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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Invited Paper Session #57
CE Offered: BACB

Hello, Teacher: Evidence-Based Teaching and Behavior Analysis Today

Saturday, May 23, 2015
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
207AB (CC)
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Nicole Luke, Ph.D.
Chair: Nicole Luke (Surrey Place Centre)
MATTHEW C. BELL (Santa Clara University)
Matthew C. Bell earned his B.S. in psychology from the University of New Mexico and his M.A. and Ph.D. in experimental psychology at the University of California, San Diego. Following work as a postdoctoral scientist at the Center for Behavioral Teratology at San Diego State University, he joined the Santa Clara University Psychology Department in 2001, where is he now an associate professor. As an experimental psychologist (really a behavior analyst), he studies conditioned reinforcement, choice behavior, and persistence using pigeons as subjects and also collaborates with Dr. Patti Simone at Santa Clara University studying remembering in older adults. He has been teaching college courses for more than 15 years, including a course in the experimental analysis of behavior, and has an ongoing interest in evidence-based teaching to improve student learning. He has been working to evaluate a number of approaches to improve classroom pedagogy, including interteaching and publisher-provided online course modules. Some of his professional service activities include serving on the board of editors for the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior and a recently completed term as one of two experimental analysis of behavior area co-coordinators for the Association for Behavior Analysis International.

Behavior analysis has a long tradition of excellence in teaching that appears, currently, to be largely overlooked by mainstream psychology. As a new teacher, Dr. Matthew C. Bell, too, initially ignored this literature and followed the time-honored method of lecturing. Recently, however, he has been reflecting upon how and what he teaches, particularly when he teaches courses in learning. His own interest comes, not coincidentally, at a time when teaching effectiveness has seen renewed attention including the development of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), a push for more university-led online courses, flipped classrooms, a new American Psychological Association journal on the scholarship of teaching and learning, and a growing literature in cognitive psychology applying the findings from the experimental memory literature to the classroom. What exactly is the best way to teach a college course to maximize student learning? What exactly should students be learning in a course on learning? Serving as a case study, Dr. Bell will address this question and describe teaching his own upper-division learning course, including what and how he teaches, the contingencies affecting his teaching behavior, and the rationale for his approach.

Keyword(s): experimental literature, university teaching



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