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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #205
CE Offered: BACB
Fluency Based Instruction in University Settings
Sunday, May 27, 2018
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom C
Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Marla Baltazar (University of North Texas)
Discussant: John W. Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)
CE Instructor: John W. Eshleman, Ed.D.

Precision Teaching and fluency-based instruction provide valuable behavioral engineering to produce effective student learning. University instructors may find it difficult to incorporate some aspects of fluency-based instruction in their courses due to various administrative behavior-environment contingencies that are imposed on them that are not present in other educational settings. Some of these contingency arrangements can include the number of days per week that classes meet, students who have learning histories associated with accuracy-only assessment measures, and the time associated with trying to make chart-based decisions for each individual student. This symposium address curricular design considerations that may make it easier to include Precision Teaching and fluency-based instructional in higher education courses. The first presentation examines procedural implementations of SAFMEDS (Say All Fast Minute Each Day Shuffled; fluency cards). The second presentation covers an adaptation of SAFMEDS using a see-type learning channel (TAFMEDS), a fluency-based extension going beyond a see-say learning channel. Both sets of researchers comment on the curricular considerations as evaluated through standard behavior measures of student success.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): college teaching, fluency-based instruction, Precision Teaching, SAFMEDS
Target Audience:

university faculty and course instructors


An Evaluation of Practice Opportunities and Frequency of Checkouts on Undergraduate Students' SAFMEDS Performance Frequencies

TOMAS URBINA (University of North Texas), Marla Baltazar (University of North Texas), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)

Research into the fluency-building tactics named SAFMEDS (Say All Fast Minute Each Day Shuffled) has implications for instruction at all academic levels. Several researchers have studied the effects of SAFMEDS in undergraduate courses; however, not all of the salient variables, or their relationships, have been fully analyzed. In the current investigation, experimenters collected behavioral data across four semesters of undergraduate introductory behavior analysis courses. The effects of two procedural manipulations were evaluated in relation to undergraduate students' performance frequencies (N = 305) on weekly checkouts with two to four decks of see term/say definition SAFMEDS. One procedural manipulation explored the differences in performance frequencies when students practiced four times a week (summer semesters) as compared to two times a week (fall semesters). The other procedural manipulation analyzed the comparative effects of two or four cumulative stability checkouts per semester. Results suggested that students' performance frequencies improve as a function of repeated practice regardless of the frequency of cumulative stability checks. The results are discussed in the context of fluency-building strategies that support undergraduate student performance, and the pragmatic considerations course instructors might consider when adopting fluency-building tactics in the college classroom.


Promoting Fluency With Behavior Analytic Terminology in an Undergraduate Behavior Analysis Class Using SAFMEDS

ELIZABETH LOVITZ (University of North Texas), Traci M. Cihon (University of North Texas)

Precision Teaching and fluency-based instruction are have been used effectively in many educational settings. University settings present some challenges compared to K-12 settings: most classes do not meet daily, yet daily practice has been asserted to be an important component for producing fluency. Instructors often incorporate SAFMEDS (Say All Fast Minute Each Day Shuffled) flashcards in their courses but instructors are unable to monitor students' practice outside of class sessions. An alternative to the see-say learning channel of SAFMEDS may be the see-type learning channel in the less explored TAFMEDS (Type All Fast Minute Each Day Shuffled). We arranged a point contingency on daily, timed-practice of TAFMEDS with undergraduate students enrolled in an introductory behavior analysis course. Behavior analytic terms were divided into four sets of 18 terms. Students' performance frequencies were assessed daily. Daily practice culminated in four checkouts in which students engaged in activities related to the TAFMEDS regarding their endurance, application, stability and performance in different learning channels. Results showed that daily practice correlated with higher daily performance frequencies. The findings are discussed in terms how to incorporate fluency-based instruction in university settings and how TAFMEDS practice might better prepare students for more traditional university-based assessments.




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