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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #415
Tech Solutions for Engaging College-Level Students and Boosting Academic Performance
Monday, May 27, 2024
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon F
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida)
CE Instructor: Kwang-Sun Cho Blair, Ph.D.
Abstract: Student engagement is critical during class for academic achievement, but promoting active learning in higher education presents difficulties. This symposium explores technological solutions to bolster college students’ engagement and performance through three studies. The first study evaluated a social media intervention (BE-Social) combining self-management, cooperative learning, and feedback. A randomized controlled trial (N = 141) revealed the full intervention boosted engagement and grades compared to individual components or control. The second study explored utilizing the game-based platform Kahoot! for active student responding (ASR) in an undergraduate course (N = 3). A multiple treatment reversal design exhibited Kahoot! alone and with competition heightened engagement, with competition yielding higher levels. The third study examined 65 ASR studies and surveyed instructors (N = 50) with college teaching experience. Most studies used guided notes or student response systems. While positive impacts were evident, quality indicators yielded diverse results. The survey revealed faculty using ASR to some extent, even if not explicitly named. Collectively, these findings demonstrate the potential for technology-enhanced, active learning to improve college students’ academic outcomes. Implications for promoting student engagement and performance through technology will be discussed.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): academic performance, active learning, higher education, technology
Target Audience: 1. Familiarity with principles of active learning and student engagement in higher education settings 2. Interest in leveraging technology solutions to enhance teaching and learning at the postsecondary level. 3. Some familiarity with study design methodologies such as randomized controlled trials, single case designs, literature reviews, and surveys.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (a) explain how technology-enhanced, active learning approaches can improve student engagement and academic performance in higher education settings, (b) compare the effectiveness of various technology-based instructional techniques, such as social media platforms, game-based learning, and clickers for improving student educational outcomes, and (c) evaluate the quality and potential limitations of current research on active student responding in higher education settings.

Enhancing Academic Performance in Tertiary Education Through Social Media: A Multi-Arm Randomized Control Trials (RCT)

AIDA TARIFA RODRIGUEZ (ABA España), Javier Virues Ortega (The University of Auckland), Ana Calero-Elvira (Universidad Autónoma de Madrid)

Few randomized controlled trials (RCT) have analyzed evidence-based educational practices delivered through a social media environment. This study used a multi-arm RCT to evaluate the critical components of the Behavioral Education and Social Media (BE-Social) intervention package: self-management skills training delivered through video modeling, cooperative learning, and semi-immediate feedback. We evaluated social media engagement and academic performance among 141 students in a graduate-level applied psychology program. Students were randomly assigned to five groups: control (n = 27), self-management (n = 27), cooperative learning (n = 33), BE-Social without semi-immediate feedback (n = 27), and complete BE-Social intervention program (n = 27). Results indicated that participants receiving the complete BE-Social program showed the highest levels of engagement and academic performance. The analysis revealed that the semi-immediate feedback component was critical to the package effectiveness, whereas the impact of the self-management skills training intervention could not be verified. The conceptual, methodological, and practical implications of the study are discussed.

Using Active Student Responding via Kahoot! to Improve Student Academic Engagement at College Level
BRITTANY TIARA PEARSON (University of South Florida ), Kwang-Sun Cho Blair (University of South Florida), Catia Cividini-Motta Cividini (University of South Florida)
Abstract: Active student responding (ASR) has been found to be effective in improving student engagement and academic performance. While online ASR has received much more attention than low-tech ASR due to the widespread use of smartphones and availability of mobile applications, limited research has examined using ASR at the college level, particularly using Kahoot!. This study evaluated using Kahoot! for ASR in an undergraduate applied behavior analysis course to improve student academic engagement. A multiple treatment reversal design was used to evaluate the outcome. All students in the class participated in the Kahoot! activities; however, data were collected for 3 randomly selected students. The results demonstrated that using ASR through Kahoot! effectively increased academic engagement for all three students. However, engagement levels were higher in the Kahoot! with competition condition compared to the Kahoot! alone condition. Additionally, both students and the instructor reported high levels of social validity with Kahoot!, particularly with the inclusion of a competition component. These findings suggest that overall, satisfaction and acceptability of Kahoot!-based activities are high, and the competition element may offer additional benefits in enhancing improvement of student behavior and learning.
Faculty Use of Active Student Responding in Post-Secondary Education
KAELYN SIERRA PATCH (Assumption University), Nicole Pantano (Assumption University)
Abstract: Previous research has assessed the role of active student responding (ASR) in increasing student opportunities to respond (OTR) in elementary settings (Berrong et al., 2007; Munro & Stephenson, 2009) and secondary settings (Common et al., 2020). However, there is less research on the role of ASR in post-secondary educational settings (Hollins & Peterson, 2020; Lewis, 2008). The aim of this literature review and survey was (a) to identify the quality of research on ASR in post-secondary education using quality indicators, (b) to discover whether faculty currently use ASR in the classroom, and (c) to identify if there was a relationship between training during graduate school and implementation of ASR. Overall, 65 articles were included in the review, the majority incorporated either guided notes or student-response systems (i.e., clickers) and although they reported positive effect sizes, quality indicators suggest different results. In the survey, 50 individuals who have taught in higher education completed a survey with questions pertaining to demographic information, current teaching practices, and professional development. In this presentation, we will summarize the literature on ASR in college settings and discuss future implications for those teaching in these settings.



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