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 #424
CE Offered: BACB
Recent Curriculum Developments in Mathematics
Monday, May 26, 2008
1:30 PM–2:50 PM
Area: EDC/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Harold E. Lobo (West Virginia University)
CE Instructor: Philip N. Chase, Ph.D.

The current crisis in mathematics education recognized by a variety of reports, studies, and commentators could have serious long-term effects on children world wide. In response to this crisis a number of behavior analysts have targeted mathematics as a curriculum area for developing evidence-based practices. In particular, with recent advances in computer technology, there has been a strong interest in developing and evaluating internet and other forms of electronic curricula. Two examples are iPASS a middle school mathematics curriculum from iLearn,Inc., and Morningside Mathematics Foundations, a program from Morningside Academy. This symposium will present the current data used to evaluate these programs, methodological developments used to gather data, and systems issues related to school adoption and teacher use. Emphasis will be given to descriptions of the how these programs have integrated single-subject methods with program evaluation methods, methods for evaluating teacher and other professional implementation, and more traditional random controlled studies to create a thorough method of empirical validation.

Methods of Inquiry for Computer-based Mathematics Curricula.
PHILIP N. CHASE (West Virginia University), Chata A. Dickson (West Virginia University), Vennessa L. Walker (West Virginia University), Harold E. Lobo (West Virginia University), Andrew Lightner (West Virginia University)
Abstract: While there may be little disagreement on whether intervention in mathematics education is needed, it is critical that decisions regarding interventions be based on systematic and thorough evaluations. Markle (1967) described key components of an evaluation strategy in a chapter that influenced much of the work in the empirical testing of programs of instruction. This description is still useful in the current context of evaluating computer-based mathematics curricula, but a few details might be helpful for developing an evaluation technology. Markle’s three levels of evaluation will be described and a synthesis of single-subject, small n, and large n random controlled methodologies will be discussed. Procedures from recent evaluations of curriculum from will be used to illustrate these methods with an emphasis on pragmatic methods to achieve both internal and external validity. Additional emphasis will be given to methods for evaluating student preference.
Developmental Evaluation of iPASS.
CHATA A. DICKSON (West Virginia University), Philip N. Chase (West Virginia University), Harold E. Lobo (West Virginia University), Vennessa L. Walker (West Virginia University)
Abstract: Single-subject studies were conducted to evaluate a middle-school mathematics curriculum, IPASS. Accuracy data were used to analyze individual student progress within the curriculum. Accuracy and rate-correct data on achievement tests constructed from retired items of the California Standards Tests also were examined. Student and parent surveys were administered to assess satisfaction with the curriculum. In Study 1, all seven students made rapid and successful progress through the curriculum. A multiple-baseline-achievement-test design suggested that five of seven students showed improvement in these achievement tests following instruction, but problems with the design of the tests prohibited firm conclusions concerning standardized achievement. In Study 2, three of four students successfully progressed through the curriculum. Rate correct on the post-test for these three students was 9 to 42% higher than on the pre-test. Percent correct accuracy for these students increased between 7 and 13% from pretest to posttest. For each student, improvement on achievement tests was positively related to the number of iPASS units completed. Students and parents reported overall satisfaction with the curriculum. Together the studies demonstrated the efficacy of the curriculum, led to suggestions for improving the curriculum and strategies to be used in future curriculum evaluations.
Field Evaluations of iPASS: Adoption and External Validity.
ROBERT L. COLLINS (iLearn, Inc.), Kristin Mayfield (iLearn, Inc.)
Abstract: In the most recent statewide mathematics textbook adoption cycle, California became the first state to formally recognize the need for courses to address the needs of students performing below grade level. They included textbooks for an Intervention Course for students in grades 4-7, and an Algebra Readiness Course for students in grade 8 not enrolled in Algebra. The iLearn software, called iPASS, was submitted for adoption as a textbook for these courses and was approved. This adoption is unique in that it is the first statewide adoption of a totally-automated curriculum with no printed materials, and the first known adoption of a program specifically developed from behavior-analytic principles. This presentation will describe some of the key features of the design of iPASS and discuss the relevance of these features to the evaluation criteria for the adoption process.
Morningside Mathematics Foundations: A Description and Some Data.
KENT JOHNSON (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: “Morningside Mathematics Foundations” is a program for teaching mathematics in elementary and middle schools. It returns arithmetic to its proper, front and center position in mathematics instruction. The program has five components: (1) tool skills, including number reading & writing and math facts, (2) arithmetic computation with whole numbers, fractions, decimals and percents, (3) the vocabulary and conversation of mathematics; how to talk about the math you are doing or need to do, (4) solving standard word problems with algebraic equations & arithmetic computation, and (5) a generalized problem solving method for more complex problems involving quantities. I will describe and illustrate each of these components, and show preliminary, pre/post data on the effectiveness of program, as measured by learner performance on two national, standardized tests, the Iowa Test of Basic Skills, and the Woodcock/Johnson Tests of Achievement III.



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