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.


42nd Annual Convention; Downtown Chicago, IL; 2016

Event Details

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Symposium #202
CE Offered: BACB
Examples of Computer-Based Training to Teach a Variety of Behavior Analytic Skills
Monday, May 30, 2016
9:00 AM–9:50 AM
St. Gallen, Swissotel
Area: OBM/TBA; Domain: Translational
Chair: Rocio Rosales (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
CE Instructor: Rocio Rosales, Ph.D.

All agencies that that serve populations with special needs must train direct care staff on an ongoing basis. Training that is provided directly by a behavioral consultant may often be limited due to time constraints. For this reason, it is worthwhile to explore the effectiveness of computer-based training programs. Computer-based training may enhance the generality of target skills since it is possible to include multiple exemplars in a single video or module; it also provides a standardized method of training multiple staff, which can help increase procedural integrity; and the training results in a permanent product that can be revisited as necessary to train new staff or as ‘booster’ training for seasoned staff. This symposium will highlight research from three labs that have incorporated a form of computer-based training to teach the following skills: 1) identification of safe eating practices for individuals with disabilities; 2) implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS); and 3) visual analysis of single-case AB design graphs. Presenters will discuss limitations of the work conducted to date and propose areas for future research.

Keyword(s): computer-based training, staff training, video modeling

The Impact of Online Scenario-Based Training on Direct Support Professionals' Implementation of Safe Eating and Drinking Practices With Individuals With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

EMALEY BLADH MCCULLOCH (Relias Learning), Amin Lotfizadeh (Easter Seals Southern California), Gia Biscontini (Easter Seals Southern California)

An estimated eight percent of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have a diagnosed difficulty swallowing food or liquids (dysphagia) (Chadwick 2009). These problems raise the risk of choking and can lead to serious health problems if correct protocols around eating and drinking are not followed. It is imperative to put in place interventions that prevent choking and aspiration incidents by training Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) about meal modifications and identifying dangerous situations at mealtime. In this study we used a pretest-posttest experimental design to investigate whether a scenario-based online training combined with a fifteen-minute client protocol review statistically increased DSPs knowledge of meal modifications and their ability to identify dangerous situations in scenarios and pictures. The control group received a protocol review only. Participants were randomly assigned to the experimental and control group. After the intervention, a generalization session will be conducted to determine whether the DSPs can generalize the knowledge to their clients meal protocols. Our hypothesis is that online training combined with a client protocol review will statistically improve staffs ability to 1) follow eating and drinking protocols within presented scenarios 2) identify dangerous situations during presented scenarios 3) generalize these skills to the clients they serve and maintain over time compared to DSPs that receive a protocol review only.

Video Modeling to Teach Implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System
NICOLE MARTOCCHIO (University of Massachusetts Lowell), Rocio Rosales (University of Massachusetts Lowell)
Abstract: Video modeling is a training method with empirical support for teaching trainees to implement a variety of behavior analytic procedures, however currently there is no published research examining the use of video modeling to teach implementation of the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). The purpose of the present study was to use video modeling to teach implementation of Phases 1-4 of PECS to university students who expressed interest in working with populations for which PECS would be appropriate. Three undergraduate students viewed video modules comprised of visual examples, voiceover explanation, and text describing each step in the protocol for each phase, then implemented each phase with a confederate learner. A multiple probe across participants design was used. Results showed that all participants achieved mastery-level performance in each phase following video modeling, however one participant required feedback from the experimenter to attain mastery in Phase 1. Follow-up probes conducted 2-3 weeks following completion of training indicate that performance may not remain at mastery-level over time following video modeling alone, further suggesting a feedback component might be necessary. Future work should conduct generalization probes with actual learners with disabilities, and explore the use of computer-based training programs that incorporate a feedback component.
Evaluation of Computer-Based Training to Teach Individuals Visual Analysis Skills of Baseline-Treatment Graphs
ALEXANDRA ANISKO (Caldwell University), Sharon A. Reeve (Caldwell University), Kenneth F. Reeve (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell University), Candee Lake (Wedgwood’s Autism Center for Child Development)
Abstract: The primary method of data analysis in applied behavior analysis is visual analysis. However, few investigations to date have taught the skills necessary for accurate visual analysis. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate computer-based training on the visual analysis skills of individuals with no prior experience. Visual analysis was taught with interactive computer-based training that included written instructions and opportunities for practice with feedback. Generalization of participant skills to graph paper and actual data graphs was programmed for and assessed during the study. A multiple-baseline design was used across visual analysis properties (i.e., variability, level, and trend), with continuous overall intervention effect generalization probes, replicated across 4 participants to evaluate computer-based training for accurate visual analysis of A-B graphs. The results showed that all individuals accurately visually analyzed A-B graphs following the computer-based training for variability, level, trend, and overall intervention effect. These visual analysis skills generalized to graph paper and actual data graphs and maintained approximately 1 day, 1 week, 2 weeks, and 1 month following mastery of each property for two participants. Implications of the results suggest that computer-based training improved accurate visual analysis skills for individuals with no prior experience.



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