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.


31st Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2005

Event Details

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Poster Session #344
#344 Poster Session - OBM
Monday, May 30, 2005
12:00 PM–1:30 PM
Southwest Exhibit Hall (Lower Level)
128. A Multifaceted Intervention Package for Improving Staff Performance in a Small Business Setting
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
JEREMY M. HOF (Jacksonville State University), Michael C. Clayton (Jacksonville State University)
Abstract: Organizational Behavior Management attempts to remediate organizational deficiencies by using behavior analytic tools to affect change in the antecedents and consequences of behavior and bring about organizational change. To this end, the present study used the Performance Diagnostic Checklist (PDC) to identify specific areas of need in a small, local business. After interviewing the management and employees it was determined that there were deficiencies with respect to completed tasks, as well as insufficient feedback provided to employees. We also incorporated a customer feedback system to collect additional data to aid our analysis. The data analysis suggested a multifaceted approach involving task lists, performance feedback, and an employee lottery to improve customer service, task completion, and employee morale. Results are discussed in terms of the improved accuracy of interventions utilizing the PDC and the value of a multifaceted intervention plan.
129. Identifying Effective Computer-Based Learning Strategies in Self-Directed Exploration of a Map Display
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
JENNIFER L. BREDTHAUER (Auburn University), Jean Dyer (U.S. Army Research Institute)
Abstract: Previous research compared the effectiveness of structured training and learner-driven exploration using prototype Army software (Dyer & Salter, 2001). In general, soldiers who received training performed better than those who explored the software. However, exploratory training took significantly less time, with some soldiers learning the necessary skills on their own. Soldiers manipulated a map interface consisting of seven functions: Zoom In, Zoom Out, Pan, Find Me, Find X, Display, and Range/Azimuth. Two were one-step, while the others were multi-step that had to be learned by trial and error. Find X and Display involved complex hierarchical menu structures. In the present study, no procedural instructions were provided. Instead, soldiers were encouraged to explore the map display on their own before proceeding to the final exam. No minimum time requirement emerged as a clear predictor of performance. In general, exam success was directly related to the thoroughness to which the soldier explored the map display and its functions. Simply clicking on each was not enough, the relatively more complex functions of Display and Find X required additional investigation of lower submenu levels. Computer experience and proficiency on symbol and code training also related to the effectiveness of exploratory learning.
130. The Behavioral Research Supervisory System: Preventing Procrastination in Undergraduate and Graduate Psychology Students
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
ANASTASIA M. OSREDKAR (Western Michigan University), Jennifer Skundrich (Western Michigan University), Christen Rae (Western Michigan University), Richard W. Malott (Western Michigan University)
Abstract: The Behavior Analysis Training System (BATS) is a system within the Psychology Department at Western Michigan University. The Behavioral Research Supervisory System (BRSS) is a subsystem of BATS that uses behavior analysis, organizational behavior management, and systems analysis techniques to eliminate procrastination and keep graduate and undergraduate psychology students on track through their educational careers, as well as enabling them to achieve an extensive and well rounded understanding of behavior analysis. Point contingencies are placed on tasks to ensure that students make timely progress on quality products. BRSS managers monitor graduate and undergraduate students on a weekly basis to verify completion of weekly preset tasks. This is accomplished via a weekly BRSS meeting that graduate and undergraduate students attend. The managers also distribute points accordingly, provide feedback, and accumulate data on task and hour completion. At the end of every semester the BRSS mangers compile the points and calculate a grade for each student based on the total points possible.
131. An Attempt to Vitalize in Vivo or Incidental Teaching in an MR/DD Residential Facility
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
JASON T. OTTO (Greene Valley Developmental Center), Eric J. Chubb (Fort Wayne State Developmental Center)
Abstract: Program authors write specific, skill-based training objectives and language-based communication objectives to support people with developmental disabilities and mental impairment. However, a maintenance system is often necessary once the skill-based and language-based objectives are met and discontinued. In order to maintain the contingencies initiated by those target programs, natural yet functional, on-going interactions between service providers and service recipients must continue once the objective is met. Effective performance management and staff training for incidental teaching are required. This poster describes the details of such an intervention for maintaining incidental teaching.
132. Process Improvement in a Clinic Setting: An Application of OBM
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
CHELSEY A. SUTTON (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Karin L. Rasmussen (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Valori N. Berends (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire), Gregory J. Madden (University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire)
Abstract: Research clearly indicates that the appropriate conveyance of expectations and goals is a necessary factor in the ability of an organization to perform at its highest level. The current sutdy analyzed the influence of standardized forms and feedback on the improvements in work output, speed, and accuracy in a medical clinic setting. The goal of the study was to increase the speed with which lab orders were processed relative to the time in which they were ordered. The use of standardized lab order forms as well as regular feedback on progress made was utilized to determine their effects on the accuracy and speed of lab request processing. The effects of the intervention were evaluated using a multiple-baseline design across departments.
133. Unobtrusive Observations of Job Performance in a Manufacturing Company: Union and Nonunion Comparisons
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
CARL MERLE JOHNSON (Central Michigan University), Monica Filipkowski (Central Michigan University)
Abstract: Unobtrusive time-sampling recordings of employee performance in both a union and a nonunion plant of one manufacturing organization were carried out. The company was in Chapter 11 Bankruptcy at the time. Behavior was measured as “on task” (i.e., working at machine on plant floor) or “off task” (i.e., standing away from machine or not working during a non-designated break time). Observations were made weekly at the same time. Interobserver reliability measures were 93% agreement. Halfway through the study the company announced the closing of a union plant in another state. Before the announcement employees from the union plant were on task 85.3% (SD = 6.44) and employees from the nonunion plant were on task 92% of the time (SD = 1.47). After the announcement employees from the union plant were on task 86.6% (SD = 3.29) and employees from the nonunion plant were on task 89.7% (SD = 4.11). Observations following the announcement demonstrated an increase of on task behaviors in the union plant; however, no substantial change in on task behavior for the nonunion plant. This implies that the announcement might have influenced the union employees who felt more of a threat towards the possibility of a plant closure.
