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.


36th Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2010

Event Details

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Symposium #76
Performance Improvement Strategies for Direct Support Staff in a Human Service Organization
Saturday, May 29, 2010
3:30 PM–4:50 PM
Republic A (Grand Hyatt)
Area: OBM/DDA; Domain: Applied Behavior Analysis
Chair: Helena Maguire (Melmark New England)
Discussant: Dennis H. Reid (Carolina Behavior Analysis and Support Center)
CE Instructor: Robert Ross, Ed.D.
Abstract: The identification of effective procedures to improve and maintain teaching behaviors of staff is a priority for agencies that provide services to individuals with disabilities. Consistent implementation of target program areas, completion of job responsibilities, and assessment of inter-observer agreement are critical responsibilities of teaching staff that have the potential to impact clinical decision-making and student progress. The purpose of the present symposium is to share findings from three studies that examined ways to changed staff performance related to the aforementioned areas of responsibilities. The first talk presents findings from a study that modified job task preferences for non-preferred tasks. Next, the impact of a packaged intervention on implementation of habilitation activities will be shared. The symposium will conclude with a talk that presents results of an antecedent intervention on inter-observer agreement assessment in a classroom setting. The performance improvement procedures employed were varied, yet all produced beneficial outcomes.
Assessing and Increasing Staff Preference for Job Tasks Using Concurrent-Chains Schedules and Probabilistic Outcomes
DEREK D. REED (Melmark New England), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England), Natalie Campisano (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The assessment and improvement of staff members’ subjective valuation of non-preferred work tasks may be one way to increase the quality of staff members’ work life. The Task Enjoyment Motivation Protocol (Green, Reid, Passante, & Canipe, 2008) provides a process for supervisors to identify the aversive qualities of non-preferred job tasks. Through participative management, the process reduces these aversive qualities while increasing the appetitive properties via the pairing of these tasks with enjoyable consequences. The present study provides an extension of Green et al.’s work through utilization of a concurrent-chains schedule arrangement via the pairing of reinforcing consequences with a target job task using probabilistic outcomes to directly assess job task preferences for eight direct support staff in a human service organization.
Effects of Goal Setting, Public Posting, and Reinforcement on the Percentage of Student Programs Completed Daily
NATALIE CAMPISANO (Melmark New England), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England), Helena Maguire (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The development of procedures to promote excellent service delivery within private school settings is one priority for agencies that serve individuals with disabilities. An important function of direct care staff is to implement individualized education programs (IEP) on a consistent basis. Failure to accomplish this task has the potential to negatively impact student learning and achievement of educational objectives. The purpose of this presentation is to share findings from a study that investigated the effects of goal setting, public posting, and reinforcement on the daily percentage of completed student programs. During baseline, performance was varied and ranged from 52-96% completion (M = 80%). Upon introduction of goal setting and performance feedback, an immediate change was observed (M = 100%; percentage of nonoverlapping data averaged 100%). Performance deteriorated during a return to baseline (M =85%) and returned to high levels upon re-introduction of the intervention (M = 100%). Results suggest that goal setting and public posting can be effective in motivating staff to implement IEP goals consistent with the agency standard.
Implementation of an Antecedent Intervention to Increase Class-Wide IOA Assessment
STEFANIE DOUCETTE (Melmark New England), Florence D. DiGennaro Reed (Melmark New England), Helena Maguire (Melmark New England)
Abstract: The purpose of this presentation is to share findings from a project designed to increase the extent to which teachers measured interobserver agreement (IOA) for academic programs implemented within a classroom at a private school serving individuals with disabilities. During baseline, teachers were expected to collect IOA data one time weekly for every academic goal for all students as part of their typical job responsibilities. Results revealed that the percentage of programs with IOA completed weekly averaged 5%. Upon introduction of a posted daily schedule of goals for which interobserver agreement were to be assessed, there was an immediate change in level (M = 92%; percentage of nonoverlapping data averaged 100%). Performance fell below baseline levels upon a return to the baseline condition (M = 0.55%). A reversal to intervention conditions is in progress. Preliminary results suggest that an antecedent intervention in the form of a daily posted schedule can effectively increase interobserver agreement assessment by direct care staff.



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