Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


38th Annual Convention; Seattle, WA; 2012

Event Details

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Symposium #32
CE Offered: BACB
Improving the Efficiency and Efficacy of Staff and Parent Training of Assessment and Treatment Procedures With Children Diagnosed With Autism and Other Developmental Disabilities
Saturday, May 26, 2012
1:00 PM–2:20 PM
612 (Convention Center)
Area: TBA/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Michael E. Kelley (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center)
CE Instructor: Michael E. Kelley, Ph.D.

The application of the basic principles of behavior analysis has been remarkably valuable in guiding researchers and practitioners to develop effective assessments and treatments. One area that warrants further development is the systematic improvement of efficiency and efficacy of those procedures. In the current series of studies, we show how typical assessment or training procedures may be systematically replicated and extended in several important ways. First, Higgins et al. show how individuals may be trained to conduct preference assessments using web-based technology. The trainees include individuals who do not otherwise have training available in vivo. Next, Kunnavatana et al. report on teaching teachers to conduct efficient, trial-based functional analyses, which may relieve teachers of the burden of finding trained professionals to conduct the assessments. Third, Kowcheck et al. show data suggesting the necessary components of a staff-training package. Finally, Vladescu et al. demonstrate the utility of video modeling for conducting procedurally correct discrete-trial training. In combination, these studies extend the literature on how to improve the efficiency and efficacy of training and have the potential to expand practitioners skills in the assessment and treatment of problem behavior and skill deficits.

Keyword(s): Improving training, Training

Evaluating Web-based Technologies to Teach Staff to Conduct a Multiple Stimulus Without Replacement Preference Assessment

WILLIAM J. HIGGINS (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Wayne W. Fisher (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Kevin C. Luczynski (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Regina A. Carroll (Munroe-Meyer Institute University of Nebraska Medical Center), Oliver C. Mudford (University of Auckland)

The ubiquity of personal computers and the development of secure Internet technologies have led to the increased use of Web-based training in fields such as medicine and education (Ritterband & Tate, 2009). Roscoe and Fisher (2008) demonstrated the effectiveness and efficiency of a training package that included delayed feedback on performance and immediate feedback during scripted role-play sessions to teach direct-care staff how to implement two common preference assessments with children diagnosed with intellectual disabilities. The current study extends this line of research by evaluating whether delivering these same teaching procedures, as well as an information-based multimedia presentation, via Web-based technologies produces similar results on staff members' implementation of a multiple-stimulus-without-replacement assessment.Thirteen component skills were targeted, and the effects of the teaching package on skill acquisition were evaluated using a nonconcurrent multiple baseline design across participants. Robust and immediate improvements in the component skills were observed across participants and their performance maintained during a 1-month follow-up observation. In addition, the Web-based delivery of the teaching components was reported as highly acceptable. The benefits of Web-based technologies and other Web-based applications will be discussed.

Training Educators to Conduct Trial-Based Functional Analyses
SORAYA SHANUN KUNNAVATANA (Utah State University), Sarah E. Bloom (Utah State University), Andrew Samaha (Utah State University), Elizabeth Dayton (Utah State University)
Abstract: Functional analyses are commonly used to identify the maintaining variables of problem behaviors and direct treatment. Although research has demonstrated the utility of the standard functional analysis, they are not always feasible in educational settings. The trial-based functional analysis was developed as an alternative when resources do not permit a standard functional analysis. The current study sought to evaluate the effectiveness of a modified pyramidal training procedure in which special education programming coordinators were trained to conduct trial-based functional analyses and then subsequently trained primary and secondary grade level teachers. Results showed that teachers implemented the trial-based functional analysis with good integrity after training and during in situ probes; however, modest improvements were observed in accuracy of calculating and graphing data, and analyzing graphs to identify a function.

A Component Analysis of a Staff Training Package

KEEGAN C. KOWCHECK (West Virginia University), Aimee Giles (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University)

Instructional time for children with autism may be maximized by training classroom staff to implement discrete-trial training (DTT) programs. The purpose of this study was to conduct a component analysis of an existing training package. The training package had previously been shown to be effective in teaching paraprofessionals to implement DTT programs. The training package consisted of video modeling and didactic instruction, and performance feedback. Twelve special education teachers were divided into 2 groups, and taught to implement DTT during an optional professional development session over the summer. A multiple-baseline-across-participants design was used. Using a performance checklist, data were collected on the accuracy with which the teachers implemented DTT programs in trainer-trainee dyads. For 11 of 12 participants, mastery criteria were met following at least one session of performance feedback. On average, correct implementation of DTT procedures increased by 20.53% following the video phase, and by 30.5% following one feedback session.


The Effects of Video Modeling on Accurate Implementation of Discrete Trial Instruction

JASON C. VLADESCU (Caldwell College), Regina A. Carroll (University of Nebraska Medical Center), Amber R. Paden (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon)

Discrete trial instruction (DTI) is a common and effective approach to teaching children with autism and related disorders. Thus, it is important to identify effective procedures to train staff to implement DTI accurately. One training alternative, video modeling (VM) involves showing a video that exhibits behaviors a viewer should imitate and demonstrate in an appropriate context. The present study evaluated VM to train three new staff members in an early intervention (EI) clinic to implement DTI. We evaluated implementation accuracy using a multiple-baseline across participants design. All participants reached the mastery criterion for accurate implementation of DTI with a confederate following the introduction of VM, and performance remained high while implementing novel teaching protocols. Following training with VM, participants used DTI to teach a child in an EI clinic. The results showed that the participants accurate implementation of DTI remained high, and both children acquired the targeted skills. Additionally, we conducted a post-hoc analysis that showed that the number of individual DTI components implemented at or above the mastery criterion increased following VM and maintained during child training. Together, these findings provide additional support that VM may be an effective method to train staff members to implement DTI.




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