The Research

The Research

Behavioral and learning science serve as the framework for Fit Learning’s uniquely transformative method involving precision teaching, direct instruction, relational frame theory, and curriculum-based assessment.

Included here is a partial list of the Fit founders’ published research that has helped shape Fit into the program it is today, along with presentations and workshops they’ve conducted. In addition, provided here are selected research abstracts and articles from this list.

Brooks Newsome, K., Nix Berens, K., Ghezzi, P. M., Aninao, T., and Newsome, W. D. (2014). Training relational language to improve reading comprehension. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 15 (2), 165-197.

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to assess the impact of strengthening participants’ relational abilities on measures of comprehension. We evaluated the effects of two phases of multiple exemplar training on reading comprehension: hierarchical relational training, and hierarchical framing under the contextual cues of “same” and “different.” Five participants with poor reading comprehension, but strong reading abilities, were trained in four components of hierarchical relational training. This phase was designed to increase the frequency and flexibility with which participants related properties to stimuli, and to assess if training in hierarchical relations improved participants’ ability to derive hierarchical relations between stimuli. The next phase of training required participants to discriminate relevant relations under contextual cues of “same” and “different.” The effects of training were examined on measures of reading comprehension and written expression. All but one participant showed improvements on one or more academic measures, indicating a functional relationship between the language skills acquired and comprehension and written expression. These data have important implications for guiding research endeavors in behavior analysis and for informing practices in education. This article goes on to discuss the limitations and directions for future research. Full article available here.

Brosnan, J., Moeyaert, M., Brooks Newsome, K., Healy, O., Heywaert, M., Onghena, P., and Van den Noortgate, W. (2016). Multilevel Analysis of Multiple-baseline Data Evaluating Precision Teaching as an Intervention for Improving Fluency in Foundational Reading Skills for at Risk Readers, Exceptionality, 1-25.

Abstract: In this article, multiple-baseline across participants designs were used to evaluate the impact of a precision teaching (PT) program, within a Tier 2 Response to Intervention framework, targeting fluency in foundational reading skills with at risk kindergarten readers. Thirteen multiple-baseline design experiments that included participation from 35 kindergarten students were included in the current analysis. By combining data from a series of multiple-baseline studies using a multilevel model, we analyzed outcomes to determine an estimated treatment effect. The results indicate that across participants and across studies, PT showed an average increase of 15 correct responses in foundational reading skills per minute. This immediate influence on rates of core reading skills was statistically significant. Moreover, the treatment had a significant positive effect on the time trend indicating that rates in foundational reading skills increased more across time during the treatment phase compared to the baseline phase. The study provides evidence that the obtained rates in foundational reading skills at the end of the intervention were retained after removing the intervention. From the outcomes of the multilevel model, PT can be considered as a promising Tier 2 intervention to increase reading fluency with individuals who are at risk of reading failure. Full article available here.

Gist, C. and Bulla, A.J. (2020). A Systematic Review of Frequency Building and Precision Teaching with School-Aged Children. Journal of Behavior Education.

Abstract: This paper presents a systematic review of the literature that assesses the effectiveness of frequency building and precision teaching with school-aged children. The authors evaluated studies in accordance with the What Works Clearinghouse standards and the council for exceptional children standards for evidence-based practices in special education. A total of 11 studies examining the effectiveness of frequency building and precision teaching for 170 participants were included in this review. Additionally, effect sizes were calculated for eligible studies. Small to large effects were found for all included variables. Overall, results indicated that the combination of frequency building and precision teaching is an effective method for increasing a variety of academic skills with school-aged children. This paper discusses limitations, recommendations for future research, and implications for practitioners. Full article available here.