|Recent Innovations in Teaching ABA Online|
|Monday, May 28, 2012|
|9:00 AM–10:20 AM |
|612 (Convention Center)|
|Area: TBA/EDC; Domain: Applied Research|
|Chair: Michelle Turan (University of Windsor)|
|Discussant: Thomas L. Zane (Institute for Behavioral Studies)|
Online delivery of graduate academic programs has greatly enhanced the professional opportunities, training, and development of applied behavior analysts. The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis is uniquely situated as an academic department within the School of Education at The Sage Colleges. Our academic department offers a Master of Science in Applied Behavior Analysis and Autism. The primary goals of the MS program are to give students the educational and skill competence necessary to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and prepare students to perform ABA research and therapy for individuals with autism. The current symposium discusses recent innovations in our online delivery of this MS program, to include (1) the initiative to develop the Center for Applied Behavior Analysis Laboratory, (2) the academic success of an EAB-ABA translational research course as part of our online curriculum, and (3) an analysis of the relationship between teaching and assessment procedures and student outcomes in our online graduate classes. These innovations and their interconnections have endowed our MS program with a degree of student scholarship and research mentorship that strongly rivals conventional face-to-face delivery of graduate education for behavior analysts.
|Keyword(s): BCBA courses, online laboratory, online teaching, translational research|
Overview of the Center for Applied Behavior Analysis Laboratory
|BENJAMIN C. MAURO (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges)|
The research undertakings of the Center for Applied Behavior Analysis Laboratory (CabaLab) are performed largely online, except for the students interacting with research participants within the experimental setting. Our CabaLab faculty provide mentorship for select MS student's thesis prospectus that follows from the faculty person's active research (e.g., translational research on self-control and behavioral momentum, social skills training using electronic technology, and error correction strategies in discrete-trial training). The specially-selected students are volunteer research assistants or research awardees within the CabaLab. All students enjoy the available resources regarding the ethical conduct of research, lectures and tutorials, grant funding and writing, the publication process, and a journal club. The current presentation illustrates the integration of the CabaLab into a comprehensive training model for our MS Program in ABA and autism. This presentation also highlights the student-faculty relation that permits the3 aims of the CabaLab: (1) train students in conducting publishable-quality ABA research, (2) prepare students for careers in ABA therapy and research, and (3) advance applied research on the understanding and treatment of the behavioral features of autism spectrum disorders. These innovations provide a degree of student mentorship that strongly rivals conventional face-to-face delivery of graduate education for behavior analysts.
Evidence for Analytical Pragmatism in an Online Translational Research Course
|BENJAMIN C. MAURO (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges), Jennifer Lipton-O'Connor (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges)|
An innovative topical course on translational research was introduced into the online curriculum for our MS Program in applied behavior analysis and autism. The course provided a select overview of interrelated research drawn from the experimental analysis of behavior (EAB) and applied behavior analysis (ABA), such as behavioral momentum, matching law, self-control, and conditioned reinforcement. Epling and Pierce (1986) suggested that EAB and ABA should move toward a form of analytic pragmatism (i.e., a better balance between being analytic and pragmatic). An analysis of student's EAB and ABA test performance showed students did slightly better overall on the ABA tests than the EAB tests across the semester. Interestingly, the slopes of the trend for the ABA tests were at zero, although the slopes for the trend for the EAB tests were steep and positive. An analysis of students' verbal behavior during EAB and ABA discussion forums were likewise consistent with behavioral movement toward the ideal of analytical pragmatism. Thus, the students were becoming more EAB-like over the semester and were showing a better balance between EAB and ABA (i.e., better analytical pragmatism). This teaching innovation strongly rivals conventional face-to-face delivery of graduate education for behavior analysts.
A Behavior Analysis of Effective Teaching Procedures in an Online Graduate Program
|DANA R. REINECKE (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges), Michelle Turan (University of Windsor), Jennifer Lipton-O'Connor (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges), Lori Finn (The Center for Applied Behavior Analysis at The Sage Colleges)|
This presentation looks at the ways in which behavioral teaching procedures are used in our online MS Program in applied behavior analysis and autism to prepare students to take the BACB exam. The program overview will be described, followed by a detailed discussion of how positive and negative reinforcement, shaping, chaining, performance feedback, fluency drills, and other procedures are used to increase students' verbal behavior in accurately discussing applied behavior analysis and the treatment of autism. Data will be presented showing how these particular procedures are associated with varying outcomes including test scores, assignment grades, and specific statements made by students in discussion forums and assignments. Additional data will be presented showing students' individual preferences for different types of interactive activities, including live/verbal and asynchronous/written activities, and how participation in these activities is associated with learning outcomes. These teaching innovations in online courses strongly rival conventional face-to-face delivery of graduate education for behavior analysts.