Date of Award

Summer 6-27-2017

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Psychology

Committee Chair

Evan H Dart, PhD

Committee Chair Department

Psychology

Committee Member 2

Daniel H. Tingstrom PhD

Committee Member 2 Department

Psychology

Committee Member 3

Keith C. Radley, PhD

Committee Member 3 Department

Psychology

Abstract

The classroom password, an independent class-wide group contingency, was implemented in a high school setting in effort to determine its effects on academically engaged behaviors, disruptive behaviors and passively off-task behaviors. This was done using a reversal design across three classes. The focal point of this study was to determine if the classroom password would increase academic engagement. The classroom password was implemented by having the teacher select a word of the day that was then incorporated into the classes lecture. The students were given the word for the day before the lectures began and were required to code each time the word was spoken. Correct identification of the number of times the word was said entered the students into a drawing for a reward pool. Results yielded increases in academic engagement across classes and decreases in disruptive behaviors. No significant results were found for the reduction of passive off-task behaviors. Social validity data was taken across teachers and students, and suggested they found this intervention effective and socially valid. Results from this study suggest that this intervention is a valid option for implementation in a high school setting when increasing academic engagement is the target.

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