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 #419
CE Offered: BACB
Applications of Behavior Analysis in Higher Education
Monday, May 31, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tatiyanna Dunn (University of South Florida)
Discussant: Spencer Gauert (University of Dayton)
CE Instructor: Spencer Gauert, Ph.D.

Maximizing student learning outcomes is a goal at every level of instruction. For undergraduate and graduate students in behavior analysis, the stakes may be even higher given the clinical implications and leadership roles BCaBAs and BCBAs take on immediately following graduation. A growing number of behavior analytic training programs are design as fully online or hybrid learning models. Although a plethora of research in higher education has been conducted in traditional settings, online learning is a recent and developing modality of instruction. It is critical to identify evidence-based approaches to instruction in online learning environments. The two studies presented here work towards developing strategies to analyze student behavior and modify behavior associated with academic performance and curriculum evaluations. The first study evaluated the effects of a group contingencies on student engagement with academic content. The second study, a follow-up to 2019’s “an application of discounting on academic procrastination”, reviews further analyses of student behavior related to procrastination. Both studies include social validity measures from the perspectives of students and instructions. Together, these studies expand the scope of effective instructional strategies in online classrooms and provide some examples of analyzing student behavior beyond the grade point average.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Group contingencies, Higher education, Online learning, Procrastination
Target Audience:

Instructors in higher education and/or supervisors of clinicians; especially supervisors conducting group supervisions.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) discuss the use of group contingencies in online higher education settings.; (2) explore novel measurement methods that facilitate evaluation of student behavior in online settings ; (3) discuss procrastination from a behavior analytic perspective.
The Effects of Group Contingencies in Online Graduate Courses
TIANA EVANS (University of South Florida), Anthony Concepcion (University of South Florida), Rachel García (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Enrollment in online courses have increase sharply over the past decade. There are undeniable differences between online and in-person programs, one of them potentially being student participation and engagement. Group contingencies have been found to be effective interventions to increase academic participation with children and adolescents. However, there is limited research on the use of group contingencies in higher education and no research on group contingencies have been conducted with students in online higher education settings. The present study aimed to increase student engagement with course content and peers. Additionally, further analyses were conducted related to academic performance. Lastly, social validity of the intervention was assessed for both students and instructors involved with the intervention.
Further Analysis of Academic Procrastination in Higher Education
ANTHONY CONCEPCION (University of South Florida), Rachel García (University of South Florida), Kimberly Crosland (University of South Florida)
Abstract: An overwhelming majority of students in higher education engage in procrastination related to academic tasks. Academic procrastination has been correlated with a plethora of physical and mental health concerns commonly afflicting college students. Additionally, previous studies have reported as high as 95% of students are adversely affected by academic procrastination. We previously reported findings suggesting these concerns may be evermore relevant to online learning environments and we assessed a delay discounting framework that facilitated assessment of student procrastination. The current study provides additional analyses and insights related to assessment and interventions for academic procrastination and includes social validity measures from students and instructors who participated in our previous and current research.



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