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.


44th Annual Convention; San Diego, CA; 2018

Event Details

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Symposium #395
CE Offered: BACB
Clinical and Educational Applications and Analyses of Behavioral Skills Training for Increasing Staff Effectiveness
Monday, May 28, 2018
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Marriott Marquis, Marina Ballroom E
Area: OBM/PRA; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Donald M. Stenhoff (Arizona State University)
CE Instructor: Donald M. Stenhoff, Ph.D.

Training staff is a critical component for the success of organizational interventions. Behavior analysts are often required to train staff for the organizations for whom they work or during consultations to meet the organizations goals to improve staff performance. Behavioral skills training (BST) is an effective method to training staff. BST usually includes interrelated components including instruction, modeling of the targeted skills, rehearsal, and praise or corrective feedback. In this symposium, three applications of BST will be described across three presentations. In the first presentation, the presenter will describe a study in which school staff were trained to help students initiate play with peers and engage in outdoor activities during recess. In the second presentation, the presenter will describe a study in which BST was used to train therapy staff to conduct visual analyses and make decisions based on their analyses. In the third presentation, the presenter will describe a study in which a component analysis was conducted on the components of BST within the context of training staff to implement discrete trial training procedures.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): skills training, staff training
Target Audience:

The target audience includes behavior analysts, both practitioners and researchers, who train staff or are involved in research of behavioral skills training. The contexts are applicable to those who work in organizational behavior management, and clinical and educational settings.

Learning Objectives: 1. Attendees will be able to describe recent research-based applications of behavioral skills training. 2. Attendees will be able to describe the critical components of behavioral skills training based on component analyses. 3. Attendees will be able to describe effective methods for increasing student social interactions and playground interactions. 4. Attendees will be able to describe effective methods for increasing visual analysis and decision skills that will increase staff independence.
Improving Staff Involvement During Recess Through Behavioral Skills Training
Elizabeth Singer (Arizona State University), Donald M. Stenhoff (Arizona State University), SHRAVYA SRINIVAS SANAGALA (Arizona State University)
Abstract: School recess provides the opportunity for teachers to work on students’ social and play skills. This opportunity is especially important for teachers of students with developmental disabilities. In the current study, educational staff of two classrooms at a private special education school were taught to provide models and prompts to students during recess to increase social initiations and interactions with peers and playground equipment. Through Behavioral Skills Training (BST; i.e., instruction, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback), staff were trained to help students initiate play with peers as well as engage in outdoor activities during recess. Results from baseline indicate that teachers provide low levels of opportunities to practice these social skills during recess. This study demonstrates that educational staff might be easily trained using a BST model. Additionally, students can benefit from increased opportunities to practice social skills during recess.

Promoting Data-Based Decision-Making Skills With Behavioral Staff Using Behavioral Skills Training

ELIZABETH SINGER (Arizona State University), Donald M. Stenhoff (Arizona State University)

Data-based decision-making is an often neglected, yet extremely important behavior-analytic strategy. Behavior-analytic staff are often responsible for collecting and graphing data, but rarely analyze the data being graphed. In the current study, four employees at a behavioral organization were trained on simple visual analysis terms: level, trend, variability. Using the components of Behavioral Skills Training (BST) instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback staff were trained to interpret and make decisions based on the level, trend, and variability of the data. Implications include both autonomy on the part of behavioral staff and increases in independent work time for supervisors. As data are analyzed frequently, programs can be modified and adapted as necessary to promote the speed at which clients acquire the skills being taught.

A Component Analysis of Behavioral Skills Training on Staff Implementation of Discrete-Trial Teaching
CHRISTINE HERRERA (Arizona State University), Donald M. Stenhoff (Arizona State University), Adam DeLine Hahs (Arizona State University)
Abstract: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the components of behavioral skills training (BST)—instructions, modeling, rehearsal, and feedback—to determine the critical component of BST. There are only a few research studies that evaluate the components of BST in single study research (Feldman, Case, Rincover, Towns, & Betel, 1989; Krumhus & Malott, 1980) and one in group research (Hudson, 1982). To the experimenter’s knowledge, there are no component analyses of BST on staff implementation of behavior intervention teaching methods, such as DTT. This research study will help fill in the gap in research as well as provide effective training to staff on DTT procedures. The types of participants in this study were clinicians with little to some prior training or experience with DTT that work directly with individuals with disabilities. Baseline sessions included provision of the instructions portion of BST, which was an 11-step DTT procedure. The experimental condition consisted of quasi-randomized trials between the modeling, rehearsal, and feedback components of BST. Current data show that feedback was the most effective at increasing scores on the DTT procedure, followed closely by modeling. While rehearsal was effective, it was so at a lesser degree than feedback and modeling.



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