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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Owen R White
EDSPE 511
Seattle Campus

Methods of Applied Behavior Analysis Research

Characteristics of applied behavior analysis are presented: direct, daily measurement, and the systematic investigation of important variables. Representative studies from various applied situations are discussed in terms of dependent and independent variables, research design, reliability, validity, and data analysis. Prerequisite: EDSPE 510 or equivalent preparation. Offered: WSp.

Class description

This course will provide a general overview of concerns and issues involved in research, including ways of establishing research goals, devising & selecting measurement strategies, and considerations for establishing the internal and external validity of a research study. The course will also cover procedures for completing UW Human Subjects Review applications.

The course focuses on within-subject, time-series research designs and the comparison of those designs to common quantitative alternatives, like group-statistical research. These designs, common to the behavior analytic research tradition, focus on establishing experimental control over individual subjects studied over an extended period. "Subjects," however, can be individual people or larger entities, like schools or even nations.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

The course meets once each week for discussion and lectures.

Reading materials include a general text and selected readings about research methods and illustrations of the application of those methods in actual research studies.

A class web site is used for the distribution of class materials and for commuication among class members.

Recommended preparation

There are no specific prerequisites for this course. However, it is recommended that students complete EDSPE 510: Behavioral Measurement and Management before taking this course.

Class assignments and grading

Assignments include:

(1) Weekly reading assignments from a standard text and selected research articles;

(2) A class project in which each student will design a single-subject, time-series study; complete a UW Human Subjects Review Application to describe the study; collect at least some data pertinent to the conduct of that study; and describe the results of those efforts by drafting a research article following standard APA style guidelines.

(3) Occasional "take-home" assignments covering specific research-related skills (e.g., the computation of data collection reliability).

Specific grading criteria may change from quarter-to-quarter. However, in general, 85-90% of a student's grade will be based on their performance on weekly probes and special assignments, and their class project report. 10-15% of the grade will be based on a student's participation in class discussions and the feedback they provide other students through formal review of their work.


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Additional Information
Last Update by Owen R White
Date: 09/22/2008