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.


34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Event Details

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Symposium #228
Finding the Frontier of Fluency Training: Lessons from an Animal Laboratory and Two Applied Settings
Sunday, May 25, 2008
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Williford A
Area: EDC/CSE; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jonathan Weinstein (University of Mississippi)
Discussant: Eric J. Fox (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: This symposium will discuss findings from three studies addressing various topics of concern for educational researchers interested in the concept of fluency (Johnson & Layng, 1996). The first concerns findings from an animal laboratory on the effects of trial spacing and rate-building on acquisition and retention. The second is an applied study examining the effects of fluency training in an after-school tutoring program on oral words read correctly per minute, and other measures of reading and math skills. The third is a multiple baseline design examining the effects of an online tutoring program based on Direct Instruction applied to reading skills measured by oral words read correctly per minute.
Fluency and Trial Spacing: Maybe They Can Be Friends After All.
MATTHEW L. PORRITT (Aubrey Daniels International), Karen VanWagner (Western Michigan University), Adam Rapp (Western Michigan University), Alan D. Poling (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: Using a repeated acquisition preparation with pigeons, the effects of three response opportunity arrangements were examined. When no delays were arranged within or between chained responses, overall average latency to respond decreased and accuracy and retention of chained responding were relatively high. When delays were arranged between component responses in a chain, latency to respond did not decrease and accuracy and retention were relatively low. When delays were arranged between completed chains, latency to respond decreased and accuracy and retention of chained responding were also relatively high. Each of the three conditions was tested at 120, 240, and 480 practice responses. Benefits of increased practice were most pronounced when spaces were arranged between chains. These results suggest that the benefits of training responses to high rates come from decreasing latency to respond and that using procedures that decrease latency does not preclude incorporating the previously well-demonstrated spacing effect to enhance retention.
Program Evaluation of an After-School Tutoring Service.
JONATHAN WEINSTEIN (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: As with most education research, the prohibitive expense of running a randomized controlled study has made it difficult for applied researchers to assess the efficacy of fluency training according to the standards of traditional outcome research. The current study examined the efficacy of fluency training with a group of students at a free after-school tutoring program using a crossover design. The study was carried out in an existing environment by undergraduate student tutors who received minimal training (1-5 hours) and who performed their roles in a volunteer capacity. Tutoring consisted of 45 minutes of fluency training for math and reading skills for 30 1st and 2nd graders. Data will be presented examining the effects of task specific training as opposed to non-specifics, such as increased contact with tutors and increased levels of positive reinforcement.
Project Reach To Teach: Evaluation of Online Tutoring to At-Risk Students.
ELEAZAR VASQUEZ, III (Utah State University), Timothy A. Slocum (Utah State University), April Rose Lockwood (Utah State University), Linsey Gleed (Utah State University)
Abstract: NCLB, an initiative to increase the academic proficiency of students, mandates that public schools failing to achieve AYP provide parents with a list of supplemental service providers on whom parents can call to establish tutoring for their children. Though mandated, state officials in rural and urban America report that qualifying students are not getting supplemental services in reading. Student access to intensive supplemental tutoring may be limited due to transportation, geographic locale, too few qualified providers or geographic inaccessibility of qualified providers. These findings are troubling because many children, particularly children in rural and inner city schools do not become skilled readers. One way to deliver supplemental instruction is to tutor children over a live audio/video online tutoring system. Live online tutoring may offer several important advantages. First, tutoring is available beyond school day hours and days beyond the school year. Second, tutoring can be accessed from home, increasing convenience, reducing cost and increasing parent involvement. Third, access to skilled tutors is extended beyond students’ geographic boundaries. A multiple baseline design across students was used to assess the extent to which at-risk 4th grade students increased their ORF given 4 days of online tutoring and fluency practice per week.



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