Comparing the Minimum Celeration Line and the Beat Your Personal Best goal-setting approaches during the mathematical practice of students diagnosed with autism

Athanasios Vostanis, Ciara Padden, Aoife McTiernan, Peter E. Langdon

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This study compared two goal-setting approaches found in the Precision Teaching literature, namely the minimum celeration line and the beat your personal best during the mathematical practice of three male students diagnosed with autism, aged 8–9. An adapted alternating treatments design with a control condition was embedded in a concurrent multiple baseline across participants design. Each approach was randomly allocated to either the multiplication/division (×÷) table of 18 or 19, while no approach was allocated to the ×÷14 table that acted as a control. Instruction utilized number families and consisted of (a) untimed practice, (b) frequency-building, (c) performance criteria, (d) graphing, and (e) a token economy. Upon practice completion, an assessment of maintenance, endurance, stability, and application (MESA) was conducted. Participants improved with both conditions and maintained their performance well, while improvements with the control condition were weak. The beat your personal best approach was highlighted as slightly more effective in terms of average performance and more efficient in terms of timings needed to achieve criterion. No differences were identified in terms of learning rate (i.e., celeration) or performance on the MESA. More research is warranted to identify which goal-setting procedure is more appropriate for students in special education.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-50
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Behavioral Education
Early online date27 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Frequency-building
  • Number family
  • Precision teaching
  • Special education
  • Standard celeration chart

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