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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Paper Session #107
Improving Students' Academic Performance
Saturday, May 26, 2018
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom G
Area: EDC
Instruction Level: Basic
Chair: Emily Nordlund (Central Washington University )
Designing Effective Programs
Domain: Service Delivery
EMILY NORDLUND (Central Washington University; Morningside Academy ), Julian Gire (Morningside Academy)
Abstract: Pre-developed behavior analytic programs like the Verbal Behavior Milestones Assessment and Placement Program, Strategies for Teaching based on Autism Research or the Picture Exchange Communication System, are often implemented within learning centers. However, learning centers may want to implement new, non-behavioral programs to meet consumer’s needs. These new programs may contain gaps or weaknesses such as unreliable assessments, curriculums, or effective instructional strategies that fit within the learning center’s methodologies. Additionally, there may not be evidence of growth as pertaining to the learning center’s population. At Morningside Academy, Primary Math (also known as Singapore Math) was implemented in the 2016-2017 school year. After one year of implementing Primary Math as prescribed by the publisher, Primary Math did produce desired outcomes, although the growth was not as robust as in previous years pre-implementation. We aligned this program with a behavior analytic approach, which we believe will increase the magnitude of student’s academic gains. The purpose of this presentation is to describe the process we took, thereby educating the audience on how they can align potential programs with a more behavior analytic approach.

Effects of Prompt Fading Across Two Reading Comprehension Interventions With Diverse Learners

Domain: Applied Research
MARIA HELTON (The Ohio State Univeristy), Leigh Ann Amspaugh (The Ohio State University), Amy Bruno (The Ohio StateUniveristy), Nichole Bordner (Accelerated Learning Clinic ), Kelsey Ross (The Ohio State Univeristy), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University), Laurice Joseph (The Ohio State University), Moira Konrad (The Ohio State University)

The purpose of this presentation is to examine the effectiveness of two different studies involving systematic prompt fading combined with evidenced-based reading interventions on reading comprehension. One study examined the effects of a self-management strategy, specifically, a self-questioning intervention with systematic prompt fading on recall reading comprehension questions. Self-questioning, a strategic approach for monitoring ones own comprehension, has shown promising outcomes for a range of diverse learners across grade and ability levels (Joseph, Alber-Morgan, Cullen, & Rouse, 2015). Results of the study indicated that self-questioning was functionally related to improvements in reading comprehension outcomes for students at risk for reading failure. As students with Autism Spectrum Disorder struggle with summarizing the main ideas of reading passages (Happe & Frith, 2006), the second study examined the effects of anaphoric cueing combined with systematic prompt fading on the literal and inferential reading comprehension of students identified with ASD. Findings from this study indicate mixed results for a functional relationship between anaphoric cueing with systematic prompt fading on students reading comprehension.


Using Self-Monitoring to Improve On-Task Behavior and Academic Skills

Domain: Applied Research
CARLA T. SCHMIDT (University of Cincinnati), Stacy Masterson Masterson Tilford (University of Cincinnati), Christina Carnahan (University of Cincinnati), Todd Haydon (University of Cincinnati)

Self-monitoring has proven an effective strategy to increase engagement of academic tasks. A multiple baseline across three settings: writing, reading, and social studies-was used to evaluate the effects of self-monitoring on a student at-risk for academic failure. The target student was a seven-year-old male with an individualized education plan served under the other health impairment category. The student was taught to self-monitor his own behavior via a momentary time sample recording process by using a watch that vibrated to provide a tactile cue to self-monitor. Additionally, observational data for on-task behavior were collected for the target student and peer comparisons using the Behavioral Observation of Students in School (BOSS). Results indicated that upon completion of the self-monitoring intervention, the target student increased on-task behavior in all subject areas. On-task behavior increased in writing class from an average of 51.1% in baseline to 69% post intervention, in Reading from 42.5% in baseline to 62% post-intervention, and in Social Studies from 36% in baseline to 60% post intervention. The results of this study suggest the potential efficacy of a self-monitoring intervention on classroom engagement and academic skills.


Comparing an Evidence-Based Approach to Literacy Instruction With an Eclectic Model for Children With Specific Literacy Difficulty

Domain: Applied Research
CATHERINE STOREY (Queen's University Belfast), Claire E. McDowell (Ulster University, Coleraine), Julian C. Leslie (Ulster University)

Research investigating remedial action for disadvantaged children suggests that explicit systematic phonological training is the fastest most effective method of increasing word recognition and subsequently reading accuracy. Combining an evidence-based approach with computer assisted instruction (CAI) may be an efficient means to improving educational outcomes. The current study compared the effectiveness of evidence-based practice with an eclectic approach to supplementary literacy instruction for children with specific literacy difficulty. Participants were primary school children (aged 6-9) in receipt of free school meals (FSM), indicative of low socioeconomic status in Northern Ireland and diagnosed with a specific literacy difficulty. 32 pupils were randomized to either a Headsprout Early Reading group (HER) (n = 17) or a treatment as usual (TAU) group (n = 15). Literacy skills were assessed using the Phonics and Early Reading Assessment (PERA) pre- and post-intervention. Anova and T-test analysis found that HER made significantly greater gains on measures of Word/Non-Word Recognition (t(30)=7.55, p<0.001), Sentence Reading (t(30)=3.33, p<0.05) and sight words (t(30)=4.23, p<0.001) than the TAU group . This study is the first to demonstrate stronger outcomes for children receiving evidence-based intervention over eclectic approaches typically used in Northern Irish Schools.




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