Date of Degree

9-2016

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Ph.D.

Program

Psychology

Advisor(s)

Daniel M. Fienup

Committee Members

Emily Jones

Jennifer McComas

Bertram Ploog

Janet Twyman

Subject Categories

Applied Behavior Analysis | Educational Assessment, Evaluation, and Research | Educational Methods | Educational Psychology | Instructional Media Design

Keywords

task analysis, behavior chains, computer-based instruction, instructional design, three-term contingency, software instruction

Abstract

Task analysis (TA) instruction is commonly used for teaching behavior chains; however, little research informs best practices for TA instruction. Data regarding the effects of instructional variables on responding may enhance TA efficacy and learner performance. Linking TA instruction to the three-term contingency may facilitate the development of control by stimuli that are naturally present while completing complex tasks; therefore, this study employed a two-by-two factorial design to analyze the relative effects of supplementing TA instruction with descriptions and images of: (factor A) antecedent stimuli relevant to each instructed discrete response and (factor B) the outcomes of accurately completing instructed response chains. A significant main effect was observed for antecedent stimuli on mean participant accuracy. No significant main effect was observed for presenting the outcomes of correct responses, and no significant interaction was observed between antecedent and outcome stimuli; however, instructions presenting both antecedent and outcome stimuli produced a significantly higher proportion of learners to meet or exceed the accuracy criterion for academically relevant performance (instructional yield), defined as at least 80% correct. These findings may inform best practice in TA instruction and are discussed in terms of the necessity and sufficiency of descriptions and images of antecedent stimuli and response outcomes in TA instruction.

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