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 #458
CE Offered: BACB
Promoting College Student Engagement and Success: An Overview of Tried-and-True Teaching Strategies
Monday, May 28, 2018
11:00 AM–12:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom HI
Area: EDC/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kathryn Glodowski (Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg)
Discussant: Thomas Ford McLaughlin (Gonzaga University)
CE Instructor: Kathryn Glodowski, Ph.D.

The affordability, quality, and overall success of higher education remains a national interest for the 21st century (Hunt & Tierney, 2006), and therefore, there is a demand for identifying and incorporating cost-effective teaching components that support college student success. Recent research demonstrates undergraduate courses that incorporate active learning strategies, as opposed to the traditional lecture, increase student performance and decrease student failure rate (Freeman et al., 2014). There are a plethora of ways to incorporate active learning into college courses, and this symposium will provide an overview of several different options. Glodowski and Thompson will review ways to incorporate quizzes into higher education courses to support ideal student behavior. Information regarding the use of SAFMEDS and precision teaching will be presented by Sweeney and Iverson. Neyman and Weber will describe their use of application exercises to improve students' data-based decision-making skills. And finally, Killu will provide an overview of strategies to increase individual and group engagement in and out of class; as well as potential barriers, and solutions to the barriers, for implementing the strategies. Members who attend will attain a better understanding of various options to improve student engagement, and ideally student success, in college courses.

Keyword(s): active learning, higher education, precision teaching, student engagement
Target Audience:

Master's or Doctoral level behavior analysts who teach at the undergraduate level

Learning Objectives: 1. Describe active learning in higher education 2. Describe the importance of incorporating active learning in higher education 3. Describe at least three ways to incorporate active learning in higher education to improve student engagement

Evidence-Based Recommendations for Programming Quizzes to Improve College Student Behavior

KATHRYN GLODOWSKI (Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg), Rachel H. Thompson (Western New England University), Ashley Asuncion (Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg)

Several researchers have shown quizzes effectively support college student success; however, instructors can implement quizzes in multiple ways. We searched peer-reviewed journals and carefully reviewed published studies that evaluated the effects of quizzes on college student behavior in undergraduate courses; when we could not find examples of research conducted in college classes, we reviewed studies conducted in academic settings at other levels (i.e., middle school, high school, and graduate school) or in laboratory settings with college students. We used this body of literature to develop evidence-based recommendations for how instructors can program quizzes to improve college student preparation, class attendance, class participation, and performance on exams. Instructors can follow the provided recommendations to implement quizzes that support ideal student behavior necessary for success in higher education.


SAFMEDS Instruction Combined with Precision Teaching, an Alternative to Quizzes: Modeling Data Collectionand Analysis

WILLIAM J. SWEENEY (University of South Dakota), Monica Karen Iverson (University of South Dakota)

This demonstration project evaluated the effectiveness of SAFMEDS on the classwide acquisition and fluency of basic concepts in curriculum-based assessment/Precision Teaching course. SAFMEDS, an acronym for "Say All Fast a Minute Each Day Shuffle," was coined by Lindsley (1983) as a functional flashcard procedure for building large repertoires of sight words in a given content area. Second, the instructor wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to model the importance of frequent and daily measurement of curriculum through the use of the SAFMEDS procedure with the class. The perspective of this project was to implement SAFMEDS procedures as a means of teaching college level students to recognize important concepts related to instruction covered in a curriculum-based assessment/Precision Teaching course. Additionally, these SAFMEDS instructional procedures combined with Precision Teaching measurement approaches provide an opportunity to model and engage in the development of skills related to frequent and daily measurement of curriculum through the use of the SAFMEDS procedures. Further, the ongoing repeated practice procedures and formative evaluation procedures assure the pre-service teachers in this course practice essential skills necessary for successful implementation of appropriate and measurably effective instructional practices for future use in their respective classrooms and professional settings.


Within Course Activities for College Students Aimed to Engage and Increase Data-Based Decision Making

JENNIFER NEYMAN (Gonzaga University), Kimberly P. Weber (Gonzaga University)

Engaging students as part of the learning process has a great deal of evidence and support (Brophy & Good, 1986; Bulger, Mohr, & Walls, 2002; Rosenshine & Furst, 1973; Walls, 1999). Rosenshine and Furst (1973) were first to address the topic and stated that engagement and content were key in effective teaching. Since that time, further research has identified key components regarding student learning that includes four areas. These areas are outcomes, content clarity, engagement, and enthusiasm (Bulger, Mohr, & Walls, 2002; Walls, 1999). Although much information is available, many teaching faculty maintain a lecture style of presenting information to students. Modifying instruction to include active engagement is not difficult and can assist with increased understanding of the content. This presentation is designed to model several ways to more actively engage students to increase their decision-making capabilities. Building content mastery slowly through application exercises, practicing and using data recording, analyzing video clips, as well as using case studies to teach how to ask the right questions provides students with skills to help them analyze critical features and make instructional decisions that will likely benefit the needs of the children in the classroom.

Promoting Active Student Responding: Examples of Individual and Group Active Engagement in a Post-Secondary Setting
KIM KILLU (University of Michigan - Dearborn)
Abstract: Active engagement is often neglected in post-secondary settings, with a good deal of class time spent passively attending to the instructor, particularly in courses that employ the traditional lecture mode. Outside of the classroom, students’ engagement with course content is typically limited to any assigned work and reading from the textbook. Promoting and ensuring that active engagement, in and out of the post-secondary classroom, through reading, actively listening, writing, discussing, and problem solving, can prove challenging. A greater emphasis is being placed on students taking a more active role in their learning process. In line with this, faculty are in the position of designing and facilitating more active engagement for students. Practical strategies for systematically promoting active student engagement inside and outside of the lecture based university classroom are presented, with discussion of the relationship of these strategies to the principles of effective instruction. Strategies for increasing individual and group engagement in order to improve student learning and participation, barriers to implementing these strategies, along with possible solutions to these barriers are also addressed.



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