Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Joseph C. Witt


This study examined the relative effects of two rates of responding on student endurance, accuracy and retention of basic math skills. Three cohorts, each consisting of four students, participated in the study and received training on two separate math skills. One skill was trained to a rate of responding consistent with a fluency standard and the other skill was trained to a rate of responding consistent with accurate but not fluent performance. The main finding underscored by the present study is that successful learning is enhanced if precipitated by fluent rates of responding. The data presented in each cohort demonstrated that training skills to fluency standards resulted in gains of student endurance, retention and student accuracy on basic math skills. For students in the endurance cohort, the most important finding was that students responding fluently remained engaged in the activity longer than the students who were not fluent. The most important finding for the generalization cohort was that students performed faster, with greater accuracy and persisted (i.e., less distractible) on new material for longer intervals of time if they were trained to levels of fluency at the onset. The main finding of the retention cohort was that in three out of four cases, skills trained to less than fluent levels of responding yielded diminishing student performance over time.