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.


46th Annual Convention; Washington DC; 2020

Event Details

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Symposium #344
CE Offered: BACB
Verbal Behavior Development in the CABAS® Accelerated Independent Learner Model
Sunday, May 24, 2020
4:00 PM–4:50 PM
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Level 1, Salon C
Area: DEV/EDC; Domain: Translational
Chair: Jo Ann Pereira Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University)
CE Instructor: Jo Ann Pereira Delgado, Ph.D.

Several years of research in the Accelerated Independent Learner Model (AIL) have resulted in the identification of key verbal behavior development cusps that are critical for success in the inclusive educational setting. The first paper addresses Bidirectional Naming (BiN), or the joining of the listener and speaker across students in grades K-5 with and without disabilities. In the second paper, the authors outline different assessment procedures associated with best practice to determine the presence of observational learning. In the final paper, the authors present research on both the assessment and corresponding protocol to induce joint stimulus control across saying and writing. Collectively, the authors will address the importance of the establishment of theses cusps in the general education setting and how it relates to effective teaching practices and student outcomes.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BiDirectional Naming, Cusp, Observational Learning, Verbal Development
Target Audience:

Teachers and professionals

Learning Objectives: Define observational learning, transformation of stimulus function across saying and writing and observational learning. Identify assessment procedures for observational learning, transformation of stimulus function across saying and writing and observational learning. Define verbal behavior development cusps that are optimal for inclusion settings.
Bidirectional Naming in the Accelerated Independent Learner Model
(Applied Research)
YIFEI SUN (Teachers College, Columbia University), Jo Ann Pereira Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University)
Abstract: Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) required school districts to place students in the least restrictive environment for both academic and social purposes. Identification of a placement that balances students’ academic success and the development of social repertoires requires extensive information and collaboration among students, parents and school staff. Unlike performance behaviors that can be observed and evaluated directly, it is more challenging to predict students’ academic success in less restrictive or inclusion settings. Data from the strategic science of teaching coupled with the verbal behavior development research base suggest that the presence of Unidirectional Naming (UniN) or Bidirectional Naming (BiN) is associated with students’ success in inclusion settings. Researchers found that with BiN, students learn from instructional demonstration learn units (IDLUs) and acquire new academic skills at an accelerated rate, which closely resemble academic experiences in general education settings that rely extensively on teacher modeling. We assessed the presence or absence of BiN for 128 students with or without disabilities, who attended one of the 7 Accelerated Independent Learner (AIL) inclusion model or 2 special education CABAS® classrooms that ranged from grades Pre-K to 5. We conducted statistical analyses to examine the potential correlation among students’ ages, classroom settings, presence of UniN or BiN, and their academic gains during a school year.
Comparing Operant Acquisition and Procedural Efficacy for Three Observational Acquisition Assessments Across Kindergarten Students with and without Bidirectional Naming
(Applied Research)
GABRIELA PEDRERO-DAVILA (Morris School District), Jo Ann Pereira Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University), Leanna Mellon (SUNY New Paltz), Esther Bakaev (Teachers College)
Abstract: Greer, Singer-Dudek, and Gautreaux (2006) argued that observational learning is a vital capability for student success, especially in settings where there is large student to teacher ratio. The acquisition of observational learning is important in classrooms that use the Comprehensive Application of Behavior Analysis to Schooling (CABAS®) education model and the Accelerated Independent Learner (AIL) education model because consistent with the research base, observational learning accelerates the student’s rate of learning. Students with observational learning no longer require direct instruction to alter performance behaviors, acquire new conditioned reinforcers and learn new operants. With numerous ways to conduct probes for observational learning it can be difficult to select the most appropriate method because students vary in age, rate of learning, and degrees of bidirectional naming. The current study compared 3 different probe measures for observational learning of new operants: (a) 5-trial probe (Singer-Dudek, Choi, & Lyons), (b) 40-trial probe (Delgado & Greer, 2018), and (c) peer mastery probe (Stolfi, 2005). All 3 probe measures were conducted with kindergarten students in a general education setting with and without bidirectional naming to investigate if there is a difference in outcomes across probe measures and if there is 1 probe procedure that is more efficient for kindergarten students.
Transformation of Stimulus Function Across Written and Vocal Spelling Responses as a Function of Multiple Exemplar Instruction in the Accelerated Independent Learner Setting
(Applied Research)
JI YOUNG KIM (Teachers College), Jo Ann Pereira Delgado (Teachers College, Columbia University), R. Douglas Greer (Columbia University Teachers College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences)
Abstract: Students in the Accelerated Independent Learning (AIL) classroom benefit most when transformation of stimulus function (TSF) is present in their repertoire. A student has TSF once he/she acquires joint stimulus control and emits an untaught response to a stimulus that previously evoked only a single taught response. Past studies have demonstrated the effectiveness of the multiple exemplar instruction (MEI) procedure in bringing separate verbal operants under joint stimulus control. Thus, we tested the effectiveness of the MEI procedure on the induction of TSF across written and vocal spelling responses. We studied the effects of MEI across written and vocal spelling responses on the acquisition of untaught spelling responses using a delayed multiple probe design across 3 first-grade participants with and without disabilities. The experimenters selected students who demonstrated absence of joint stimulus control across written and vocal spelling responses based on the pre-intervention probes. The experimenters implemented MEI across written and vocal spelling topographies for grade level spelling words. Results demonstrated increases in untaught spelling responses following the mastery of one phase of the MEI intervention, indicating that MEI was effective in joining written and spoken spelling responses across all three participants. We will discuss these findings in relation to the verbal development theory and associated best teaching practices in the general education setting.



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