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 #104
Using ABA to Improve Teacher Effectiveness
Sunday, May 29, 2016
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Regency Ballroom A, Hyatt Regency, Gold West
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Ronnie Detrich (The Wing Institute)
Abstract: The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA; 2004) and the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB; 2001) mandate that teachers use instructional methods that are supported by empirical research. Although these federal mandates have been in effect for over a decade, the majority of teachers do not select interventions that are based on research; rather, they select interventions based on their own preferences (Cook & Cook, 2013; Cook, Tankersley, & Landrum, 2013). When teachers do select methods that are supported by research, they may not be able to implement them with fidelity due to lack of training and support. Empirically supported interventions are more likely to produce optimal student outcomes when they are implemented with fidelity. In order to promote and extend the use of evidence based teaching practices in schools, teacher training programs must equip their graduates with the skills necessary to identify appropriate evidence based practices relevant to their students’ individual needs and implement those evidence based practices with fidelity. This symposium will consist of four presentations that examine the effectiveness of using behavioral interventions to increase pre-service and in-service teachers’ skills.
Keyword(s): BST, evidence-based practice, teacher training
The Differentiated Effects of Rates of Specific Praise on the On-Task Behavior of Elementary-Aged Students
MICHAEL KRANAK (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University), Mary Sawyer (Aubrey Daniels Institute), Nancy A. Neef (The Ohio State University), Lauren Hensley (The Ohio State University), Erin N. Roby (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Praise has been used in special education classrooms for many years to not only serve as positive reinforcement, but also as a behavior management technique; however, a consummate praise rate has yet to be established. Reinforcing appropriate behaviors can serve as a proactive strategy for decreasing otherwise challenging behaviors (Stichter et al., 2009). Special education teachers have commonly used this behavior management technique to decrease challenging behavior (Heward, 2012). Again, although there is large body of literature supporting the use of praise to decrease challenging behavior and increase appropriate, desirable behaviors, a consensus on how much praise is needed is yet to be reached (Myers, Simonsen, & Sugai, 2011; Piscareta, Tincani, Connell, & Axelrod, 2011; Stichter et al., 2000; Van Acker & Grant, 1996). By using an alternating treatments design, this study examined the differential effects of 1 praise statement per minute, 4 praise statements per minute, and 8 praise statements per minute on the on-task behavior of elementary-aged students receiving special education services. Implications of the results are discussed as well as future directions for this area of research.
ACCOMPLISH: Teaching Preservice Teachers How to Write Objectives
RACHEL SEAMAN (The Ohio State University), Kristall J. Day (The Ohio State University), John Schaefer (The Ohio State University), Gleides Lopes Rizzi (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Self-Regulated Strategy Development is an evidence-based practice that has been successfully used to support P-12 students on various tasks (Harris et al, 2012; Santangelo, Harris, and Graham, 2008). One empirically supported SRSD method for teaching multiple component skills to students in the P-12 settings is the use of mnemonic devices (Wood, Frank, & Wacker 1998; Mastropieri & Scruggs, 1998; Scruggs, & Mastropieri, 1991; Pressley, Levin, & Delaney, 1982). In this presentation, we will share two studies where we evaluated the effects of a mnemonic on preservice teachers’ lesson objective writing skills. The first study was used to inform revisions to the protocol and rubric for the second study. A multiple baseline design across participants was used to test the strategy and preservice teachers’ objectives were evaluated using a rubric. Generalization data were also collected through the evaluation of lesson plans that preservice teachers wrote for student teaching assignments.

Teaching Pre-Service Teachers to Implement Evidence-Based Practices With Fidelity: A Replication Comparing Two Teaching Approaches

LAUREN HENSLEY (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University), Nancy A. Neef (The Ohio State University), Michael Kranak (The Ohio State University), Natalie Andzik (The Ohio State University ), Mary Sawyer (Aubrey Daniels Institute)

There is a wide range of interventions being used in todays classrooms, and some of these interventions lack empirical evidence for effectiveness. It is the duty of teacher preparation programs to provide pre-service teachers with evidence-based practices (EBPs), strategies that have been empirically validated, which could be used in classrooms. Behavioral skills training (BST) is an EBP that has been proven effective when teaching adults; however, research is lacking with using BST in teacher preparation programs. The purpose of this replication study was to compare the effects of a traditional lecture followed by BST or a study session on four undergraduate pre-service teachers implementation fidelity of eight different EBPs and if these skills are maintained for two weeks. An alternating treatments design was used to compare the effects of BST and study sessions on the pre-service teachers implementation fidelity of the EBPs during role-play sessions. Results and implications will be discussed.


Behavioral Skills Training of a Reading Racetracks Intervention at a Montessori School: Effects on Teacher Implementation Fidelity and Student Outcomes

CARRIE DAVENPORT (The Ohio State University), Sheila R. Alber-Morgan (The Ohio State University)

The purpose of this study is to investigate the effects of behavioral skills training, an evidence-based practice used for teacher training, on implementation of a reading racetrack game. Reading Racetracks is a board game developed to improve sight word acquisition fluency. Studies have shown the game to be effective to use with elementary students receiving special education services, students served in general education settings (Anthony, Rinaldi, Hern, & McLaughlin, 1997; Rinaldi & McLaughlin, 1996), as well as students with autism (Crowley, Mclaughlin, & Kahn, 2012), and students with specific learning disabilities (Falk, Band, & McLaughlin, 2003). The present study extends the research on reading racetracks by training teachers to implement the game. In this study, three teachers at the kindergarten and primary (e.g., grades 1-3) levels at a Montessori school were trained to implement the intervention. Student participants were identified learning disabilities and/or were 1-2 grade levels below in reading. Data were collected on a teacher-dependent variable (i.e., procedural integrity), and a child dependent variable (e.g., number of words read correctly in 1 minute). This simple, straightforward evidence-based intervention has the potential for being integrated into Montessori classrooms in one-on-one instruction with teachers, or in centers with peers. Limitations, implications, and recommendations for future research will be discussed.




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