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.


47th Annual Convention; Online; 2021

All times listed are Eastern time (GMT-4 at the time of the convention in May).

Event Details

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Symposium #424
CE Offered: BACB
Efficient Training in Human Service Settings: Online Hybrid, Telehealth, and Workshop Training
Monday, May 31, 2021
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Area: TBA/OBM; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kendra Guinness (Regis College)
CE Instructor: Kendra Guinness, M.S.

The practice of behavior analysis involves many complex skills at every level of service delivery, from assessing client behavior, to training direct care staff, to mentoring graduate students. Behavioral instruction strategies such as mastery learning, feedback, and behavioral skills training (BST) are well established methods for teaching complex skills to adult learners. However, constraints on time, cost, and location are common barriers to effective training, which may ultimately result in limited access to services for clients. This symposium presents three studies evaluating the effects of training programs with an emphasis on efficient delivery. First, Samantha LaPointe presents on an online hybrid training program for teaching FA skills to behavior therapists not pursuing certification as board certified behavior analysts (BCBAs), including an analysis of the time and cost of implementation. Next, Ryan Atkinson presents an evaluation of different types of feedback through a telehealth model, where feedback timing and content were compared to determine the fewest sessions to mastery. Lastly, Allison Bowhers presents on a workshop BST program for increasing mentoring skills with BCBA supervisors. Interobserver agreement, procedural integrity, and social validity are discussed.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): BST, feedback, online training
Target Audience:


Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of this presentation, attendees will be able to (1) describe the utility of an online hybrid training for teaching FA skills, (2) identify the effects of temporal placement and content of feedback on skill acquisition via a telehealth model, and (3) describe the effects of workshop BST on the mentoring skills of BCBA supervisors.
An Evaluation of an Online Hybrid Training Program: Functional Analysis Skills
SAMANTHA R LAPOINTE (Aspire Learning Center & Simmons College), Philip N. Chase (Simmons University)
Abstract: The current study examined the effectiveness of a hybrid training program to teach functional analysis skills related to single-function test analyses (Iwata & Dozier, 2008). Skills taught included speaking about the analysis in non-technical and technical terms and conducting the analysis. Participants were three behavior therapists who were not pursuing certification by the Behavior Analyst Certification Board and worked in a human service setting with children diagnosed with autism. Performance of therapists was examined within a multiple probe across behaviors experimental design. Training was conducted for a functional analysis that tested for an attention contingency and extension probes were conducted for a tangible contingency. Results showed that measurement probes of target skills did not meet a 90% criterion on the attention contingency until after training was received. All three participants were able to conduct the functional analysis when extended to a tangible contingency and from a simulated session to an in-vivo session with a client. Extension and maintenance of speaking skills was variable across participants. All participants met mastery of speaking skills following initial training, however, some participants required feedback sessions to maintain skills during repeated post-training probes.
Behavioral Mechanisms of Feedback: Effects on Temporal Placement and Content on Implementing Functional Analyses
Kendra Guinness (Regis College), Diana Parry-Cruwys (Regis College), Jacquelyn M. MacDonald (Regis College), RYAN ATKINSON (Regis College)
Abstract: Implementing a functional analysis is a critical but complex skill involved in the practice of behavior analysis, and feedback is a commonly used strategy for teaching complex skills. Aspects of feedback can vary along several dimensions that may impact its effectiveness, including whether the feedback is positive, corrective, specific or general, and whether the feedback is provided immediately or delayed (Alvero et al., 2001). In addition, given the increased need for remote training, further examining the effectiveness of feedback via a telehealth modality may be useful for the field. The current study evaluated the effects of varying elements of feedback delivery in a telehealth model on the acquisition of functional analysis implementation skills with future board-certified behavior analysts (BCBAs) via an adapted alternating treatments design. For one participant, delivering positive feedback after responding and corrective feedback before the next opportunity to respond resulted in the most rapid acquisition, closely followed by all feedback provided before the next opportunity to respond. The mechanisms responsible for behavior change and implications for training are discussed.

Toward an Evidence-Based Supervision Model of Independent Fieldwork

ALLISON BOWHERS (Simmons College), Philip N. Chase (Simmons University), Gretchen A. Dittrich (Simmons University), Judah B. Axe (Simmons University)

Two supervisor training conditions were compared to improve setting goals, providing feedback, prompting, and adhering to supervision policies with trainees. Baseline combined a lecture that reviewed each skill and a purported contingency of reinforcement. Only adherence to supervision policies improved during baseline in Experiment 1. Three workshops using behavioral skills training (BST) were provided. Each targeted skill improved, but booster sessions were required to meet mastery criteria. During maintenance probes, supervisors demonstrated variable levels of skills, but maintained adherence to supervision policies. In Experiment 2, the baseline condition resulted in adherence to supervision policies. The feedback workshop was modified and all skills improved without booster sessions. The one supervisor tested for maintenance completed all skills at 100% accuracy. Both experiments demonstrated a moderate positive correlation between improvement in supervisor and trainee performance. In social validity questionnaires, supervisors and trainees reported positive experiences in the supervision system and trainings.




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