition, the focus of the first study was upon general education students while the focus of the second study was upon students who were struggling readers, specifically students with learning disabilities. A multiple baseline across subjects design established a functional relationship between the pre teaching of decoding and decoding & vocabulary upon reading fluency for struggling readers with learning disabilities. All three participants, improved fluency scores across the ten-week intervention and generalization measures.



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