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.


45th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2019

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #93
Behavioral Technology in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary Education
Saturday, May 25, 2019
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Fairmont, Third Level, Crystal
Area: EDC/DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Clare Bohan (Dublin City University)

The studies presented in this symposium demonstrate how behavioral technology may be successfully applied with learners at primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. We first present a study using equivalence based instruction in the primary school class room which employed a group contingency. Next, a systematic review of the literature on gamified interventions at secondary (age 12-18) school level which leads on to a third presentation, an applied study which employed the Caught Being Good Game with a class of adolescents at risk of school non-completion. Finally, behavioral technology and assistive technology were merged in a study which provided self-management training for university students with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Assistive Technology, Education, Gamified interventions, Group contingencies

Equivalence Based Instruction and Group Responding in the Primary School Classroom

Ronda Barron (Dublin City University), SINEAD SMYTH (DCU), Julian C. Leslie (Ulster University)

Equivalence Based Instruction (EBI) involves the application of the concepts of stimulus equivalence in academic contexts, to teach material of relevance to the learner. The current study made use of use equivalence based instruction (with matching-to-sample) to teach elements of the Irish primary school science curriculum in a group context. Pre-experimental category awareness was tested using a paper and pencil test. Nine conditional discriminatiosn were trained through a matching-to-sample procedure presented via Powerpoint presentation. Participants were tested for the emergence of three four-member equivalence classes. Individual student responses were collected using a computerised “clicker”, and the software program generated group scores. However, using a group contingency progression from training to testing depended on group mastery of the conditional discriminations trained. Participants were tested through the same means for trained relations and the emergence of derived symmetry and transitivity relations and the re-administration of a similar pencil and paper category task. The results demonstrated the group passed all training and testing phases meeting the criteria for equivalence. Significant differences were also found between pre- and post-intervention knowledge levels.


The Caught Being Good Game: An Investigation Into the Effects of a Positive Group Contingency on At-Risk Student Behaviour

CLARE BOHAN (Dublin City University), Sinead Smyth (Dublin City University), Claire E. McDowell (Ulster University, Coleraine)

Classroom management is a central element of daily schooling which can take up a substantial amount of a teacher’s time and energy. The Caught Being Good game (CBGG) is a novel gamified classroom management strategy which puts a positive spin on the classic Good Behaviour Game (GBG) intervention. Rather than a focus on provision of fouls when student break class rules, students are awarded points for rule-following. The CBGG has been effective in reducing disruption and increasing engagement in school populations. The current study investigates the effects of feedback during implementation of the CBGG with second-level students. A version of the game with delayed feedback is compared to a version where feedback is public and immediate. A first year class attending a Dublin secondary school and their teacher were recruited. A reversal design with phases ABACABAC was used to assess intervention effects (A=Baseline, B=Delayed Feedback, C=Immediate Feedback). There was a reduction in disruption and an increase in engagement when each version of the game was put in place. Social validity measures suggested that both the participating teacher and students found the game acceptable for use in the second-level classroom. Results will be discussed in further detail and future directions will be considered.


Combining a Wearable Smartwatch With a Behaviour Analytic Self-Management Strategy to Support University Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Sean J O'Neill (Dublin City University), SINEAD SMYTH (Dublin City University)

Self-management skills (goal setting, self-monitoring, self-recording) are critical to successful study in third level education. Independent study behaviour is one aspect of university life that require the self-management of time in relation to study goals. Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), that attend third level education, can have difficulty self-managing independent study. This may result in some students not meeting the standards required for successful course completion. The current study (N=2) used a changing criterion design to evaluate the effects of a novel intervention package to increase independent study in university students with ASD. The intervention combined a self-management strategy (goal setting and self-monitoring) together with wearable technology, available off the shelf and customisable, and was used to prompt and record behaviours consistent with student selected academic goals. Findings, and their implications for the kind of supports needed by students with ASD that attend third level education, are discussed.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh