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.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Symposium #462
CE Offered: BACB
Innovating Behavior Technician Onboarding: The Integration of eLearning, Behavioral Skills Training, and Pyramidal Approach to Increase Behavior Technician Performance and Retention
Monday, May 27, 2024
11:00 AM–11:50 AM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon AB
Area: TBA/OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Kajza Maye Coats (Centria Healthcare)
CE Instructor: Kajza Maye Coats, M.S.
Abstract: Applied Behavior Analysis organizations providing services to individuals with autism have an ethical obligation to ensure that behavior technicians providing direct intervention are effectively trained. Additionally, funding sources often require a designated amount of training for behavior technicians; however, simply requiring a specific number of hours of training does not necessarily result in behavior technicians who are prepared to provide effective intervention. Training can be broadly defined and may be presented solely in eLearning or didactic formats; however, effective training should include components of practice, rehearsal, and feedback (Reed & Henley, 2015). This symposium includes three presentations that will outline how a national multi-state organization utilized organizational behavior management to implement an effective behavior technician training program. The first presentation reviews the initial assessment of the eLearning training program and the process of obtaining approval from all stakeholders for an effective behavioral skills training-based program. The second presentation outlines utilizing a hybrid of eLearning and behavioral skills training to effectively train new behavior technicians. The final presentation reviews the implementation of a national pyramidal training approach.
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Keyword(s): Behavior Technicain, Change Management, OBM, training
Target Audience: Individuals should have basic knowledge of behavioral skills training and organization behavior management.
Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: (1) identify the process to assess and make recommendations for organizational changes in applied behavior analysis organizations to non-behavior analytic stakeholders; (2) describe the process of integrating eLearning and behavioral skills training to effectively train new staff members; (3) identify how to use behavioral skills training and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to increase trainer fidelity and trainee retention.
Utilizing Organizational Behavior Management to Assess and Propose an Effective Behavior Technician Training Package to Non-Behavior Analytic Stakeholders
KAJZA MAYE COATS (Centria Healthcare)
Abstract: Behavioral skills training has been noted to be one of the most effective manners to train behavior technicians providing services to individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) by the behavior analytic field. However, not all organizations providing applied behavior analysis (ABA) to individuals with ASD are managed by behavior analysts. Additionally, while behavioral skills training is effective, it can also be perceived as a costly training package due to the time and training staff needed to implement it effectively (Parsons et al., 2012). This presentation will describe the process completed utilizing components of organizational behavior management, specifically components of Performance Thinking (Binder, 1998), to assess the organizations previously established eLearning training program, make recommendations for a more effective training program, align the program to the organization’s business goals, and gain the approval of stakeholders with various backgrounds. Data will be reviewed regarding the organizational impact and social validity of the training program.
Utilizing an Integrative Approach of eLearning and Behavioral Skills Training to Train Entry-Level Behavior Technicians
Abstract: Ensuring new behavior technician staff entering the field of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) receive adequate training prior to providing ABA services to clients is required to make meaningful progress (Leaf et al., 2017). The use of behavioral skills training (BST) has been used to teach staff to implement ABA technologies to competency (Reid, 2012), while the use of eLearning has been used to increase flexibility in staff access to teaching material (Singh et al., 2005). In order to support an organization hiring copious new behavior technicians across many geographical locations, a training program utilizing BST and eLearning methods was created to maximize the effectiveness of training, increase the number of opportunities behavior technicians received to practice skills prior to working with clients, as well as to maximize the trainer workforce and the organization’s financial resources. The presenter will provide an overview of the training program including a discussion surrounding the combination of eLearning modules to provide detailed verbal and written instructions on behavior analytic skills and in-person BST to provide the accompanying model, rehearsal, feedback, and repetition to competency. Additionally, data will be presented comparing behavior technician retention and competency from baseline levels using only eLearning to the hybrid model.

A Pyramidal Approach to Behavior Technician Training: Utilizing Behavior Skills Training and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy to Increase Trainer Fidelity and Trainee Engagement

RACHEL CHANDLER SCOTT (Centria Healthcare)

In an organization where the training of a large number of behavior technician staff is required, the use of the pyramidal approach of behavioral skills training (BST) is necessary to ensure staff access to adequate training opportunities, while reducing the overall time required for behavior analysts to train them (Parsons & Rollyson, 2013). In the pyramidal approach, a behavior analyst acts as a senior trainer, providing training to middle staff who will train new staff on a larger scale. Although middle staff trained through the pyramidal approach demonstrate increased competence in implementing BST and self-report acceptance of BST strategies, concerns may remain with middle staff fully adopting BST because of the time and effort it requires (Parsons & Rollyson, 2013). As a lack of full adoption may lend itself to a lack of motivation to avoid procedural drift in implementation (Cook et al., 2022), it is imperative to resolve concerns and the possibility for drift when scaling the pyramidal approach to 50 middle staff whose sole function is the implementation of BST with new behavior technicians. To address these concerns and minimize middle staff drift, the pyramidal approach was also used to teach staff engagement techniques based on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy and organizational behavior management (Pingo et al., 2022). The presenter will discuss BST, the pyramidal approach, and the use of staff engagement techniques of motivation, values identification, and committed action, as they pertain to middle staff adoption, procedural drift, and new behavior technician retention. Data regarding the competency of middle staff and new behavior technicians will be presented.




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