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; Online; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #216
CE Offered: BACB — 
Behavior Analysis in Higher Education: Basic Principles Teaching and Supervision
Sunday, May 24, 2020
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Area: TBA/PCH; Domain: Translational
Chair: Andresa De Souza (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Discussant: Darlene E. Crone-Todd (Salem State University)
CE Instructor: Darlene E. Crone-Todd, Ph.D.

With the current high demand for BCBAs, we have also seen an increase in university programs offering applied behavior analysis (ABA) programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. To ensure quality education and preparation for clinical services, program curriculums should be aligned with the theoretical background of ABA as well as best practices for training essential skills. This symposium will explore important aspects that should be considered when teaching and supervising undergraduate- and graduate-level students in ABA programs. First, Isvânia Alves will present the conclusions of a project that identified controversies and disagreements related to basic principles and concepts among behavior analytical textbooks and field experts. In addition, Isvânia a will present a decision-making model to assist in selecting objectives when teaching and providing supervision to undergraduate students. Next, Maegan Pisman will discuss potential strategies and guidelines for effective and ethical remote supervision for students in university practicum courses. Maegan will conclude with possible areas for research related to online teaching and supervision. Darlene Crone-Todd will serve as the discussant.

Target Audience:

Instructors, BCBAs providing remote supervision, VCS of ABA programs


Concept and Principle Analysis, Controversies in Critical and Variable Features, and Decision-Making Model for Basic Behavioral Principles

Isvânia Alves Santos (Universidade Federal de Alagoas; Programa de Pós-graduação em Educação), ANA CAROLINA SELLA (Universidade Federal de Alagoas; Programa de Pós-graduação em Educação), Jackeline Santana Santos (Universidade Federal de Alagoas; Programa de Pós-graduação em Educação)

One of the roles a supervisor might have within applied behavior analysis regards the assurance that the decision-making process for interventions is conceptually sound. In the past few years our group has developed, implemented, evaluated, analyzed and redesigned a decision-making model aimed at content and behavioral objectives selection for teaching undergraduate students. In our last analysis-redesign iteration, we found inconsistencies, controversies or disagreements in regard to what defines some basic behavioral concepts and principles, such as environment, behavior, operant behavior, respondent behavior, antecedent, among others. Additionally, when we submitted these concepts and principles analysis to be reviewed by behavior analysts (i.e., content experts), the conceptual controversies appeared in some of the suggestions they made. The purpose of this paper is to present our decision-making model in its latest form, present and discuss a few of the controversies we found during our analysis, and highlight the importance of performing a concept or principle analysis when selecting content in areas in which conceptual disagreements might hinder or decelerate student learning and affect the decision-making process for interventions, if these disagreements are not explicit or discussed.

Considerations for Designing and Implementing Online Instruction and Remote Supervision for Students of Behavior Analysis
Maegan Pisman (Imbueity; Pepperdine University), ANDRESA DE SOUZA (University of Missouri St. Louis)
Abstract: There appears to be a growing demand for university programs with coursework that qualify students to sit for the BACB® certification exam. Many universities offer courses in an online format to meet this demand; however, there are few to no empirical studies evaluating online instructional methods and practicum design within applied behavior analysis (ABA) programs. Hybrid and online programs present additional opportunities for accessing education and training in ABA, but they also occasion some challenges that should be deliberately addressed when designing courses and supervisory activities. We will provide suggestions for training and supervision for remote students based on the available literature in behavior analysis and other collaborative fields. Specifically, we will review considerations for curriculum development, strategies for implementing behavioral skills training, available technology for asynchronous and synchronous instruction, and ethical and professional practices for instructors and supervisees. We conclude with possible areas of research to evaluate the effectiveness of remote training and supervision.



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