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 #54
Practice What We Preach: A Review of Evidence-Based Staff Training Strategies and Future Research Suggestions
Saturday, May 23, 2015
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
201 (CC)
Area: OBM/TBA; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Joshua Garner (The Ohio State University)
Discussant: Morten Haugland (Haugland Learning Center)
Abstract: We suggest that we behavior analysts who supervise and train staff practice what we preach: We should apply principles of behavior analysis, antecedent manipulations, and performance management to our staff training procedures. More recently, researchers have expanded from improving high-need clients’ socially significant behaviors to promoting staff’s use of evidence-based practices. In this symposium, we review the literature on empirically validated staff training strategies and discuss the need for future research in this area. The first presenter will offer a review of self-instructional packages and their effects on novice staff’s acquisition of behavioral technology. The second presenter will review the use of evidence-based practices to increase teacher praise and examine their collateral effects on students’ behavior. We will end the symposium by discussing 1) the potential implications of our findings as they relate to effective and efficient staff training procedures and 2) the limitations of existing literature and suggestions for future research.
Keyword(s): Performance Management, Self-Instruction, Staff Training
Rule No.1 Make Your Expectations Clear: A Review of Self-Instructional Packages Used in Staff Training
MARNIE NICOLE SHAPIRO (The Ohio State University), Ziwei Xu (The Ohio State University), Meline Pogosjana (California State University)
Abstract: The fidelity with which a treatment is carried out depends on effective training practices. Although researchers have advanced the efficiency of training procedures (e.g., decreased the duration of training), they have not yet determined a way to minimize the need of an expert staff trainer who must be present to model correct implementation, rehearse with staff, or provide immediate corrective feedback for staff to reach mastery. Therefore, it is imperative to look for low cost, portable training programs with few technological demands that can facilitate skill acquisition in the absence of an expert trainer’s instruction. In an effort to promote efficient and effective staff training practices, researchers have recently developed a variety of self-instructional packages that teach novice staff to implement behavioral assessments and behavior change procedures with fidelity. In this presentation, we will review the literature on staff training with a particular focus on self-instructional packages. In addition, we will discuss the implications of our findings for staff trainers and the feasibility of incorporating such strategies into their clinical practice.
Rule No. 2 Reinforce Good Behavior: A Review of Evidence-Based Practices to Increase Teacher Praise
ZIWEI XU (The Ohio State University), Marnie Nicole Shapiro (The Ohio State University), Nancy A. Neef (The Ohio State University)
Abstract: Although many teachers rely on aversive control in their classrooms, there is ample documentation in the literature to support the use of positive feedback to improve student academic and nonacademic performance. Specifically, researchers have found that positive feedback (i.e., behavior-specific praise) is an effective method to increase students’ on-task behavior, task completion, and correct academic responses. More recently, research foci have shifted from demonstrating the effectiveness of positive feedback to training teachers to use positive feedback in their classrooms more often. Consequently, there has been an increase in professional development practices that target teachers’ use of praise, which include antecedent manipulations (e.g., instruction and posted visual cues) and performance management contingencies (e.g., self-management and performance feedback). Although researchers have demonstrated that behavior analytic strategies increased teacher praise, the resultant impact on student behavior is unclear. In this paper, we review and discuss evidence-based practices to increase teacher praise, as well as the collateral effects on students’ behavior. In addition, we will discuss 1) the implications of our findings as they relate to effective staff training, 2) suggestions for future research, and 3) challenges for both practice and research in the area of increasing teacher praise.



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