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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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B. F. Skinner Lecture Series Paper Session #237
CE Offered: BACB
Early Class Start Times are Bad for Sleep, Attendance, and Grades
Sunday, May 28, 2023
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Hyatt Regency, Centennial Ballroom D
Area: SCI; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jeanne M. Donaldson (Louisiana State University)
CE Instructor: Joshua Gooley, Ph.D.
Presenting Author: JOSHUA GOOLEY (Duke NUS Medical School)
Abstract: Healthy sleep and attending classes are important for college students’ academic success. We tested whether early morning classes are associated with shorter sleep, lower attendance, and poorer academic performance by analysing digital traces of more than 35,000 students at a large university. Daily patterns of login activity on the Learning Management System (LMS) and wrist-worn activity trackers showed that nocturnal sleep was an hour shorter for early morning classes because students woke up earlier than usual. Internet Wi-Fi connection logs revealed that lecture attendance was the lowest for early morning classes, and this was partly explained by students sleeping past the start of class. Analyses of grades showed that the number of days per week that students had morning classes was negatively associated with grade point average. These findings suggest that universities should avoid scheduling mandatory early morning classes in order to improve students’ sleep health and ability to learn.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

general audience; educational practitioners; school leaders; researchers working on the following topics: learning analytics, student lifestyle behaviours, psychology, or neuroscience, cognition and performance

Learning Objectives: (1) To understand the associations of class start times with sleep and class attendance (2) To understand the relevance of ‘chronotype’ for students’ sleep and learning (3) To understand how students’ interactions with university digital platforms can be used to estimate their sleep behaviour and class attendance
JOSHUA GOOLEY (Duke NUS Medical School)
Dr Joshua Gooley is an Associate Professor in the Neuroscience & Behavioural Disorders Programme at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore. He is Principal Investigator of the Chronobiology and Sleep Laboratory and Director of Research of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Sleep Center. He is Neuroscience Theme Lead of the Institute for Applied Learning Sciences and Educational Technology at the National University of Singapore, and past president of the Singapore Sleep Society. He received his PhD in Neurobiology from Harvard Medical School, where he studied neural pathways that regulate sleep and circadian rhythms. His research program at Duke-NUS focuses on understanding the role of sleep and circadian rhythms in regulating human performance and health outcomes.



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