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 #225
CE Offered: BACB
Examinations of Error-Correction Procedures
Sunday, May 24, 2015
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
212AB (CC)
Area: EDC/DDA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)
Discussant: Linda A. LeBlanc (Trumpet Behavioral Health)
CE Instructor: Tiffany Kodak, Ph.D.
Abstract: There are several error-correction procedures that instructors can use when a learner makes an error during instruction. Some error-correction procedures may not require an active student response from the learner. For example, the instructor may demonstrate the correct response and remove the trial materials without requiring the learner to imitate the instructor’s behavior. Other error-correction procedures require the learner to engage in an active student response. For example, the learner may be required to respond correctly when the trial is re-presented following an error. Error-correction procedures requiring active student responses may also vary in relation to the number of times the trial is re-presented and whether mastered tasks are interspersed between trial re-presentations. Although prior research demonstrates the efficacy of several of these error-correction procedures, the specific procedures that lead to the most efficacious and efficient skill acquisition is unknown. The studies included in this symposium compared the efficacy and efficiency of error-correction procedures, evaluated the participant’s preference for an error-correction procedure, examined the role of active student responses during error correction, and evaluated the effects of interspersing mastered tasks between error correction trials on skill acquisition.
Keyword(s): error correction, instructional efficiency, skill acquisition
Comparing the Efficiency of Error-Correction Procedures and Assessing Children’s Preference for Instruction
SAMANTHA MOBERG (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Tiffany Kodak (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee), Vincent E. Campbell (University of Oregon), Tom Cariveau (University of Oregon), Jake Mahon (University of Oregon), Traci Elaine Ruppert (University of Oregon), Kristin Rush (University of Oregon), Eva Kurtz-Nelson (University of Oregon)
Abstract: We extended McGhan and Lerman (2013) by evaluating the efficiency of several error-correction procedures commonly used in practice. We compared differential reinforcement without prompts, demonstration, time delay, single practice, and multiple practice to identify the most efficient and least intrusive procedure(s) to teach sight words and tacts using an adapted alternating treatments design. Five students diagnosed with a developmental disability participated in the study. Our dependent variables to assess efficiency included sessions, exposures, and instructional time (seconds) to mastery; however, not all of the DVs identified the same procedure(s) as the most efficient for each participant. For three participants, the total instructional time was the most accurate measure of efficiency. After identifying the two most efficient interventions, participants had the opportunity to select their intervention prior to each session. Three of the five participants demonstrated preference for instruction in a format other than the most efficient. This study provides recommendations for clinical practice as well as future research on the use of error-correction procedures, measures of efficiency, and child-selected interventions.
A Comparison of Different Error-Correction Procedures on Skill Acquisition During Discrete Trial Instruction
REGINA A. CARROLL (West Virginia University), Brad Joachim (West Virginia University), Claire C. St. Peter (West Virginia University), Nicole Robinson (West Virginia University)
Abstract: A variety of error-correction procedures have been shown to facilitate skill acquisition during discrete trial instruction (DTI). In the current study we compared the effects of four commonly used error-correction procedures on skill acquisition for two typically developing children, and three children diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The results showed that for each participant multiple error-correction procedures were effective; however, for each participant one or two specific error-correction procedures led to more efficient skill acquisition. In general, participants acquired the target skills in the fewest number of teaching sessions during an error-correction procedure that consisted of re-presenting a trial following an error until the participant engaged in a correct independent response. Overall, the findings of the current study suggest that it is important to compare the effectiveness and efficiency of different error-correction procedures for an individual learner during DTI. Future research examining more efficient ways to assess the effectiveness of different error-correction procedures for an individual learner are discussed.

Are Active Student Responses during Error Correction Procedures in Discrete Trial Training Necessary?

ROBERT W. ISENHOWER (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Lara M. Delmolino Gatley (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Kate E. Fiske Massey (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University ), Meredith Bamond (Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center, Rutgers University), Justin B. Leaf (Autism Partnership Foundation)

Empirically testing and validating error correction techniques is important for the development of best clinical practices for discrete trial training. Some research has found that error correction procedures that incorporate an Active Student Response (ASR) are more effective than error correction procedures with no active response (NR) required on the part of the learner. However, other research has found that ASRs may not be necessary or advantageous across some learners and skill domains (cf. McGhan & Lerman, 2013). In the current study, we compared the acquisition of target items in a receptive identification task using follow-up prompted trial error-correction techniques to two forms of error-corrective informational feedback: 1) participants were not inhibited from making an active response during corrective feedback or 2) the role of active feedback was minimized by placing the target stimulus out of reach of the learner during corrective feedback. For two learners diagnosed with autism, results revealed that target stimuli in each condition reached acquisition with some idiosyncratic differences in the number of trials to acquisition. Implications for using ASR based error-correction techniques and potential mechanisms by which learning still occurred in the absence of an observable ASR (e.g., covert responding) will be discussed.

Interspersing Mastered Targets during Error Correction when Teaching Skills to Children with Autism
LAUREN PLAISANCE (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Dorothea C. Lerman (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Courtney Laudont (University of Houston-Clear Lake), Wai-Ling Wu (University of Houston-Clear Lake)
Abstract: Error correction involves various procedures to respond to errors when teaching new skills to learners. In one method, the instruction is given and, upon the occurrence of an incorrect answer or no response, the therapist provides a prompted response. Following the prompt, the initial instruction is re-presented so that the learner has an opportunity to give an independent correct response. Some authors recommend inserting “distractor trials” between the prompted response and re-presentation trials, but no studies have directly examined the benefits of this approach. For this study, we manipulated the use and placement of maintenance distracter trials to examine the efficiency and effectiveness of this error correction procedure. In the interspersal condition, a distracter trial was inserted between the prompted response and the re-presentation of the initial instruction. In the no-interspersal condition, the initial instruction was re-presented immediately following the prompted response. Four participants were each taught 18 targets across three target sets. Results indicated that the more efficient and effective treatment may be idiosyncratic to the individual. However, the no-interspersal procedure did not appear to have detrimental effects on acquisition for any participant.



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