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.

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47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #360
CE Offered: BACB
Comparing Methods to Maximize Teaching: Equivalence Based Instruction, Progressive and Conventional Discrete Trial Teaching
Monday, May 31, 2021
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
Online
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College)
Discussant: Mary Jane Weiss (Endicott College)
CE Instructor: Justin B. Leaf, Ph.D.
Abstract: Discrete trial teaching (DTT) is a commonly used approach to teach a variety of skills for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Two studies will be presented within this symposium that involve comparisons of different approaches to DTT. The first study compared equivalence based instruction (EBI) to DTT using an adapted alternating treatments design with typically developing adult participants and children diagnosed with ASD. The second study utilized a group design to compare the effectiveness of conventional and progressive approaches to DTT when teaching tact relations (sometimes referred to as expressive labels) to children diagnosed with ASD. Both studies will be discussed with respect to their strengths, limitations, and potential future directions by the discussant.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): DTT, equivalence, tact
Target Audience: Any certified or non-certified behavior analysts providing or overseeing interventions for individuals diagnosed with ASD.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the workshop, the participants will be able to: (1) identify some conditions under which equivalence-based instruction or discrete trial teaching may be more or less preferred; (2) identify how advances in discrete trial teaching methodology and can be used to enhance instruction; (3) describe methods that can enhance the effectiveness of discrete trial teaching methods.
 

Toward Efficiency and Effectiveness: Comparing Equivalence-Based Instruction to Discrete Trial Teaching

JULIA FERGUSON (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Joseph H. Cihon (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Christine Milne (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
Abstract:

Research has continually found equivalence-based instruction (EBI) to be effective and efficient, with recent research extending these findings to individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). EBI has also been compared to more traditional approaches to teaching, such as traditional lectures, reading assignments, and video lectures. However, the authors are unaware of any comparisons of EBI to other similar, behavior analytic approaches such as discrete trial teaching (DTT). The purpose of this study was to compare EBI to DTT using an adapted alternating treatments design with typically developing adults, typically developing children, and children diagnosed with ASD. The two teaching approaches were evaluated with respect to mastery of trained relations, emergence of untrained relations, and participant preferences. The results will be discussed with respect to their implications for practice and research.

 

Comparing Conventional and Progressive Approaches of Discrete Trial Teaching When Teaching Tact Relations to Children Diagnosed With Autism Spectrum Disorder

Christine Milne (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Julia Ferguson (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), JOSEPH H. CIHON (Autism Partnership Foundation; Endicott College), Ronald Leaf (Autism Partnership), John James McEachin (Autism Partnership)
Abstract:

There are a variety of recommendations or guidelines for interventionists when implementing discrete trial teaching (DTT) for individuals diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). These guidelines typically involve a protocol being the main source of control for the interventionist’s behavior that outlines what instruction to give, reinforcer to use, and when to use and fade prompting strategies. However, recent research has demonstrated strategies in which the main sources of control for the interventionist are relevant to the learner’s behavior and involves in-the-moment assessment, or clinical judgement, when making decisions to modify variables within intervention. The purpose of this study was to compare the effectiveness of conventional and progressive approaches to DTT when teaching tact relations (sometimes referred to as expressive labels) to children diagnosed with ASD. The effectiveness and efficiency of each approach was evaluated across several dependent variables. The results of a randomized clinical trial will be discussed with respect to implications for clinical practice and future research.

 

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