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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #268
CE Offered: BACB
Research on Higher Education Online Teaching: Experimental Analysis of Selected Teacher Variables
Sunday, May 24, 2020
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Archives
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Theory
Chair: Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas)
Discussant: Robin Kuhn (University of Kansas)
CE Instructor: Robin Kuhn, Ph.D.

Behavior analysis and other fields of study have identified a number of variables that influence student learning. These include writing clear behavioral objectives, active student responding, and requiring mastery of the material. Although studied extensively in traditional classrooms (i.e., brick and mortar), these variables have not been studied much in the distance-learning online environment. There are numerous journals devoted to so-called research on how to effectively teach in a distance format, but a review of that literature shows most published studies utilize poor or no research designs and focus mostly on qualitative measures. It is clear that more systematic research needs to be conducted in higher education in the booming online teaching platform, since several sources predict that online teaching will continue to grow at an exponential rate. Evaluating higher education instruction through a formal behavior analytic approach would begin to provide solid answers to many vexing problems and questions about how best to instruct students using online platforms. The papers in this symposium will focus on different teaching strategies that should promote student learning in the online environment.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Higher education, teaching ABA
Target Audience:

Professionals teaching in higher education.

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will orally state a minimum of three behavioral principles associated with effective teaching. 2. Attendees will be able to state the outcomes of fluency and how they relate to the teaching of behavior analysis at the college level. 3. Attendees will give four benefits of proper online behavior in a synchronous online learning environment.
Enhancing Online Instructional Practices for Adult Learners: Implementing the ABC’s in the Virtual Classroom
NELLY DIXON (Purdue University Global), Meme Hieneman (Positive Behavior Support Applications)
Abstract: The principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA) have been utilized to enhance human performance across a wide variety of circumstances. Further, reinforcement, understanding and addressing motivational operations, establishing antecedent conditions, delivering effective reinforcement, and applying behavioral teaching practices, for example, are part and parcel of effective teaching at any level. The implementation of classroom and behavior management strategies to increase student engagement and motivation is prevalent in the brick and mortar university classroom. However, directly affecting the motivation and engagement behaviors of “non-traditional” students in a virtual classroom environment may prove to be more of a challenge. Students who choose to participate in online education programs often have competing responsibilities associated with both personal and professional obligations, which affect their levels of participation and achievement. The principles of ABA offer a distinct framework for organizing effective online instructional strategies and evaluating one’s current teaching practices. In this presentation, the authors will articulate this behavior analytic framework, which will be cross-referenced with current evidence-based practices in adult learning and provide illustrations of how different practices used in their courses serve to enhance student engagement.
You’re Not Skyping Your Uncle Buck on Saturday Night
Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College), SAMANTHA VOLPE (Endicott College / Elwyn NJ ), Jennifer Lynn Hilton (Endicott College)
Abstract: With the availability of joining online classes from virtually anywhere in the world, students from all sections of the globe, are participating together in academic programs. The growth of online instruction has occasioned the development of rules for appropriate online behavior (i.e., Netiquette). With the growth of synchronous online instruction, additional netiquette rules are needed, because students have a tendency to behave in online class environments in ways that are more compatible to engage in while at home. Thus, the current article specifies a number of rules for how to behave in synchronous classes, including dress code, engagement, and behavior. They will be discussed in terms of how such appropriate behavior could influence student learning and performance
An Analysis of Measured Practice and Fluency Based Instruction on the Acquisition and Maintenance of Vocabulary Terms
JENNIFER LYNN HILTON (Endicott College), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Fluency based instruction is a long established practice for teaching a variety of skills at many levels of instruction. A learner is considered to be fluent with a skill when he or she is able to perform the skill with both accuracy and speed. When skills are practiced to fluency, there are a number of outcomes that occur, including retention of the skill, endurance in performance of the skill, application to new materials, and stability, or the ability to perform the skill in the face of distraction. Despite the proven effectiveness of fluency based instruction and related procedures, many questions remain. Specifically, there is a question about whether the outcomes of fluency can be reached in the absence of performing the skill at speed. That is, if a learner is simply provided a high number of opportunities to practice a skill, would the outcomes of fluency still occur? This study includes two phases of research--first a preliminary study aimed at comparing fluency-based instruction to measure practice, followed by a follow up study including a number of alterations to aid in student learning.
A Comparison of the Effects of Interteaching and Asynchronous Discussion Boards on Learner Outcomes in Online Instruction
NICHOLAS ORLAND (Student), Jennifer Lynn Hilton (Endicott College), Samantha Volpe (Endicott College / Elwyn NJ ), Thomas L. Zane (University of Kansas), Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
Abstract: Interteach is a technology of behaviorally based, flexible form instruction in which students have a conversation about the class material that is both informative and inquisitive. The basic components of the interteach involve a thirty to forty minute discussion on the material using instructor designed questions and an evaluation or record form of the interteach which poses questions about any content that remains unclear. The instructor then bases the lecture on areas that remain convoluted to the students (Boyce & Hineline, 2002). In contrast, the discussion boards were strictly an asynchronous method of collaborative learning. Discussion boards are hypothesized to be the most flexible form of collaborative learning, since it does not require any face to face interactions (Curtis & Lawson, 2001). During the discussion board condition, students were required to create a minimum of three posts related to the current topic. The purpose of the current study was to compare the effectiveness of interteaches to discussion boards in an asynchronous class based on quiz outcomes.



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