Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Stephanie Peterson

Second Advisor

Dr. Richard Malott

Third Advisor

Dr. Jessica Frieder

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Lloyd Peterson


Despite the common use of feedback in most training settings, it is not yet clear what behavioral function feedback serves. Most researchers consider feedback to function as a consequence and advocate for its immediate delivery in the form of “on the spot” supervision or after-session conferencing. The literature suggests that when compared, “on the spot” supervision is found more effective than after session conferencing. In spite these findings, most supervisors are still implementing after-session conferencing. This is probably due to the limited feasibility of performing “on the spot” supervision when supervising teachers implementing whole class or small group instruction. One way to overcome the feasibility issue of “on the spot” supervision and still providing feedback effectively to supervisees, is by providing feedback before their next opportunity to perform. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the effectiveness of feedback provided (a) after the teaching session versus (b) before the following teaching session on (1) the accuracy of the error correction procedure and (2) the rate of specific praise of undergraduate psychology students (i.e., the teachers) implementing Direct Instruction (DI) to a small group of children. An adapted alternating design is utilized to evaluate the effects of feedback in its two temporal locations, on each teacher’s performance. Results of the study suggest that feedback provided before the teaching session is more effective in improving teaching skills than feedback that is provided after the session. These findings propose that feedback may function primarily as an antecedent to good performance, and not necessarily as a consequence. However, the mechanism that explains these results is not yet clear. Future studies should investigate whether feedback serves as an antecedent a) discriminative stimulus, b) motivational operation, or c) rule.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Campus Only

Restricted to Campus until