Education Drivers

Differential Reinforcement

Differential reinforcement is a basic component of many educational practices. It is the delivery of reinforcement when a specified behavior occurs, and no reinforcement when there is an incorrect response (extinction). Reinforcement is a consequence that follows behavior and increases the frequency of that behavior. It can be either praise or a tangible activity. Extinction is defined as the withholding of the positive reinforcer that is maintaining an undesirable behavior. Differential reinforcement combines reinforcement and extinction in a single intervention package to increase the frequency of a targeted behavior while decreasing the frequency of an undesirable behavior. It offers teachers a positive way to develop skills and reduce undesirable behavior without using negative consequences. Evidence supports differential reinforcement as effective in increasing student achievement and creating a classroom climate favorable for learning, but only when used correctly. Reinforcement is most effective when it is clearly linked to student progress toward goals, is specific about expected performance, closely follows the desired behavior, occurs at a higher frequency than reinforcement for the problem behavior, and is of greater value to the student than the reinforcement for the problem behavior.

Publications

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Teaching Functional Life Skills to Children with Developmental Disabilities

In this chapter we describe systematic instructional practices that are necessary for individuals with disabilities to benefit from educational services.

Detrich, R., & Higbee, T. S. (2009). Teaching Functional Life Skills to Children with Developmental Disabilities. Practical Handbook of School Psychology: Effective Practices for the 21st Century, 371.

 

Data Mining

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What teaching strategies make a difference in improving student performance?
This analysis looks at meta-analyses on teaching strategies that have the largest effect on student achievement.
States, J. (2011). What teaching strategies make a difference in improving student performance? Retrieved from what-teaching-strategies-make.
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Increasing pre-service teachers’ use of differential reinforcement: Effects of performance feedback on consequences for student behavior

Significant dollars are spent each school year on professional development programs to improve teachers’ effectiveness. This study assessed the integrity with which pre-service teachers used a differential reinforcement of alternate behavior (DRA) strategy taught to them during their student teaching experience.

Auld, R. G., Belfiore, P. J., & Scheeler, M. C. (2010). Increasing pre-service teachers’ use of differential reinforcement: Effects of performance feedback on consequences for student behavior. Journal of Behavioral Education, 19(2), 169-183.

Response to Intervention: Principles and Strategies

This book provides practitioners with a complete guide to implementing response to intervention (RTI) in schools. 

Brown-Chidsey, R., & Steege, M. W. (2011). Response to intervention: Principles and strategies for effective practice. Guilford Press.

The debate about rewards and intrinsic motivation: Protests and accusations do not alter the results.

A prevailing view in education and social psychology is that rewards decrease a person’s intrinsic motivation. However, our meta-analysis (Cameron & Pierce, 1994) of approximately 100 studies does not support this position. The only negative effect of reward occurs under a highly restricted set of conditions, circumstances that are easily avoided. These results have not been well received by those who argue that rewards produce negative effects under a wide range of conditions. Lepper, Keavney, and Drake (1996)Ryan and Deci (1996), and Kohn (1996) have suggested that the questions asked in our meta-analysis were inappropriate, that critical studies were excluded, that important negative effects were not detected, and that the techniques used in our meta-analysis were unsuitable. In this response, we show that the questions we asked are fundamental and that our meta-analytic techniques are appropriate, robust, and statistically correct. In sum, the results and conclusions of our meta-analysis are not altered by our critics’ protests and accusations.

Cameron, J., & Pierce, W. D. (1996). The debate about rewards and intrinsic motivation: Protests and accusations do not alter the results. Review of Educational Research, 66(1), 39–51.

The effects of contingent teacher praise, as specified by Canter's Assertive Discipline programme, on children's on-task behaviour

The purpose of this study was to examine the effectiveness of contingent teacher praise, as specified by Canter's Assertive Discipline programme, on children's on task behaviour. Continuous data collection indicated that following training in the appropriate use of praise, as specified by Canter, all three teachers successfully increased their rates of praising. Of the 24 children, all but one evidenced increases in levels of on‐task behaviour.

Ferguson, E. & Houghton, S. (1992). The effects of contingent teacher praise, as specified by Canter's Assertive Discipline programme, on children's on-task behaviour. Educational Studies, 18(1), 83-93.

Back to basics: Rules, praise, ignoring, and reprimands revisited

Research begun in the 1960s provided the impetus for teacher educators to urge classroom teachers to establish classroom rules, deliver high rates of verbal/nonverbal praise, and, whenever possible, to ignore minor student provocations.  The research also discuss several newer strategies that warrant attention.

