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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #349
CE Offered: BACB
Exploring Student Engagement through a Behavioral Analytic Framework
Monday, May 25, 2015
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
206AB (CC)
Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sarah Wilson (University of Mississippi)
CE Instructor: Darlene E. Crone-Todd, Ph.D.

Engaging students at the college level is important, and implementing behavioral principles in various student settings to facilitate student engagement is underexplored. Engagement in courses by college students is linked to higher achievement in the classroom (Kuh, Cruce, Shoup, Kinzie, & Gonyea, 2008). Additionally, undergraduate psychology students who are involved in activities outside their classes report high academic related satisfaction and academic achievement (e.g. Astin, 1993; Strapp & Farr, 2010). This symposium will discuss the engagement of undergraduate students in academia both in and out of the classroom. The first presentation will discuss the relation between GPA and the time of the semester that students choose to participate in research studies, and explain the implications for experimental research. The second presentation will review methods that were used to bring behavioral analytic principles into the classroom. The final presentation will discuss the implications of using a contextual behavioral analysis of student persistence to address student engagement.

Keyword(s): behavior, education, engagement, student
Early bird gets the A: Is GPA related to when in the semester students participate in research studies and does it matter?
EMILY JACOBSON (University of Mississippi), Solomon Kurz (University of Mississippi), Emmie Hebert (University of Mississippi), Kate Kellum (University of Mississippi), Kelly G. Wilson (University of Mississippi)
Abstract: College undergraduates are an interesting population, in their own right, and they are a popular source for convenience sampling. In many studies, undergraduates receive course credit or other rewards for their participation. These contingencies are possible threats to internal validity. One related question is if undergraduates who participate in studies earlier in the semester are more sensitive to experimental contingencies than are those to participate later in the semester. Similarly, is the time in the semester undergraduates participate in studies related to their GPA? In this talk, we will present data from multiple studies aimed at determining if (a) time in the semester is related to experimental performance, if (b) time in the semester is related to GPA, and if (c) GPA is related to experimental performance. We will discuss whether time in the semester or GPA are useful to control for when interpreting results from studies using undergraduate participants.
Applying Behavior Analysis: Student Engagement Behavior
DARLENE E. CRONE-TODD (Salem State University)
Abstract: The use of behavior analytic principles and procedures can clearly be taught, but are just as important to use and model, in the classroom. This is especially the case when teaching students in behavior analysis, education, as well as in other relevant academic areas. In this talk, an overview of the relevant principles and procedures involved in behavior-analytic approaches to teaching will be described, including personalized systems of instruction and interteaching at the undergraduate level. These approaches will also be compared with traditional lecturing. Data will be provided showing the relationship between the methods, student behavior, and student performance (products of behavior). Student performance is measured by a model of hierarchical complexity, with interobserver agreement of 95%. In general, all methods show demonstrated effectiveness when carried out appropriately; however, the behavior-analytic approaches result in performance consistent with more complex thinking. Thus, both PSI and Interteaching are recommended forms of teaching.
Giving Students What They Came For: Applying a Contextual Behavioral Analysis to the Challenge of University Student Engagement
EMILY KENNISON SANDOZ (University of Louisiana at Lafayette), Ashlyne Mullen (University of Louisiana at Lafayette)
Abstract: Retention is a significant problem for universities across the United States. Most undergraduate students struggle with what’s been referred to as student persistence. In other words, they struggle to behave in a way that culminates in leaving college with a degree instead of in failure or withdrawal. Student engagement has been offered as a potential solution for facilitating student persistence. Students who attend and participate in class, who turn in assignments, who join clubs, and who otherwise exhibit university-relevant behaviors seem to be more likely to persist. It is unclear, however, how to change the university context in such a way that it facilitates such behaviors. Efforts to mandate interpersonal involvement and to reinforce academic behavior have been met with some success. Yet, retention levels for public universities hover around 30-60%. This paper will explore what contextual behavioral analysis of student persistence might offer to the problem of student engagement. Several examples of interventions based on an integration of acceptance and commitment training into existing student supports will be described.



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