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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

Previous Page


Symposium #289
CE Offered: BACB
Measuring Student Progress on Goals in Public Schools: Results from Two Large Intervention Projects
Sunday, May 27, 2018
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Manchester Grand Hyatt, Harbor Ballroom HI
Area: EDC/AUT; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Laura J. Hall (San Diego State University)
Discussant: Samuel L. Odom (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)
CE Instructor: Laura J. Hall, Ph.D.

Behavior analysts have lamented the infrequent use of behavioral strategies in public schools. This symposium will focus on: the process used to implement and measure progress on individualized goals for students with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). The targets typically addressed in the goals and the progress on goals as a result of training and coaching from two large-scale, Institute on Education Sciences, funded projects will be presented. One study focused on the implementation of Classroom Pivotal Response Training in 109 classrooms grades pre-K to fifth, and the second, the Center on Secondary Education for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (CSESA), measured the results from a multi-component intervention in 60 high schools and 547 students across three states. Both studies used Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) to measure progress with individual goals by developing a scalable assessment that enables comparison across goals and students developed by Ruble (2010). Working with teachers, target goals are created in observable and measurable terms using a 5-point scale. Sample single-case design graphs will be presented to supplement the GAS goal results. Information about ways to assist school personnel with the foundational skills of designing and measuring goals is important for all providing support in the schools.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Goal writing, Progress monitoring, School context, Teacher coaching
Target Audience:

Professionals working in schools with a BCBA


Goal Attainment Scaling to Measure Student Outcomes in Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching

JESSICA SUHRHEINRICH (San Diego State University), Sarah Reith (San Diego State University), Melina Melgarejo (San Diego State University), Janice Chan (University of California, San Diego), Aubyn Stahmer (University of California, Davis)

Autism interventions proven to be efficacious in controlled research settings are often not well integrated into school settings, demonstrating the need for adaptation for classroom use. Classroom Pivotal Response Teaching (CPRT) is a behavioral intervention for children with ASD adapted from Pivotal Response Training (Stahmer, Suhrheinrich, & Rieth, 2017). This paper provides an overview of a large-scale community effectiveness trial of CPRT and the use of Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS) to measure student progress toward individualized learning goals. Randomized waitlist-control design was used with 109 preschool and elementary classrooms over three years. Teachers (n=109) and students (n=256) from 17 school districts participated. Individualized learning goals using GAS methodology (Ruble et al., 2010) were used to measure change in student functioning over each academic year. Data collection involved teacher interview, observation, and review of data collection records. Child participants were 5.8 years old (r=3 to 11), 83% male and 46% Hispanic with cognitive functioning in the low-average range (M=69.68; SD=20.67). Overall group differences were limited, however a factorial ANOVA with contrasts indicated students in the CPRT group demonstrated significantly more progress on social goals (t(64)=3.60, p<.001). Results indicate GAS is a feasible method for standardizing measurement of student IEP goals.


Goal Attainment Scaling in a Large Scale Randomized Clinical Trial for High School Students With Autism Spectrum Disorder

BONNIE KRAEMER (San Diego State University), Laura J. Hall (San Diego State University), Kara Hume (University of North Carolina at Chapel HIll), Leann Smith-Dawalt (Waisman Center, University of Wisconsin), Jessica Steinbrenner (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill), Samuel L. Odom (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill)

The Center on Secondary Education for Students with ASD (CSESA) recently completed an RCT to evaluate a comprehensive intervention model for high school students with ASD (n=547). The CSESA model targets four core domains: social competence, academics, independence and transition. Sixty high schools across three states (California, Wisconsin, North Carolina) participated in the IES funded project with 30 schools randomly assigned to the intervention (TX) and 30 to the services as usual (SAU) group. 303 participants across the 30 TX schools received a comprehensive intervention implemented over a 2-year period and 244 participants received usual services. Outcome data was collected at three time points and consisted of direct and indirect measures. This paper will present Goal Attainment Scale (GAS) outcome data for the TX vs SAU participants across the four domain areas and total. Each GAS goal was measured on a 5-point scale with 0 indicating no progress (baseline) and 4 indicating the goal was exceeded. Results indicate that post intervention GAS goals were higher overall (2.38 vs 2.18) and in each of the four target domains for TX vs SAU participants. Implications for using GAS as an outcome measure in large-scale projects and in schools will be discussed.




Back to Top
Modifed by Eddie Soh