Date of Award

Fall 12-2014

Degree Type

Masters Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



Committee Chair

Daniel Tingstrom

Committee Chair Department


Committee Member 2

Keith Radley

Committee Member 2 Department


Committee Member 3

Christopher Barry

Committee Member 3 Department



The current study was designed to replicate and extend the literature on the effectiveness of a classroom intervention known as Tootling (Skinner, Skinner, & Cashwell, 1998) in decreasing disruptive classroom behavior as well as increasing academically engaged classroom behavior. Tootling is a strategy that encourages and prompts students to report instances of their peers’ positive behaviors. Thus far, only three studies have utilized direct observation data for disruptive behavior during Tootling (Cihak, Kirk, & Boon, 2009; Lambert, 2012, 2014). To extend the research on Tootling, direct observation data of disruptive and academically engaged behaviors were collected on both entire classes of students as well as target students. Additionally, reinforcement on a daily schedule could be achieved by Tootling. Participants included lower elementary school students (i.e., second and third grade) and instructors in three classrooms in two Southeastern elementary schools. An interdependent group contingency and publicly posted feedback were used to encourage the production of Tootles during the study. An ABAB withdrawal design was used in three classrooms, with a multiple baseline element across two classrooms, to determine the effectiveness of the intervention for decreasing disruptive behavior for both the target student and the students in the classroom as a whole. Results demonstrated decreases in disruptive behaviors and increases in academically engaged behaviors during intervention phases as compared to baseline and withdrawal phases in Classrooms A and C, and to a slightly lesser extent in Classroom B. Limitations of the present study and directions for future research are discussed.

Doctoral dissertation: