Date of Award


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Dr. Jack L. Michael

Second Advisor

Dr. Ronald A. Crowell

Third Advisor

Dr. R. Wayne Fuqua

Fourth Advisor

Dr. Alan Poling


The Precision Teaching movement grew out of a commitment to use frequency as a universal measure of behavior, as well as the desire to employ research methods derived from the experimental analysis of behavior in education (Lindsley, 1991). One component of instruction employing the precision teaching model is fluency training that typically involves exposing learners to the training materials until they have met criteria for both accuracy and speed. Proponents of fluency training ascribe a number of specific benefits to this instructional tool. Lindsley (1992, 1995) and others (Binder, 1993, 1996; Haughton, 1981b) suggested that fluency training enhances retention, endurance, application, understanding, and generativity. Unfortunately, the empirical data to support the proclaim ed benefits is severely limited (Berquam ,1985). T he purpose o f the present research was to evaluate the effects of training using an accuracy criterion alone versus accuracy and rate criteria on retention, distractibility, and generativity. The first study examined the effects of training component skills to different levels of fluency on the retention of those skills and the acquisition and retention of more complex, composite skills (generativity). The second study examined the effects of training under an accuracy-alone criterion or accuracy plus rate criteria on distractibility. The results of these studies suggest that fluency training does not produce superior retention or generativity, and does not produce superior performance in the face of distracting stimuli.

Access Setting

Dissertation-Open Access