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.


35th Annual Convention; Phoenix, AZ; 2009

Event Details

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Symposium #153
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Distance Learning for Parents and Personnel: Instructional Design, Evaluation and Future Directions for Research
Sunday, May 24, 2009
9:00 AM–10:20 AM
North 124 B
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Leslie A. Morrison (UMass Medical School- Shriver Center)
CE Instructor: Mark L. Sundberg, Ph.D.
Abstract: Four papers are presented on the application of online learning to educate parents, paraprofessionals and professionals in behavioral intervention applied to autism and to diverse topics if interest to early intervention professionals. The focus of the first three presentations is to: 1) describe instructional design methods used to meet the specific needs of each of the target audiences; 2) illustrate selected course features, including text presentation, Flash programming, and applications of three types of video – brief parent-documentaries, demonstrations of behavioral procedures and automated interactive exercises; 3) present formative evaluation information, including how it was applied to course development; and 4) present summative field evaluation data. The fourth paper summarizes the instructional methodology presented in the first three papers in the context of future development strategies. Opportunities to build upon the methods by employing multi-media technology as a means of moving from primarily educational to increasingly training-oriented course objectives will be examined.
Educating Parents of Children with ASD in Behavioral Intervention: An Online Program
ELISE A. STOKES (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Richard K. Fleming (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Elaine Gabovitch (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Melissa C. T. Maslin (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Medical School - Shriv), Maura Buckley (Praxis, Inc.), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Paul Roselli (Corporate Film & Video Productions, LLC)
Abstract: When a child receives an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) diagnosis, the parents are faced with a whirlwind of anecdotal accounts from other parents, promises of a ‘cure,’ and dramatic stories told by the media. To address the need for accurate information for parents of children newly diagnosed with ASD, the authors have created an online course in Behavioral Intervention (BI) that is especially geared to parents. The course teaches BI by presenting each topic in three layers: 1) basic information written in a parent-friendly style; 2) more in-depth and technical information, replete with examples and interactive exercises; and 3) links to supporting literature and Internet resources. Interwoven with this instructional content, throughout the course, are short parent-interview video clips that document the experiences and stories of 5 families as they adopted and used BI. This paper describes and illustrates the course by presenting its instructional methodology, BI topics covered, parent and professional focus group data, video footage of parents and an interactive video exercise.
Behavioral Intervention Skills for Entry-Level Paraprofessionals
LESLIE A. MORRISON (UMass Medical School- Shriver Center), Richard K. Fleming (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Richard W. Serna (University of Massachusetts Medical School - Shriver Center)
Abstract: Behavioral Intervention in Autism-Practitioner Skills is an Internet-based distance learning program designed to introduce entry-level paraprofessionals and teacher aides, as well as parents and family members, to core behavioral intervention (BI) procedures in the treatment of young children with ASD. In an “instructorless” format, learners are guided through a series of sequential lessons that include reading online text (“lectures”) and viewing video footage that depicts providers, including parents and children with ASD, demonstrating critical BI procedures in both home- and school-based settings. In addition, self-assessments and practice exercises are utilized as a way for learners to assess knowledge acquired within the modules. The first phase in the development of this multi-module course consists of three modules: (1) Positive Reinforcement: Selection and Use of Reinforcement; (2) Relationship Building: Pairing and Teaching Cooperation; and (3) Prompting and Prompt Fading. Data from a field evaluation will be presented. A second phase of course development has been proposed, which would include up to 10 additional modules on BI procedures.
Educating Early Intervention Professionals in Current Topics through Distance Learning
RICHARD K. FLEMING (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Leslie A. Morrison (UMass Medical School- Shriver Center), Cindy K. Fleming (Praxis, Inc.), Cheryl Gray (Praxis, Inc.), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School)
Abstract: Early intervention professionals work in a highly multi-disciplinary environment. As such they stand to benefit from opportunities to supplement their expertise, by taking online courses on topics such as infant and toddler development, transition planning, team collaboration, assistive technology, naturalistic teaching methods and more. This paper presents formative evaluation methods and results, the development of audience-relevant learning objectives, the selection and implementation of instructional design features and summative evaluation procedures and data. Examples of design features, and summative evaluation data, are provided for several distinctively different courses. Our current use and continued development of an instructional design protocol is also presented.
Summary and Future Directions for Online Course Development
RICHARD W. SERNA (University of Massachusetts Medical School - Shriver Center), Richard K. Fleming (Shriver/UMass Medical School), Charles Hamad (UMASS Medical School)
Abstract: This paper will focus on future development strategies and methods that could move distance learning from primarily educational online courses to full training experiences. The previous three papers in this symposium described instructional methods designed to educate and, via some simulation, to train parents and personnel online. Advances in multi-media technology available to both developers and users present opportunities to greatly enhance those methods. Interactive video, live video for observation and feedback, and Flash-based learning environments are among the options that will be discussed for moving in this direction.



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