Gable, R. A., Hester, P. H., Rock, M. L., & Hughes, K. G. (2009). Back to basics: Rules, praise, ignoring, and reprimands revisited. Intervention in School and Clinic44(4), 195-205.

When and why incentives (don't) work to modify behavior.

This book discuss how extrinsic incentives may come into conflict with other motivations and examine the research literature in which monetary incentives have been used in a nonemployment context to foster the desired behavior. The conclusion sums up some lessons on when extrinsic incentives are more or less likely to alter such behaviors in the desired directions.

Gneezy, U., Meier, S., & Rey-Biel, P. (2011). When and why incentives (don't) work to modify behavior. Journal of Economic Perspectives25(4), 191-210.

Differential reinforcement of other behavior: A preferred response elimination procedure

Ethical and legal concerns which have been raised regarding many types of response elimination techniques. The differential reinforcement of other behavior (DRO) schedule is compared with other response elimination techniques. It is concluded that DRO schedules compare favorably with other techniques in speed and completeness of response elimination. In addition, DRO schedules may be superior to other techniques in durability and generalization of response reduction and in the type of side effects produced.

Homer, A. L., & Peterson, L. (1980). Differential reinforcement of other behavior: A preferred response elimination procedure. Behavior Therapy, 11(4), 449-471.

Praise counts: Using self-monitoring to increase effective teaching practices

The authors examined the effectiveness of self-monitoring for increasing the rates of teacher praise statements and the acceptability of using this technique for teachers. This study's results support the use of self-monitoring to increase effective teaching practices, namely praise, and further demonstrates high social validity for the participant and the students.

Kalis, T. M., Vannest, K. J., & Parker, R. (2007). Praise counts: Using self-monitoring to increase effective teaching practices. Preventing School Failure: Alternative Education for Children and Youth51(3), 20-27.

Positive Behavioral Support: Including people with difficult behavior in the community

Each of the 4 sections ends with a discussion that establishes a framework within which to reflect on the contributions of the selected chapters. 

Koegel, L. K. E., Koegel, R. L., & Dunlap, G. E. (1996). Positive behavioral support: Including people with difficult behavior in the community. Paul H Brookes Publishing.

A review of empirical support for differential reinforcement of alternative behavior

Differential reinforcement of alternative behavior (DRA) is one of the most common behavior analytic interventions used to decrease unwanted behavior. This literature review examined the DRA literature from the past 30 years to identify the aspects that are thoroughly researched and those that would benefit from further emphasis.

Petscher, E. S., Rey, C., & Bailey, J. S. (2009). A review of empirical support for differential reinforcement of alternative behavior. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 30(3), 409-425.

Evidence-based practices in classroom management: Considerations for research to practice.

The purpose of this paper is to describe a systematic literature search to identify evidence-based classroom management practices.

Simonsen, B., Fairbanks, S., Briesch, A., Myers, D., & Sugai, G. (2008). Evidence-based practices in classroom management: Considerations for research to practice. Education and Treatment of Children, 31(3), 351-380.

Active Student Responding (ASR)

Active Student Responding (ASR) is a strategies that designed to engage all students regardless of class size. ASR avoids the common problem of having only high achievers answer questions while low achievers remain silent, thus escaping detection. ASR strategies include; guided notes, response slates, response cards, and choral responding.

States, J., Detrich, R. & Keyworth, R. (2019). Active Student Responding (ASR) Overview.Oakland, CA: The Wing Institute. https://www.winginstitute.org/instructional-delivery-student-respond

Effect on varying rates of behavior-specific praise on the on-task behavior of students with EBD.

This study has 2 purposes: examine the effect of an observation-feedback intervention on the rate of a teacher's behavior-specific praise of students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) and the effect of increased rates of a teacher's behavior-specific praise on the on-task behavior of a class of students with EBD.

Sutherland, K. S., Wehby, J. H., & Copeland, S. R. (2000). Effect of varying rates of behavior-specific praise on the on-task behavior of students with EBD. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders8(1), 2-8.

Differential reinforcement as treatment for behavior disorders: Procedural and functional variations

For many years, differential reinforcement has been a prevalent and preferred treatment procedure for the reduction of behavior disorders. This paper reviews the procedural variations of differential reinforcement and discusses their functional properties.

Vollmer, T. R., & Iwata, B. A. (1992). Differential reinforcement as treatment for behavior disorders: Procedural and functional variations. Research in Developmental Disabilities, 13(4), 393-417.

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Differential Reinforcement: Theory & Definition

This video training describes differential reinforcement for teachers and parents.

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