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.


49th Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2023

Event Details

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Symposium #224
CE Offered: BACB
Strategic Incremental Rehearsal to Teach Discrete Academic Skills: Reflections and Future Directions
Sunday, May 28, 2023
3:00 PM–4:50 PM
Convention Center 403/404
Area: EDC; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Jessica Herrod (Ohio University)
Discussant: Sara S. Kupzyk (University of Nebraska Omaha)
CE Instructor: Jessica Herrod, Ph.D.
Abstract: In schools and clinics, teachers and behavior analysts often use flash-card based interventions as a method for teaching discrete skills. Flashcard procedures differ based on the ratio of known to unknown targets or the rates of opportunities to respond (OTRs) presented to the known and unknown targets (Burns, 2007; Cates et al., 2003). One newer procedure, strategic incremental rehearsal (SIR), uses an interspersal method that focuses more OTRs on unknown targets by using learner performance as an indicator for when to change instructional targets (Kupzyk et al., 2011). This symposium includes four presentations that evaluate the effectiveness and efficiency of SIR with children with and without disabilities ranging in age from preschoolers to adolescents. In addition, presenters discuss the effects of other environmental variables that may inhibit the effectiveness of SIR such as mask wearing when teaching. Across the studies, the results demonstrate the effectiveness of SIR to teach many discrete skills including naming Spanish words, letters, letter sounds, numbers, and sight words. Considerations for enhancing the efficiency of the procedure will be discussed. Overall, the studies suggest that SIR may be an effective procedure to teach different academic skills, in a variety of contexts for a range of students.
Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): academic, flash card, opportunities respond, schools
Target Audience: This presentation will likely benefit those behavior analysts and teachers who already have some learning history with using a learning trial, using prompts and prompt fading strategies, and teaching discrete skills to learners.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentations, participants will be able to: - Identify (list) the types of populations and arrangements in which researchers have successfully used SIR. - Identify (list) the types of skills in which researchers have successfully used SIR. - Identify (list) two factors that may impact the effectiveness of SIR. - Describe the critical components of SIR that make it effective as compared to other flashcard-based procedures. - Describe the behavior analytic mechanisms responsible for the success of SIR.
Using Strategic Incremental Rehearsal to Teach Academic Skills to Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Developmental Disability
ALEXANDRA N. MERCADO BAEZ (University of Georgia ), Tyler-Curtis Cory Elliott (University of Georgia), Kevin Ayres (University of Georgia)
Abstract: Strategic incremental rehearsal (SIR) is a teaching approach that uses flashcards to teach discrete academic skills. The purpose of the study is to validate SIR for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and Developmental Disability (DD). The researchers used a multiple baseline design across sets of targets with random assignment of stimuli sets to evaluate the effects of SIR with students with ASD/DD. The researchers conducted the experiment with four participants with ASD and DD whose ages ranged from young child to adolescent. The researchers used a variety of socially significant target behavior such as letter sounds, numbers, tacting items in Spanish, and irregular sight words. The results are discussed in relation to the effectiveness and appropriateness of SIR for individuals with ASD and DD with a wide range of skills as well as future recommendations for research related to SIR.

An Evaluation of Strategic Incremental Rehearsal on Sight Word Acquisition Among Students With Specific Learning Disabilities in Reading

LAURA E PHIPPS (Munroe-Meyer Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center), Eric Robinson (Baylor University), Stacey Grebe (Kennedy Krieger)

To date, SIR has not been evaluated with children identified as having a specific learning disability in reading. This study uses a multiple baseline design across participants to examine the effects of SIR with a modified criterion for removal on sight word reading with three third-grade students receiving special education services for a specific learning disability in reading. Results indicated sight word reading increased for all 3 participants at the onset of intervention compared to baseline. The total intervention time for each participant ranged from 16 to 48 min. All 3 participants correctly read a minimum of 21 out of 25 targeted words at a 5-week maintenance check. The results indicated that SIR with a modified criterion of removal is a potentially effective and efficient intervention for sight word reading for participants with specific learning disabilities in reading.

A Comparison of Individual and Group Strategic Incremental Rehearsal
TYLER-CURTIS CORY ELLIOTT (University of Georgia), Alexandra N. Mercado Baez (Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research, University of Georgia), Scott P. Ardoin (Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research, University of Georgia)
Abstract: Teaching pre-reading skills such as letter identification at a young age is one way to prevent future reading failure. One flashcard teaching method used to teach discrete academic skills is strategic incremental rehearsal (SIR). Although the evidence for SIR is strong, no studies have evaluated the effectiveness and efficiency of SIR when used in a small-group format. The current study used a combinatorial design using a multiple baseline with an embedded alternating treatments design to comparatively evaluate the effects of SIR used in a small group and individual context with three preschool children to teach letter identification in the classroom. Results indicated that although Group SIR was an effective procedure for all three participants, the Individual SIR procedure resulted in slightly more efficient learning. However, when taking into account the additional teacher time needed to conduct 1-1 instruction, it is clear that for teachers with multiple students, it would still be more time-efficient to use SIR in a small group context. Post-test probes demonstrated that the skills learned in SIR generalized to other behaviors (receptive identification), other people (teachers), and other stimuli (letters presented on a worksheet). Future researchers should systematically replicate these results with different populations and skills.
Examining the Influence of Visual Access to Articulatory Gestures on Acquisition of Grapheme-Phoneme Correspondences
CHRISTINA NOVELLI (University of Georgia), Scott P. Ardoin (Center for Autism and Behavioral Education Research, University of Georgia)
Abstract: To become a proficient reader and speller, children must acquire foundational decoding and encoding skills through the acquisition of graphophonemic connections (i.e., letter sound correspondences). According to the motor theory of speech perception, articulatory gestures (AG)–motor movements of the mouth and oral articulators–act as a visual model for speech sounds. This study examined whether access to the instructor’s AG (i.e., visual, mouth cues) is an instrumental component of phonics instruction. That is, does visual access paired with an attentional prompt to AG increase efficiency and maintenance of the acquisition of letter sound correspondences? A multiple probe across behaviors with an embedded adapted alternating treatment design measured four-year-old preschoolers’ acquisition of letter sounds across three conditions: (a) control, (b) strategic incremental rehearsal (SIR) with a masked instructor, and (c) SIR with an unmasked instructor. Results replicated within and across participants will be discussed, as well as retention probes.



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