Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)



First Advisor

Corey S. Stocco

First Committee Member

Matthew Normand

Second Committee Member

Carolynn Kohn


Deficits in the study skills of college students can lead to lower academic performance and disqualification. Although behavior analytic research has evaluated methods for teaching, structuring in-class notes, increasing attendance, and improving participation, no studies have evaluated methods for improving independent studying outside of the classroom using a single-case design. We evaluated the effects of a study skills training package using a multiple probe design across skills with college students. Sessions took place in a room arranged to emulate the typical study space found in a dorm or library. During sessions, participants were given a 3–6 page reading from a textbook on research methods and statistics. We modified the readings to equate the number of headings, subheadings, paragraphs, and bolded terms. Using a combination of a checklist with picture models and performance feedback, we taught college students how to set up their study space, take notes, and study their notes by writing answers to study questions. Some participants received instructions to check items off the checklist as they completed them. As a supplemental measure, we probed quiz performance during baseline and after a participant mastered each skill. Checklist training improved targeted study skills for all four participants. Explicit instructions to check items off the checklist improved performance for one participant when consistent performance did not maintain after training and produced high levels of performance when implemented at the beginning of training for another participant.





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