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

Workshop Details

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Workshop #W5
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Beyond Successive Approximations: Useful Shaping Strategies and Tactics to Improve Your Teaching
Friday, May 23, 2014
8:00 AM–3:00 PM
W176b (McCormick Place Convention Center)
Area: AUT/TBA; Domain: Service Delivery
CE Instructor: Jesus Rosales-Ruiz, Ph.D.
JESUS ROSALES-RUIZ (University of North Texas), MARY ELIZABETH HUNTER (Pappy's Pet Lodge), KATHLEEN DIGNAN (University of North Texas), ERICA FOSS (University of North Texas)
Description: Shaping is a powerful tool for teaching new complex behaviors and producing engaged and confident students, but poor shaping can easily lead to learning plateaus and frustrated learners and teachers. Shaping is often described as an art and as a difficult skill to learn; however, shaping is an orderly and predictable process with rules. This workshop will teach several tactics and strategies for successful shaping and show different ways to engineer behavior (e.g., shaping, micro-shaping, and adduction). Participants will leave with a newly developed understanding of how to look at the shaping process beyond the general concept of successive approximations. Students will learn the rules regarding the mechanics of shaping, the requirements of a conditioned reinforcer, what to reinforce, how to reinforce, how to shape movements and actions, how to arrange the environment to facilitate shaping, how to use resurgence to accelerate shaping, and how to shape the stimulus control based on characteristics of the stimuli (e.g., touching red objects) or characteristics of the response (e.g., stacking objects).
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this workshop, the participant will be able to (1) deliver cues, conditioned reinforcers, and primary reinforcers efficiently; (2) deliver reinforcers in a way that facilitates shaping; (3) isolate movements through environmental arrangements; (4) establish stimulus control of behavior; (5) evaluate students' behavior to decide where to begin shaping; and (6) teach complex behaviors and concepts from simple behaviors.
Activities: The workshop will use video examples to illustrate key concepts about shaping. Participants will implement these concepts in interactive games designed to practice and master the strategies and tactics discussed. During the games participants will play the roles of both teacher and student. Group discussions will be used to summarize and reflect on the experience gained by playing the games as teacher and student.
Audience: This workshop is designed for BACB certificants and licensed psychologists, as well as anyone interested in the processes of shaping and learning or anyone interested in improving their teaching techniques. The concepts of the workshop can be applied to any population in any learning setting.
Content Area: Practice
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): learning, shaping, teaching, therapy



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