134. The Effect of a Weighted Checklist and Weekly Feedback on University Housing Staff Performance
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
ERICK K. A. MARMOLEJO (University of the Pacific)
Abstract: The use of aversive control measures in the form of punishment and negative reinforcement are widely used in business and organizations. The purpose of the present study was to systematically evaluate an alternative. The effect of a package intervention consisting of a weighted checklist, weekly graphic feedback, and contingent social positive reinforcement in the form of praise was used with a university housing staff to increase duty performance. Five undergraduate Resident Assistants served as participants. A multiple baseline across staff members was used to evaluate the effect of the intervention. Results indicate that the intervention increased performance by an average of 45% and decreased variability in performance. These results suggest that interventions based on feedback and positive reinforcement are effective, cost efficient, and represent a practical alternative to aversive control measures.
135. Daily Data Collection: A Comparison of Two Data Sheets
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
WILLIAM A. FLOOD (May South, Inc.), Stephen T. North (May South, Inc.)
Abstract: This study evaluated the systematic changing of data sheets in group home environments with 6 homes for consumers with intensive behavioral needs. Originally, staff were required to complete daily data on a monthly data collection sheet. With this system, data was completed infrequently. Data collection was switched to daily data sheets and requiring staff to carry the sheets with them around the home. Preliminary data analysis reveals that the overall monthly frequency increased across all group homes.
136. The Effects of an Employee Retention Program on Therapist Turnover and Therapist Morale
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
CECILIA KNIGHT (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Rachel S. F. Tarbox (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.), Doreen Granpeesheh (Center for Autism and Related Disorders, Inc.)
Abstract: Maintaining a well trained staff is essential for any human service organization to be productive. Unfortunately, therapist turnover and poor therapist morale can interrupt this process. Behavior analytic research demonstrates that procedures that include feedback, training, and incentives can impact employee behavior. Therefore, an employee retention program was developed in an attempt to decrease staff turnover and to improve employee perceptions about their jobs. This retention program includes staff training, public posting, and token rewards that are typically preferred by employees. The purpose of this study is to measure the effects of this employee retention program on therapist turnover and morale across several clinical sites.
137. Getting a Little Worm Out of an Eagle is No Easy Task! Increasing Frequency of Direct Program Observation and Feedback by Executive Level Staff in an Agency Serving Individuals with Autism
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
EILEEN HOPKINS (Eden II Programs), Carnella McDonald (Eden II Programs), Joanne Gerenser (Eden II Programs), Randy I. Horowitz (Eden II Programs)
Abstract: While the task of direct program observation and provision of feedback to program managers/staff is critically important to the delivery of quality services to individuals with autism, the realities of competing responsibilities can make it difficult for upper-level staff to carry out these tasks as frequently as they feel would be appropriate. The current study examined baseline levels of program observations by executive level staff in an agency serving individuals with autism across several sites and programs (including educational, residential, after-school, and adult day program sites). An intervention consisting of setting individual and group target frequency of observations and written follow up reports was then implemented, with peer feedback as the only consequence for meeting or failing to meet defined objectives. A response cost was then applied, with interesting results initially and after return to baseline. Study results demonstrate a creative way to encourage and support lead agency staff to share their knowledge and expertise through direct program observation.
138. An Evaluation of Training Outcomes: A Look at Two Methods of Staff Training
Area: OBM; Domain: Applied Research
JASON T. CAVIN (The Learning Tree), Carrie Smiley (The Learning Tree), Carrie Kirk (The Learning Tree), Jerre R. Brimer (The Learning Tree)
Abstract: The purpose of this poster is to illustrate the efficacy of two new-hire orientation training programs and their correlation to the rates of staff turnover. Both training programs were offered to individuals seeking employment at The Learning Tree, a private educational and residential program. Program efficacy was measured through the utilization of data collection systems to track changes in client data across all settings. A time line of intervention changes will be presented along with discussion of what led to each change. Data graphs will be presented on various maladaptive behaviors as well as rates of client reinforcement.
139. Program Evaluation: Measuring Quality of Care in an Inpatient Brain Injury Rehabilitation Program
Area: OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
BRIDGET A. SHORE (Florida Institute of Neurologic Rehabilitation), Tara L. Batchelor (Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation), Claudia L. Dozier (Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation), Daniel D. Knittel (Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation), Shannon L. Root (Florida Institute for Neurologic Rehabilitation)
Abstract: In the health care industry, information and outcomes management has become an increasingly important aspect of organizational performance for accreditation organizations such as CARF and JCAHO. This shift in emphasis from process to outcome has resulted in many health care organizations adopting objective behavioral measures as indicators of quality health care. The purpose of this poster is to describe the use of measurable data across a wide variety of service areas to monitor, assess, develop and implement interventions to improve the quality of care provided in a brain injury rehabilitation program. Each department identified areas of concern in their service delivery and subsequently developed objective measurable indicators to track changes in quality of service delivery following interventions recommended by the interdisciplinary quality of care committee. Example measures included proportion of client falls due to transfers (PT), percentage of observed appropriate modified diets (SLP), and percentage of clients engaged in appropriate on-task behavior (Behavior), and percentage staff turnover rate (HR). Quarterly review of the indicator trends showed most departments meeting their goals and improving service delivery. The results suggest that applied behavior analysts have much to offer in developing a technology for quality organizational management.



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