Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis InternationalĀ® (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.

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34th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2008

Workshop Details


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Workshop #W51
CE Offered: BACB
"Why Should I?" Implementing Individualized Motivational Systems with Challenging Learners.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
8:00 AM–11:00 AM
Williford B
Area: CBM; Domain: Applied Research
CE Instructor: Daniel E. Hursh, Ph.D.
KARRIE GRAMA (Tucci Learning Solutions, Inc.), AARON WOOD (Tucci Learning Solutions, Inc.), DANIEL E. HURSH (West Virginia University)
Description: The purpose of this workshop is to equip participants to effectively coach staff/clients on how to develop, implement and monitor effective motivational systems. Workshop participants will become proficient with using and coaching others to use various motivational systems, including a token economy, to develop and maintain learner participation across home, school, and community environments. Participants will receive instruction on assessing learners to identify potential reinforcers, conditioning potential reinforcers to have value, and determining which type of motivational system might be most compatible with a particular learner. Participants will learn to incorporate various schedules of reinforcement that are commonly used in conjunction with motivational systems to establish, strengthen, and maintain desired behavior. Step-by-step strategies for utilizing motivational systems will be discussed in detail, with a focus on functional, feasible application across settings. Each participant will be coached on how best to develop and assist others to develop these systems. They will be provided with materials to create a token economy system that can later be utilized with their own learners or clients, and will engage in practice sessions where they will be coached on effective use of the system they have created.
Learning Objectives: Upon completing the workshop participants will be able to: 1. Identify (potential) reinforcers and/or condition neutral stimuli to have value for specific learners. 2. Identify an appropriate motivational system i.e., token economy, points system, etc. 3. Develop the motivational system. 4. Effectively implement and coach others to implement the system using the appropriate schedule(s) of reinforcement for establishing, strengthening and/or weakening selected behavior. 5. Determine when and how to alter the motivational system to ensure for continued learner success.
Activities: Participants will practice creating a motivational system/token economy that is useful for both a) implementation with their learners and b) teaching staff or clients how to effectively apply the system to increase successful participation among students. The presenters will illustrate (via video examples) experiences in coaching public education staff and parents in delivery of motivational systems/token economies used to maintain and increase participation across instructional conditions. The presenters will also provide coaching for overcoming some of the obstacles and common mistakes involved in implementing a motivational system. Participants will work in small groups to actively practice utilizing a variety of motivational systems presented by the instructors.
Audience: Classroom Teachers, Instructors, Direct Service Providers, Parents, Paraprofessionals, Trainers, BCABAs, BCBAs
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Basic

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