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.


40th Annual Convention; Chicago, IL; 2014

Event Details

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Poster Session #295
Sunday, May 25, 2014
7:00 PM–9:00 PM
W375a-d (McCormick Place Convention Center)
63. The Use of Invertebrates and Other Animals to Demonstrate Principles of Learning
Area: TBA; Domain: Theory
CHRISTOPHER DINGES (Oklahoma State University), Charles I. Abramson (Oklahoma State University)
Abstract: Since the mid-1990s, the Laboratory of Comparative Psychology and Behavioral Biology at Oklahoma State University has developed a number of exercises appropriate for classroom use to demonstrate principles of learning and other forms of behavior. These activities have primarily focused on the use of invertebrates such as planarians, houseflies, earthworms, and honey bees. We have also developed exercises using fish based on an inexpensive apparatus called the “Fish Stick.” Other exercises to be discussed are “Salivary Conditioning in Humans;” “Project Petscope” which turns local pet stores into animal behavior research centers; “Prey Preferences in Snakes”; and “Correspondence in the Classroom” which helps students write letters to scientists in the field of learning research. These various teaching activities are summarized, and the advantages and limitations are discussed.
64. Challenging Behavior Service: Analyzing Training Needs and Priorities for School District Challending Behavior Consultants
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
JAYME B. MEWS (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Brenda J. Bassingthwaite (The University of Iowa Children's Hospital), Sean D. Casey (The Iowa Department of Education)
Abstract: Iowa is divided into nine Area Education Agencies (AEAs) who are responsible for delivering a variety of educational services to school districts, including behavior support. In 2009, the Iowa Department of Education (DE) supported an initiative for each AEA to develop a challenging behavior team to assess behavior and provide support in the students educational setting. The DE contracted with behavior analysts from the University of Iowa Childrens Hospital to provide training and consultation in behavior assessment.. In 2013, the DE expanded its initiative to provide training to newly developed challenging behavior teams in 3 Iowa school districts. Twelve trainees participated. An assessment of each participants prior experience and priority for training with behavior assessment skills related descriptive assessments, experimental analyses, antecedent strategies, and function-based strategies was conducted. Consultation and training was customized to fit the needs of each behavior team. The results indicated trainees had more experience with descriptive assessment and antecedent-based strategies than other assessments and strategies. Trainees will be assessed again at the end of the first year. This poster will highlight the training needs and priority for training of the local school district teams and their progress after one year.
65. Evaluation of an Online Challenging Behaviour Course for School Staff and Parents.
Area: TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
KIRSTEN M. WIRTH (St. Amant Research Centre, University of Manitoba), Kendra Thomson (York University), Joseph J. Pear (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: We evaluated the efficacy of an online challenging behaviour course offered to school staff and parents through the St.Amant Autism Programs in 2012 and 2013. Our program has been charged with providing more resources to families and staff of children with autism in Manitoba, as effectively and efficiently as possible. One way to offer more resources by using little support is through online modes of learning. The Computer-Aided Personalized System of Instruction (CAPSI) is an evidence-based teaching strategy that has been developed and used at the University of Manitoba since the 1980s (Pear & Kinsner, 1988), has evolved into a web-based program, and is now being used at various universities internationally. It has also been used for staff training in a number of research and pilot projects for ABA as well as other businesses. It seemed a logical jump as a cost-effective way to offer information to the public. Challenging behaviour has been the most requested topic we have received to provide workshops on, so it was chosen as a topic for our pilot use of an online course. In 2012 we had 20 school staff and 20 parents register for the course, and 30% of school staff and 10% of parents completed the course, respectively. Given that the majority of participants who withdrew or stopped participating had not contacted the course by writing at least 1 unit, in 2013 we implemented a deadline for completing at least 1 unit test in order to increase those who participate and complete the course, or they would be removed from the course. 60% of school staff and 15% of parents completed the course, respectively. School staff were eligible to earn credit hours towards a certificate provided by the province's Education department in both 2012 and 2013. Social validity data was obtained by participants both years, and those who responded indicated they felt the information was valuable in their daily lives and they enjoyed the online teaching method. Implications for future course offerings will be discussed.
