By: Rachel Watson, Nick Toro, AmberHufstetler, Shandra Settlemyer*
**B.F. Skinner described the behavior theory ofOperant Conditioning as: “Learning that iscontrolled and results in shaping behaviorthrough the reinforcement of stimulus-response patterns.
**• Neutral operants: responses from theenvironment that neither increase nor decrease theprobability of a behavior being repeated.*• Reinforcers: Responses from the environmentthat increase the probability of a behavior beingrepeated. Reinforcers can be either positive ornegative.*• Punishers: Response from the environment thatdecrease the likelihood of a behavior beingrepeated. Punishment weakens behavior.
**Teachers use positive and negative reinforcementsall the time. For example, if a student does theirhomework then the teacher gives them credit(positive reinforcement). On the other hand, if astudent does not do their homework then theteacher may not give them credit (negativereinforcement).*Many softwares are now created to give backpositive reinforcement messages when students dowell, and negative reinforcements when students donot so well. Teachers can use these programs inclass, or create their own reinforcement messagesif they create something like a PowerPoint quiz.
**Students will either be encouraged to keepengaging in a behavior, such as turning in a projectbecause they receive credit (positivereinforcement), or discouraged if they are givennegative feedback or less credit.*Receiving negative feedback on an educationalcomputer game would discourage the student fromdoing poorly again. On the other hand, positivefeedback or winning an educational game wouldencourage a student to keep up the good work.