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 #198
CE Offered: BACB
Saving the World With Behavior Analysis: One Undergraduate Student at a Time
Sunday, May 24, 2020
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Independence F-H
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kathryn Glodowski (Penn State - Harrisburg)
CE Instructor: Kathryn Glodowski, Ph.D.

Researchers have demonstrated behavior-analytic principles can be applied in higher education settings with college students. The three presentations in this symposium exemplify such research. Thomas Farnsworth will describe the effects of a professionalism training on undergraduate students’ e-mail formatting and etiquette during the first presentation. During the second presentation, Kathryn Glodowski will provide an overview of the influence of quiz length on college student behavior in an undergraduate psychology class. The final presentation, given by Sarah Kong, will include a review of the impact of a study training package on undergraduate students’ studying skills.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): College Students, Professionalism, Studying
Target Audience:

Behavior Analysts who teach and/or work with undergraduate students or in higher education.

Learning Objectives: 1. Describe a training that could improve e-mail professionalism. 2. Describe how quizzes may improve college student behavior. 3. Describe on training that could improve college student studying.

Email Professionalism Training for Undergraduates

THOMAS FARNSWORTH (Western New England University), Rachel H. Thompson (Western New England University), Sabrina Minic (Western New England University), Joseph Van Allen (Western New England University), Tylynn Kuralt (Western New England University)

Email is the primary form of communication between undergraduates and instructors outside the classroom, but past research suggests that undergraduate email writing needs improvement. Fortunately, simple interventions can help. The purpose of the present study was to extend research by Elbeck and Song (2011) by evaluating the effect of a brief, self-guided, and out-of-class training on email professionalism. The training package consisted of instructions with an accompanying graphic example and an online quiz. “Email professionalism” was operationally defined by email checklist ratings based on adherence with basic formatting and etiquette guidelines generally associated with beneficial outcomes in the email-communication literature. Experimental control of emails sent to the course instructor by the training was demonstrated using a multiple baseline design across two sections of an introductory psychology course. Generality probes, in which participants emailed novel recipients, were rated higher post training and higher than emails sent to the course instructor, for both sections. Mean interobserver agreement was over 90% for both sections. The results of social validity assessments suggest that the goals, procedures, and outcomes of the training were viewed favorably by participants and career-development staff. Email professionalism training outside the classroom is feasible and may supplement or replace other tactics.

An Evaluation of Quiz Length on College Student Behavior
KATHRYN GLODOWSKI (Penn State - Harrisburg)
Abstract: The overall success of higher education remains a national interest and incorporating active learning techniques may be one way to promote student success in higher education. Quizzes can be considered one form of active learning, and many researchers demonstrated quizzes improve college students’ behavior in and out of the classroom. Despite the evidence to support the use of quizzes in higher education to improve student success, some instructors may choose to not administer quizzes due to time constraints. One way to reduce class time spent on quizzes is to administer relatively brief quizzes (e.g., 5 questions). The current project included an evaluation of quiz length (i.e., no quiz vs. 5-question quiz vs. 10-question quiz) on college student behavior for students in an undergraduate psychology course. Results demonstrate short and long quizzes improve attendance and student participation compared to no quizzes; brief quizzes may be sufficient to improve student success in higher education.
Teaching Study Skills to College Students Using Checklist Training and Feedback
SARAH KONG (University of the Pacific), Corey S. Stocco (University of the Pacific), Sindhu Vatikuti (University of the Pacific)
Abstract: Deficits in the study skills of college students can lead to lower academic performance or even disqualification. Although behavior analytic research has evaluated methods for teaching, structuring in-class notes, increasing attendance, and improving participation, no studies have evaluated methods for independent studying outside of the classroom. We evaluated the effects of a study skills training package using a multiple probe design across skills with college students. Sessions took place in a room arranged to emulate the typical study space found in a dorm or library. During sessions, participants were given a 3–6 page reading from a textbook on research methods and statistics. We modified the readings to equate the number of headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and bolded terms. Using a combination of a checklist with picture models and performance feedback, we taught college students how to set up their study environments, take notes, and study their notes by writing answers to study questions. As a supplemental measure, we probed quiz performance during baseline and after a participant mastered each skill. To date, results have shown improvement in targeted study skills for one participant, and data collection is ongoing for two participants.



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