Operant Conditioning

In Psychology class we’ve been learning all about the different types of learning, including classical conditioning, operant conditioning, and observational learning. Operant conditioning was our favorite as we combined our learning with a project using continuous, positive reinforcement. Employing operant conditioning with continuous positive reinforcement is probably the best way to teach your pet a new trick and so that is exactly what we tried to do!

Students were given 7 days at home to attempt to teach their pet a new trick. They were not graded based on their success or failure, but rather on whether they employed these learning techniques. I told them I’d give it a try with one of my pets as well. It’s a good thing grades weren’t based on how well the pet did the trick at the end of week because I failed miserably! Laughing! Here is my video showing my attempt at getting one of my dogs to rollover.

Some students did not have a pet at home and so I brought in another one of my dogs, Jindo, to the class for the week so that these students could also participate in the project. Jindo was such a hit in the class that soon students didn’t care whether I was there or not, only if my dog was. Tee hee!

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