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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36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

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Symposium #192
CE Offered: BACB
Learning Efficiency Research and Practice: Better Client Outcomes with Reduced Time and Costs
Sunday, May 30, 2010
10:30 AM–11:50 AM
Republic B (Grand Hyatt)
Area: OBM/AUT; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Guy S. Bruce (Florida Institute of Technology)
Discussant: Henry S. Pennypacker (University of Florida)
CE Instructor: Daniel Moran, Ph.D.
Abstract: Learning efficiency is a measure of the amount of performance improvement per amount of learner interaction time with a teacher or learning activities. The identification of variables that affect learning efficiency can lead to procedures for improving it, and higher learning efficiencies translate into reduced time and costs for learners to acquire competent performance. After an introducing the concept of learning efficiency, how to measure it and the benefits of collecting measures, we will present data from research that evaluated the effect of number of practice opportunities per minute on the efficiency with which adults with no learning difficulties acquired desired performance. Preliminary data suggest that higher rates of practice opportunities produce higher learning efficiencies, with additional data to be collected. Our final paper will present the results of a project to improve the data-based decision making process at a school for children with Autism, where measures of client learning efficiency and teacher performance were used to decide when to make program changes, in order to improve client learning efficiency.
 
Why Should We Measure Learning Efficiency?
GUY S. BRUCE (Florida Institute of Technology), Janelle Allison (Florida Institute of Technology), Mai-Linh Pham (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Learning efficiency is a measure of the amount of performance improvement per amount of learner interaction time with a teacher or learning activities. This paper will define learning efficiency, describe procedures for measuring and evaluating it, review the research on the efficiency of different teaching procedures and features of learning programs, provide some examples of how learning efficiency measures have been used to improve learning efficiency, and discuss the benefits of improved learning efficiency for individual clients and organizations whose mission is to help clients acquire the language, social, self-help, and self-management skills they need to live successful lives. Research on learning efficiency will allow us to develop more efficient teaching procedures and learning programs for any type of learner, including children with Autism, adults with other types of learning difficulties, teachers, parents, employees, regular educations students, and even graduate students. Organizations responsible for education or training can collect measures of learning efficiency and use them to decide when to make program changes to improve learning efficiency, in order achieve their missions of producing competent performance with an acceptable return on investment.
 
The Effect of Practice Opportunities per Minute on Learning Efficiency
GUY S. BRUCE (Florida Institute of Technology), Jordan P. Boudreau (Florida Institute of Technology), YiHui Gong (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Learning efficiency is a measure of the amount of improvement in performance per cumulative number of minutes of learner interaction time with teacher or learning program. Information about the relationship between variables such as the number of practice opportunities per minute and how efficiency learners acquire desired performance could be used to develop more efficiency teaching procedures and learning activities. This paper reports the results of an experiment in which we investigated the effect of different rates of practice opportunities on the efficiency with which participants acquired a type of verbal performance, saying the English Equivalent word when written Chinese words were presented. The design was within-subject alternating treatment in which we controlled for other variables such as number of practice opportunities, type of prompting and reinforcement procedure, and feedback frequency. Preliminary data show that conditions with 20 practice opportunities per minute produced higher learning efficiencies than conditions with 5 practice opportunities per minute
 
Engineering a Data-Based Program Change Process to Improve Client Learning Efficiency at a School for Children With Autism
JORDAN P. BOUDREAU (Florida Institute of Technology), Nicole Becker (Florida Institute of Technology), Daniel C. DeRosa (Florida Institute of Technology), Lindsey Knopf (Florida Institute of Technology), Samuel Leiws Yoffe (Florida Institute of Technology), Megan A. Boyle (Florida Institute of Technology), Guy S. Bruce (Florida Institute of Technology)
Abstract: Human service organizations, such as the Scott Center for Children with Autism, serve clients who are seeking to acquire the language and social skills necessary for successful transition to a less restrictive environment. Because the number of service delivery hours that such organizations can provide is limited by both funding and a small time window for the delivery of effective interventions, services must be both effective in helping children acquire the skills they need and efficient. Learning efficiency is a measure that combines the effectiveness and efficiency with which an organization helps its clients acquire the language and social skills they need for successful lives. This paper will report on a project to collect measures of client learning efficiency and teacher performance and implement an efficient data-based program change process to improve client learning efficiencies. We will compare the number of days required to make program changes when data indicate that changes are needed before and after implementation of the new decision-making process, and the efficiency of the old and new process with respect to client acquisition of desired language and social skills.
 

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