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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #22
CE Offered: BACB
Contributions to Behavior Analysis in Higher Education: Emailing, Study Skills, and the Effects of Quizzes
Saturday, May 29, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kathryn Glodowski (Penn State - Harrisburg)
CE Instructor: Kathryn Glodowski, Ph.D.
Abstract: 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 computer-based email training on undergraduate students’ email formatting and etiquette during the first presentation. During the second presentation, Kathryn Glodowski will provide an overview of the influence of quiz length on student behavior in an undergraduate psychology class. The final presentation, given by Sarah Kong, will review the impact of a study training package on undergraduate students’ studying skills.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): College Students, Professionalism, Studying
Target Audience: Instructors
Learning Objectives: 1. The participant will be able to describe a computer-based training that improves email writing for undergraduate students. 2. The participant will be able to describe the effects of quiz length on quiz efficacy for college student behavior. 3. The participant will be able to describe a training that improves study skills for undergraduate students.
Computer-Based Email Training for Undergraduates
THOMAS FARNSWORTH (Western New England University; Western Connecticut State University), Rachel H. Thompson (Western New England University), Sabrina Minic (Western New England University), Joseph Van Allen (Western New England University)
Abstract: Email is the primary form of communication between undergraduates and instructors outside the classroom. Past research suggests that undergraduate email writing needs improvement. The purpose of the present study was to extend research by Aguilar-Roca et al. (2009) and Elbeck and Song (2011) by evaluating the effects of a computer-based email training on undergraduate adherence with basic formatting and etiquette guidelines, assessing the social validity of that training, and evaluating the generality of its effects across contexts. The email training package consisted of written instructions and an online quiz with self-monitoring prompts. We measured adherence with basic formatting and etiquette guidelines by scoring emails from a weekly assignment using a checklist. We demonstrated experimental control of mean checklist scores using a multiple baseline design across two sections of introductory psychology. We demonstrated the generality of email training effects across contexts using an embedded multiple probe design. The results of social validity assessments suggest that, overall, the goals and procedures of the email training were viewed favorably by participants and career-development professionals and that, in some cases, the training produced meaningful improvement in email writing. Computer-based email training is feasible, scalable, and could supplement or replace other training methods.
An Evaluation of Quiz Length on College Student Behavior
KATHRYN GLODOWSKI (Penn State - Harrisburg), Yusuke Hayashi (Pennsylvania State University, Hazleton)
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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