66. Exploring Perceptions of Doctor of Education Students, Candidates, and Alumni Relative to the Constructs of the Self-Determination Theory: A Case Study Analysis
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
JUANESE JONES (University of West Florida)
Abstract: Over 50% of doctoral students do not complete the doctoral program ((Bair & Haworth, 1999). The quantitative case study was utilized to determine if perceptions of self and related university employees change as the participant’s progress through the program. The various doctoral groups included Ed. D. students, candidates, and alumni. The groups’ perceptions were recorded and analyzed to determine if there was a difference in the groups’ average perceptions of self-determination, learning environment, and instructor influence when attendance of professional organization meetings. The theoretical framework was supported by Deci and Ryan’s Self-Determination Theory (1985). The data were provided by Ed. D. students, candidates, and alumni who completed a combined instrument online. The combined instrument included the Self-Determination Survey, the Learning Climate Survey, and the Professional Organization Involvement Survey (LCQ; Sheldon & Deci, 1996; Williams & Deci, 1996). The Self-Determination Survey and Learning Climate Survey were provided by the Self-Determination Group. As evidenced by data analysis, there was no difference among Ed. D. students’, candidates, and alumni perceptions of self-determination, perceptions of learning environment, and perceptions of instructor influence when in attendance of professional organization meetings. The reason for the low graduation rate of doctoral students remains undiscovered. Though there was not a significant difference among the groups, there was a trend in the data showing a decrease in positive perceptions among the students, candidates, and alumni.
67. The Effects of TPRA Observations and Feedback on the Emission of Errorless Instruction by Three Teaching Assistants in a Behavior Analytic Preschool
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
SUSAN BUTTIGIEG (Teachers College, Columbia University), Michelle Cole-Hatchard (Fred S. Keller School)
Abstract: We tested the effects of TPRA (Teacher Performance Rate/Accuracy) observations on the emission of errorless instruction with three teaching assistants in a behavior analytic classroom. The dependent variable was the number or errorless TPRA observations across predetermined programs, and the independent variable was the vocal and written feedback of the classroom teacher and supervisor, as well as teacher modeling. The design of the study was a nonconcurrent multiple probe design across participants. The data revealed that the most common error emitted by the participants was in the correction procedure. Results indicated that after the participants received feedback and were shown how to give a student an intact correction, the number of errorless TPRAs increased significantly as a function of feedback and TPRAs.
68. An Operant Learning Story: Teaching Basic Principles of Behavior Analysis
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
LUCAS COUTO DE CARVALHO (Oslo and Akershus University College), Márcio Borges Moreira (Instituto Walden4)
Abstract: The Skinners idea of n=1 was a revolutionary one: it guided the experimental methodology used by behavior analysts. Environmental variables control over behavior might normally be seen as a change in the response rate or in the responding patterns of the same subject. Basing on this, the present work used a single subject design, where data compounded a course that was designed to teaching basic principles of behavior analysis. A female Wistar rat, aged 4 months at the beginning, called Maricota, served as subject. Maricota was exposed to several procedures where each procedure represented one phase of her story. The course tells the Maricotas story, since her first contact with the experimental chamber, while students can follow these learning procedures and their respectively effects on Maricotas behavior. Students have access to quizzes, graphs, and videos regarding detailed features of the course. The students performance is based on his or her own pace, similar to that formulated by Kellers personalized system of instruction (PSI). It seems that this course provides an example of how methodology found in Skinners n=1 and Kellers PSI could generate alternative ways to teaching basic principles of behavior analysis with the support of technology.
69. An Evaluation of a Baseline Assessment When Teaching Individuals to Conduct Discrete-Trial Teaching
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
ALISON COX (University of Manitoba), Jade Wightman (University of Manitoba), Joseph J. Pear (University of Manitoba)
Abstract: Training staff to administer discrete-trial teaching can be time consuming and expensive, thus researchers continue to examine strategies to improve efficiency without compromising quality. The standard single-subject research design for examining a method for teaching a procedural skill such as discrete trials training (DTT) follows these steps: (a) test the procedure (baseline), (b) apply the method, (c) re-test the procedure. The success of the teaching method is assessed by noting the difference between performance during baseline (step a) and the second test of the procedure (step c). Previous research on Fazzio and Martins (2010) manual for teaching DTT suggests testing may improve teaching accuracy independently of the teaching method (Arnal et al., 2007; Fazzio et al., 2009; Salem et al., 2009; Wightman et al., 2012). However, unintentional learning during baseline may overestimate intervention effects. The current study examines this possibility by comparing the relative effects of repeated exposure to baseline across two different baseline strategies. Preliminary results suggest that the traditional baseline condition results in unintentional learning while the modified baseline condition does not.
