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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #514
Applied Behavior Analysis in Higher Education
Monday, May 28, 2018
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom HI
Area: EDC/PRA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Robert Shapiro (Fitchburg State University; Shapiro Educational & Behavioral Consultants)
Discussant: Emily White (Behavior Analyst Certification Board)

Applied Behavior Analysis can and should play a significant role in the realm of higher education. This symposium takes two looks at this interface. The first presentation looks at the course redesign of an undergraduate education course, Classroom Behavior Supports, and how this course changed from being primarily didactic with project-based assignments to taking on a civic engagement/civic learning focus. The second presentation looks at using interventions designed to reduce procrastination on the completion of long-term projects in an undergraduate psychological science class, and the effect that this intervention had on individual and overall class grade point average, task completion, and subjective stress measures. Together, these presentations provide a window into the teaching and use of Applied Behavior Analysis at the University level in an ethical, socially valid manner that enhances student learning, performance, and generalization.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Civic Engagement, College, Course Redesign, Procrastination
Service Learning: Redesigning a University Course in Classroom Behavior Supports to Benefit Students and the Community
(Service Delivery)
ROBERT SHAPIRO (Fitchburg State University; Shapiro Educational & Behavioral Consultants)
Abstract: According to Campus Compact, Service Learning involves combining community service with academic instructions, and focuses on critical, reflective thinking and civic responsibility. Programs involve students in community service that addresses local needs while at the same time developing academic skills, sense of civic responsibility, and community commitment. This presentation highlights the course redesign of an undergraduate Classroom Behavior Supports class. Rather than teaching relevant course content in a classroom-based, didactic format, the instructor partnered with a local middle school, and university students formed a partnership with a sixth-grade team of teachers. Together, this team designed a system of positive behavior supports, implemented the system, evaluated the effectiveness of the system, and designed and implemented tier 2 and 3 interventions. In doing so, the university students were able to gain hands-on experience in the implementation of these interventions, while at the same time lending needed resources to a local school district and improving the behavioral and learning outcomes of sixth-grade students. Implications of this implementation, including areas of success and areas of challenge, as well as plans for future iterations of this classroom experience, are discussed.

Executive Functioning Strategies to Reduce Procrastination in University Students

(Service Delivery)
Laura Garofoli (Fitchburg State University), ROBERT SHAPIRO (Fitchburg State University; Shapiro Educational & Behavioral Consultants)

Procrastination, which can be defined as delaying or avoiding engagement in high-effort activities, is a frequent problem for many people, and occurs with regularity in university students. It has been associated with poor learning outcomes, lower grades, and increased subjective stress reporting. Ultimately, degree of procrastination can play a role in whether a student is successful in graduating. There are components of procrastination, such as planning/prioritization, time management, and goal-directed persistence, that can be viewed through the lens of executive functioning. Executive functioning deficits have been addressed in a variety of ways, including the use of a coaching model that focuses on providing short-term goals and checkpoints paired with frequent feedback. This study uses an executive functioning model to reduce procrastination in long-term projects through the use of short-term feedback, checkpoints, and reinforcement for meeting these checkpoints. Implications for assignment completion, overall grade point average, and measures of subjective stress are discussed.




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