Behaviorism in schools today has been widely used as a behavioral modification tool. A major part of behavioral modification is giving good students positive reinforcement while giving students who need to learn the appropriate behavior for class, negative reinforcement (Standridge, M., 2002). Another part of behaviorism used in classrooms today is the practice of frequent repetition, generalization and discrimination (Smith, M. K., 1999). Many teachers use homework and rote memorization as ways to repeat concepts. With the advent of technology in schools and at home, students and teachers can practice frequent repetition in new and exciting ways.
Teachers can use technology to track students’ effort against student grades
(Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski,
2007, p. 155).
Among the different computer programs that will enable teachers and students to
track effort are, spreadsheet software like Microsoft Excel and data collection
tools like Survey Monkey (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, pp. 156-164). The educational
behaviorist belief is that students will be able to correlate the amount of
effort they have put into their homework and classwork, compare that effort to
the outcome in their quiz and test grades. Once students see the outcomes, they
will continue to put more effort into their work to achieve those higher
assessment grades. In addition to effort, technology also allows students to
complete homework and practice assessments using collaborative and creative methods.
Many teachers assign homework for students to practice what they learned in class at home. “Technology facilitates homework and practice by providing a wealth of resources for learning outside of the classroom, making it easy for students to work on collaborative homework assignments and providing ‘drill and practice’ resources that help students refine their skills
(Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, p.
Among the technology programs that help with homework for the elementary school
student as well as the high school student are, word processing applications,
spreadsheet software, multimedia applications, web resources, and communication
software (Pitler, Hubbell, Kuhn, & Malenoski, 2007, pp. 189-201). In my classes, I
hold a review session before each unit test set up similar to a game of Jeopardy. My students set up a Facebook
page where they quiz each other at night in preparation for the test the next
day. They took the initiative to set up
that page on their own and to peer review the materials I went over during the
day in class. All of the participants on the Facebook page have seen their test
grades improve and students not already part of that page; have put in requests
to join the group for nighttime reviews. My students review page is an
excellent example of student effort at work improving grades while working
collaboratively with peer-reviewed materials. This is a wonderful mesh of learning
theories, behaviorism and constructivism, in one classroom.
Pitler, H., Hubbell, E., Kuhn, M., & Malenoski, K. (2007). Using technology with classroom instruction that works. Denver, Colorado: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL).
Smith, M. K. (1999). “The behaviourist orientation to learning”. The encyclopedia of informal education. Retrieved March 6, 2012, from
Standridge, M. (2002). Behaviorism. In M. Orey (Ed.), Emerging perspectives on learning, teaching and technology. Retrieved March 6, 2012, from http://projects.coe.uga.edu/epltt/index.php?title=Behaviorism