Date of Award

8-2001

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Dr. Richard Malott

Second Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Third Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling

Fourth Advisor

Dr. George Starrett

Abstract

Behavioral systems analysis is a deliberate approach to systems-design that is intended to help a system achieve its ultimate goals. The present study used behavioral systems analysis in an attempt to improve the quality o f a college-level textbook. Formative and expert evaluations were used to assess the needs of the textbook. Once the needs were determined, a six-step process of analysis, goal specification, design, implementation, evaluation, and recycling was used to meet the objectives specified by the needs assessment.

The first objective of this study was to produce and publish an improved edition of a textbook and to begin utilizing the evaluation of that edition to guide the revision of the next edition of the textbook. Thirty-eight revisions were made to produce that improved edition of the textbook. The evaluation of the improved edition is ongoing and needed revisions for the next edition continue to be identified. To date, the evaluation of the improved edition has identified 28 needed revisions for the next edition.

The second objective of this study was to assess the utility of the behavioral systems analysis approach to text revision. Case studies are used to illustrate the revision process, and the utility of each step in the process is discussed. Successes and failures of the revision process are identified, and suggestions for improvement are discussed. Suggestions are also offered for textbook authors and other textbook revision researchers.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access

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