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.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #304
CE Offered: BACB — 
Using Telemedicine to Supervise Functional Analysis and Discrete Trial Performance
Sunday, May 28, 2017
5:00 PM–5:50 PM
Convention Center Mile High Ballroom 3B
Area: AUT/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sharlet D. Rafacz (California State University, Fresno)
Discussant: Kelly M. Schieltz (The University of Missouri)
CE Instructor: Sharlet D. Rafacz, Ph.D.
Abstract: Current technology allows the field of behavior analysis to expand its reach. In particular, thanks to telemedicine, training and service delivery are now possible despite large geographical distances. Utilizing these technologies will allow instructors, supervisors, and clinicians to provide or oversee services in a more efficient and cost-effective manner. Prior to making the transition, however, it’s necessary to confirm that training, supervision and service delivery are equally effective when delivered via telemedicine. As such, this symposium will address two key areas of training and supervision, specifically conducting functional analysis and discrete trial training. The first study in this symposium evaluates a procedure for offering master’s students faculty-supervised experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating data collected in a telemedicine approach to functional analysis. The second study will compare the relative effectiveness of in-person and telemedicine feedback, specifically videoconference and bug-in-ear, on discrete trial performance. The benefits and limitations to utilizing telemedicine for training and supervision will then be discussed.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): functional analysis, online education, supervision, telemedicine
Functional Analysis Training for the Online Master’s Student: A Telemedicine Approach
THOMAS G. SZABO (Florida Institute of Technology), Ellie Chambers (Florida Institute of Technology), Kelly Deacon (ABC Group), Hannah Laviana (Florida Institute of Technology), Rebecca Oshiro (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Functional analysis (FA) methodology is the gold standard for evaluating contingency relations between stimulus events and unwanted behavior. Bricks-and-mortar university training programs often have mechanisms in place for providing hands-on FA training to students of behavior analysis. In the past decade, online alternatives to bricks-and-mortar programs have emerged; yet many of these programs have not developed comparable mechanisms for providing FA instruction and guided practice. One barrier is that supervisors in applied settings may not have had sufficient FA training themselves and are thus rightly reluctant to subject clients to procedures for which they lack the necessary competence to guide their students. We evaluated a procedure for offering students faculty-supervised experience in designing, implementing, and evaluating data collected in a telemedicine approach to functional analysis. Results showed strong procedural adherence and inter-rater reliability in two FA procedures conducted from start to finish by students in a master’s degree program in professional behavior analysis. Implications for online graduate training program development are discussed.

A Comparison Between In-Person, Videoconference, and Bug-in-Ear Feedback on Treatment Integrity With Early Intervention Employees

CRYSTAL LOZA (California State University, Fresno), Sharlet D. Rafacz (California State University, Fresno)

The prevalence of autism has increased substantially over the past decade (Centers for Disease Control, 2015), bringing early intensive behavioral intervention (EIBI) services into greater demand for families living in both urban and rural areas (Jang et al., 2012; Behavior Analyst Certification Board, 2015). Currently there are not enough behavior analysts to oversee these interventions and as a result many behavior analysts must travel long distances to see clients. By providing employee feedback through telemedicine approaches such as bug-in-ear (BIE) and videoconference technology, behavior analysts can assist clients by remotely monitoring interventions delivered by behavior technicians. Doing so can save time and that time can be used to assist more clients. In this study, we evaluated the relative effectiveness of BIE, videoconference, and in-person feedback on increasing treatment integrity with behavior technicians working for an EIBI company. The potential secondary effects (i.e., distractibility) of the stimuli present across each delivery method were also examined. The experiment utilized a multi-element research design with an initial baseline and a brief follow-up of the three feedback delivery methods. Relative effectiveness, secondary effects, social validity and cost-benefit of each feedback method will be discussed.




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