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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #334
CE Offered: BACB — 
An Organizational Behavior Management Approach to Learner-Centered Instruction for Supervisors, Teachers, Teaching Staff and Clients
Sunday, May 24, 2020
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Marriott Marquis, Level M4, Independence E
Area: EDC/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Angela Moran (Touchstone)
Discussant: Matthew C. Howarth (Verbal Behavior Associates)
CE Instructor: Matthew C. Howarth, Ph.D.

We present the effects of an Organizational Behavior Management approach to Teacher and Clinician training in school and clinic settings resulting in increased supervisor, teacher and clinician expertise and student and client learning. We analyze the organizational components, discuss relevant measures within the organizational matrix, and present meaningful client and staff outcomes using data-driven procedures and interlocking contingencies. The data show that the implementation of a systems approach to supervision was related to increases in academic literacy, communication and social skills for elementary and high school students’ diagnosed with autism and related communication disabilities as well as increases in the foundations of early language acquisition and social skills for pre-school children diagnosed with autism. Teachers and clinicians were trained through PSI modules providing in situ opportunities specifically related to the accurate implementation of programs, choice of strategies and tactics, program materials and selection of new objectives. TPRA (Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy) observations were used to insure IOA (Interobserver Agreement), of the delivery of intact learn units and errorless implementation of VBD (Verbal Behavior Developmental) protocols.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Professionals in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis interested in an OBM approach to supervision as related to outcomes for staff and clients across all aspects of learning, Clinical Directors, Providers of Supervision for Schools and Clinics, School personnel involved in Teacher Training and Administration, Providers of Clinical Supervision and Management.


Supervision Through a Personalized System of InstructioninSchool Settings

Dolleen-Day Keohane (Nicholls State University, Touchstone), KELLY KING (Touchstone and The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Grant Gautreaux (Nicholls State University, Touchstone)

We tested the effects of Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) modules documenting increasing levels of verbal complexity for Mentors and Mentees and decreases in students’ learn units to criterion in two school parishes across eight school settings in Louisiana. One mentor, nine teachers and nine teaching staff who served students diagnosed with autism participated. The module components included Verbal Behavior about the Science (the vocabulary of the science), Contingency Shaped behaviors (in situ best practice) and Verbally Mediated Behaviors (review of published research studies and conceptual articles, research, and tactical and strategic analysis of instruction). The supervision was based on the CABAS® (Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling) model and provided yoked contingencies for the teaching staff, teachers and mentors through the completion of module components. The mentor modeled strategic questions as scientific tacts and intraverbals andprovided model answers to questions using a dynamic algorithm to address students’ instructional problems across communication, social and instructional objectives. The Decision Protocol (Greer, 2014) and TPRA’s (Teacher Performance Rate Accuracy observations, Ingham & Greer, 1992) were implemented to monitor progress for all participants across the completion of module components.

The Effects of the Application of OBM Strategies on Overall Effectiveness of Service Delivery
MARA KATRA OBLAK (Seattle Behavior Consulting & Therapy)
Abstract: The application of organizational behavior management (OBM) to the workplace is an effective method to enhance the delivery of behavior analytic services. Effective service delivery directly impacts student learning and thus it is important to ensure the delivery of services provided are effective. We sought to determine the effects of implementing OBM based strategies at our organization on our staff and clients. We utilized strategies including performance modules for each employment, position, staff reinforcement systems and pay raises tied to performance modules. We also embedded behavior contingencies in our daily operating procedures to increase staff punctuality, timeliness of paperwork completion and adherence to company policies and procedures. This paper describes the OBM strategies used at our organization and the effects on staff performance, client progress, parent compliance and overall company efficiency. We found that the OBM strategies we implemented had positive effects for our organization including increases in completion of performance modules for our staff, student progress and parent compliance.
Training Clinicians to Assess Early Verbal Developmental Cusps and Capabilities and Implement Early Language Protocols
DANICA REAVES SAVOIE (Touchstone Center), Jayven J Encarnacion (Touchstone), Tricia Clement (Touchstone, LaBAA)
Abstract: We tested the effects of a systems approach to training clinicians to implement the VBDA (Verbal Behavior Developmental Assessment) and VBD (Verbal Behavior Development) protocols to induce cusps and capabilities associated with the early foundations of language and social skills for six young children. The clinic’s supervision was based on the CABAS® (Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling) systems approach to learning. Clinicians completed PSI (Personalized System of Instruction) module components as part of the clinic wide training system. The ELCAR (Early Learner Curriculum and Achievement Record) screenings for preferences/reinforcers, early observing responses associated with the foundations of language and early speaker behavior as well as the VBDA list of cusps and capabilities were used to measure each child’s pre-verbal, listener and speaker cusps pre and post intervention. TPRA (Teacher Performance Rate and Accuracy) observations and strategic analysis of decisions using a rule governed algorithm were used to ensure errorless implementation of probes, screenings and protocols and accurate measurement of learning.
Effects of a Performance Management Portfolio System on Changes in Critical Variables for Clinical Staff
GRANT GAUTREAUX (Nicholls State University, Touchstone), Angela Moran (Touchstone), Tricia Clement (Touchstone, LaBAA), Derek Jacob Shanman (Nicholls State University, Touchstone)
Abstract: The purpose of this presentation is to highlight the importance of using Organization Behavior Management (OBM) in the design of effective clinical staff supervision framework. Identifying the organizations mission and extensions of that mission is critical in ensuring every aspect of the organization is operating effectively and efficiently. Each job within the organization has a mission that contributes to the organizational mission. Once you have defined the mission, measures of quantity, quality, timeliness and cost naturally follow. This systems approach uses the principles and tactics of behavior analysis and applies them to all aspects of the organization. We implemented a performance management portfolio system for all behavior technicians working in an ABA treatment center. We analyzed correlations with retention, training module completion, performance accuracy and shift attendance. The results are reported in by sampling subsets of key groups of staff. We discuss the implications for future use of and continued research on our performance management system.



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