Evaluating the Effects of Content Reinforcement

Document Type

Contribution to Book

Publication Date


Publication Title

Proceedings of the Northeastern Decision Science Institute Conference


Universities and colleges employ many models for content development such as the “introduce, reinforce, apply, and assess” model. This model seeks to first introduce a concept, followed by a reinforcement technique, an application, and finally assessing student learning outcomes. This research proposal aims to design an experiment which will measure the effectiveness of such a model by applying it to two introductory business related courses (Information and Technology Management Applications and Introduction to Business). Key content, such as time value of money, loan repayment schedules, and interest calculations, will be strategically overlapped in the redesigned courses and student learning outcomes will be assessed with students in the redesigned superimposing courses serving as the treatment group and students having only one of the redesigned courses serving as the control groups. The research question to be explored is stated as: “Will student performance be improved by overlaying key business concepts between two introductory courses in the standard business curriculum?” Practical implications include insights into course and curriculum development and the efficacy of reinforcement learning.