70. Fidelity of Supervision of Field Experience (Group and Individual)
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
MARY ANNETTE LITTLE (Lipscomb University), Sally M. Barton-Arwood (Belmont University), Amber Music (May Center for Autism Spectrum Disorders)
Abstract: Producing new behavior analysts who can provide quality, ethical services is critical in maintaining the credibility of the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. One way to ensure the production of high quality behavior analysts is to ensure that student candidates in the field receive high quality supervision of field experience. Supervision of candidates in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis varies greatly across programs and individual supervisors. The Behavior Analysis Certification Board (BACB) is attempting to address this variation by requiring supervisors to complete a BACB Supervisor Training Curriculum. The BACB Supervisor Training Curriculum promotes effective, evidence-based supervision (2012 Behavior Analyst Certification Board,® Inc.). The purpose of this presentation is to offer suggestions for evaluating fidelity of implementation in the supervision of candidates in the field of Applied Behavior Analysis. Feasible methods for measuring fidelity of both group and individual supervision will be provided. Preliminary data on the evaluation of group and individual supervision fidelity will be provided.
71. Using BST for BCBA Supervision
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
AMBER MUSIC (Lipscomb University), Mary Annette Little (Lipscomb University), Lynnette White (Nashville Public Schools)
Abstract: As the field continues to grow, the BACB provides guidance for teachers and supervisors of candidates seeking certification. It is essential those seeking supervision be provided with quality instruction and guidance in the acquisition and performance of behavior analytic skills. The BACB suggests the use of behavioral skills training (BST) as an effective method for teaching essential skills, such as those defined on the Fourth Edition Task List. Lipscomb University and community BACB-approved supervisors are actively developing teaching programs and curriculum materials for Task List items using BST to effectively provide instruction and supervision to those seeking certification. Preliminary data will be collected regarding the acquisition, comprehension, retention, and performance of skills taught using this new supervisory curriculum. In addition, fidelity of teaching implementation using these methods and social validity data from students will be collected. Future studies include the use of this curriculum in graduate-level BACB approved programs, comparison with traditional teaching and supervision methods, and effect of this supervisory curriculum on pass rates of students taking the BACB Exam. The presenters will provide an overview of the supervision curriculum and preliminary data on its effectiveness.
72. Different Subfields, Different Language: Comparisons Between JEAB and JABA
Area: TBA; Domain: Theory
JAMES W. DILLER (Eastern Connecticut State University), Kristalyn Salters-Pedneault (Eastern Connecticut State University)
Abstract: Scholarly journals are a primary method of transmission of professional knowledge. Even within the same field, linguistic conventions may vary as a function of the audience that journals serve. To evaluate differences between the language used in subfields of behavior analysis (specifically, basic and applied research), the first three paragraphs of 203 randomly selected research articles were collected from the Journal of the Experimental Analysis of Behavior (JEAB; N = 87) and the Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis (JABA; N = 116). These samples were compared using textual analysis software called Coh-Metrix. Coh-Metrix provides quantitative indices of various aspects of the text, including structural dimensions (e.g., paragraph and word length) and functional dimensions (e.g., how easy it is to understand, how concrete the words are). Independent-samples t-tests were used to compare the samples along a variety of dimensions. Although the two journals were similar in most of the factors evaluated (i.e., p > .05), differences were found in measures of concreteness, imagability, and meaningfulness of the text, with JABA scoring higher for each index. Implications of the differences in these primary texts of behavior analysis are discussed, with emphasis on students and practitioners.
73. Using Fluency Components in Training Staff Discrete Trial Instruction Procedures
Area: TBA; Domain: Applied Research
ALISON SZARKO (University of Nevada-Reno), Melissa Nosik (University of Nevada, Reno), Molli Luke (University of Nevada, Reno), Melany Denny (High Sierra Industries), W. Larry Williams (University of Nevada, Reno)
Abstract: When training staff to implement behavioral technologies the current common practice is using a combination of instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback. Although this approach has been found to be successful across a plethora of situations with a wide variety of learners, the approach focuses on accuracy (topography of the learner's responses) verses fluency (Topography of responses over time). There are components of staff training that still need to be explored and empirically tested. The current study aimed to examine the relationship of fluency and accuracy on acquiring a Discrete Trial Teaching chain for support staff. Data will be presented on the various conditions designed to examine the role of fluency based approaches versus accuracy based approaches. The limitations of the current investigation and a future extension will also be presented.
Keyword(s): poster session



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