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.


41st Annual Convention; San Antonio, TX; 2015

Event Details

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Symposium #379
CE Offered: BACB
Enhancing the Effectiveness and Efficiency of Instructional Procedures
Monday, May 25, 2015
2:00 PM–3:50 PM
217B (CC)
Area: AUT/EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University)
Discussant: Alison M. Betz (Florida Institute of Technology)
CE Instructor: Regina A. Carroll, Ph.D.
Abstract: Practitioners and researchers have effectively used a range of instructional techniques from applied behavior analysis to teach critical social, language, and academic skills to children with and without intellectual disabilities. The collection of studies in this symposium will explore how different variations in instructional procedures can influence the acquisition and generalization of skills. First, Casey Nottingham will present a study examining the effects of differential reinforcement on the acquisition of tacts for children with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Second, Brad Joachim will present a study evaluating the effects of different consequences for correct responses on skill acquisition for children with ASD during discrete trial instruction. Third, Brittany LeBlanc will present a study comparing the influence of errors of omission and commission on skill acquisition for typically developing children. Fourth, Marc Lanovaz will present a study comparing serial and concurrent training on the generalization of receptive identification skills for children with ASD. Finally, Alison Betz will discuss interesting components of each study, and describe future areas of research on skill acquisition.
Keyword(s): Autism, discrete trial, Skill acquisition
A Comparison of Differential Reinforcement Procedures on the Acquisition of Tacts in Children with Autism
CASEY NOTTINGHAM (Caldwell College), Brittany English (Caldwell University), Jason C. Vladescu (Caldwell College), Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon), Paul Argott (EPIC School), April N. Kisamore (Caldwell College)
Abstract: Differential reinforcement is an operant procedure implemented to increase the occurrence of desired behavior while simultaneously decreasing the occurrence of undesired behavior. Although researchers and early interventions manuals have recommended the use of differential reinforcement arrangements during skill acquisition programming, the most appropriate means to using differential reinforcement to maximize unprompted responding remains unclear. The purpose of the current study was to extend the extent research by comparing the effects of multiple differential reinforcement arrangements and a nondifferential reinforcement arrangement the acquisition of tacts in children with autism. The current study is the first to include a manipulation of reinforcement magnitude and include a methodology to identify reinforcement values. The results demonstrate that differential reinforcement procedures are effective in increasing correct unprompted responding for some individuals.
A Comparison of Different Consequences for Correct Responses During Discrete Trial Instruction
BRAD JOACHIM (West Virginia University), Regina A. Carroll (West Virginia University)
Abstract: When a child is first learning a skill with discrete trial instruction (DTI), it is typically recommended that teachers provide brief access to highly preferred tangible items contingent on every correct responses. Few studies have systematically evaluated the effects of delivering different types of consequences for correct responses on skill acquisition during DTI. We compared the effects of four different consequences for correct responses on skill acquisition for three children with an autism spectrum disorder. Specifically, we compared skill acquisition when correct responses resulted in (a) access to praise and a preferred tangible item, (b) praise and a token exchangeable for access to a preferred tangible item at the end of the session, (c) praise only, and (d) no differential consequence. Next, we assessed participant’s preference for each of the teaching conditions using a concurrent-chains assessment. The results suggested that each participant acquired the target skills in one or more teaching conditions; however, the consequence that resulted in the quickest acquisition of target skills differed across participants. During the concurrent-chains assessment, participants preferred conditions that were also associated with the quickest acquisition of target skills. These results are discussed in terms of best practice for teaching children during DTI.
Comparing the Effects of Errors of Commission and Omission on Skill Acquisition
BRITTANY LEBLANC (University Of Oregon), Tiffany Kodak (University of Oregon), Samantha Moberg (University of Oregon), Jacqueline Kammer (University of Oregon), Shaji Haq (University of Oregon), Patricia Zemantic (University of Oregon)
Abstract: The current study extends DiGennero Reed, Reed, Baez, and Maguire (2011) by comparing the effects of errors of commission, errors of omission, and no errors on the acquisition of auditory-visual conditional discriminations with two typically developing children. We used an adapted alternating treatment design, and the dependent variable was the number of sessions to meet the mastery criterion. During errors of commission, the experimenter reinforced incorrect responses during 17% of the trials. During errors of omission, the experimenter failed to reinforce correct responses during 17% to 18% of the trials. Kyle’s results showed that he acquired targets in 7, 8, and 18 sessions for the no errors, errors of commission, and errors of omission conditions, respectively. Cassie acquired targets in the no errors condition in 4 sessions and 8 sessions in the errors of omission and commission conditions. Thus, both types of errors delayed acquisition, and errors of omission had a greater impact on acquisition for one participant. We will discuss the importance of empirical evaluations that compare different types and amounts of treatment fidelity errors and the impact these errors have on skill acquisition.
A comparison of serial and concurrent training on the generalization of receptive labeling
MARC J. LANOVAZ (Universite de Montreal), Marie-Michèle Dufour (Université de Montréal)
Abstract: Researchers have shown that serial and concurrent training both promote generalization of learned skills in children with autism spectrum disorders. However, few studies have compared both training strategies together, and to our knowledge, none of these comparisons involved receptive labeling. Thus, the purpose of our study was to compare the effects of serial and concurrent training on the generalization of receptive labeling in nine children with autism spectrum disorders. We taught one to three pairs of concepts to each participant. One concept within each pair was taught using concurrent training and the other using serial training. We alternated teaching sessions within a multi-element design and staggered the introduction of the subsequent pairs as in a multiple baseline design. Overall, five participants generalized at least one concept more rapidly with concurrent training, four participants generalized approximately simultaneously following both strategies, and none showed generalization more rapidly with serial training. Our results are consistent with other comparison studies on the topic and indicate that practitioners should prefer concurrent training over serial training when teaching basic concepts to children with autism spectrum disorders.



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