Bethany Forbes, a PhD student in school psychology, was recognized with the National Association of School Psychologists (NASP) Ron Edwards Dissertation Award. Each year the award is given to a school psychology student who has completed an outstanding dissertation on a topic that is behavioral in orientation and which merits special recognition and has the potential to contribute to the science and practice of school psychology, and, as such, has the potential to contribute to the literature in behavioral school psychology.
Bethany completed her dissertation entitled The Effect of Prompts and Comprehension Assessment on Oral Reading: Moderating Effect of Reading Skills under the supervision of Christopher Skinner. Her work was a multi-experiment study designed to evaluate the effects of several independent variables on middle-school students’ performance during oral reading fluency assessments. Her findings suggest that students’ performance on brief one-minute assessment are influenced by numerous variables including instructions, students’ perceptions of what is being measured, and the inclusion of comprehension questions following the assessments. Because these brief assessments are used to determine eligibility for remedial and special education services, Bethany’s findings have the potential to influence assessment procedures being applied in almost all elementary schools across the country.