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Learning & Communication: Basic Staff Training Program. LEARNING & COMMUNICATION. Training the Trainers. What qualifications do staff typically have when first hired (prior coursework, degrees, certification, etc.)? How long is our typical training program? (weeks)

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Learning & Communication: Basic Staff Training Program

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Learning communication basic staff training program

Learning & Communication:

Basic Staff Training Program


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

Training the Trainers

  • What qualifications do staff typically have when first hired (prior coursework, degrees, certification, etc.)?

  • How long is our typical training program? (weeks)

  • How many hours of total training in operant techniques?

  • How are new skills learned by trainers? (practica, supervisory evaluations)


Learning communication basic staff training program

Learning

Response events

Stimulus events

Classical Conditioning

Operant Conditioning

ABC’s of Training

Contingency

Discriminative stimulus

Stimulus control

Stimulus generalization

Response generalization

Reinforcement (pos. v. neg.)

Punishment (pos. v. neg.)

Reinforcement types

Reinforcement schedules (variable v. fixed, ration v. interval)

Operant Training Techniques


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

Communication

  • The process of telling the animal what we want or need

  • Two mandatory steps to successfully communicate with an animal

    • Must become significant: pair yourself with food

    • Need a way to say “YES”: condition a bridge stimulus


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

Communicating Best When Training

  • Have a properly conditioned bridge

  • Break down behavior into successive approximations

  • Utilize targeting techniques

  • Use cumulative training techniques

  • Set your animal up for success!


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

ATAC Bridge Video

  • www.imata.org

  • Log in

  • Click on 'Library'

  • Click on 'IMATA Glossary of Terminology'

  • Click on 'ATAC Video Glossary'

  • Click on 'Bridge'


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

6 Aspects of a Bridge

  • It is a discriminative stimulus (SD)‏

  • It is a secondary reinforcer

  • A bridge pinpoints the moment in time when the animal achieves proper criteria

  • It bridges the gap

  • Can be used intermittently during a behavior or to terminate a behavior

  • A bridge sets clear communication meaning “yes” or “good”

    • It never means “kind of”


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

4 Training Methods

  • Successive Approximations - Shaping

    • Behavior pyramid

    • Utilizes a target as a tool

    • Benefit

      • A great way to train because you have steps to fall back on if the behavior breaks down

  • 2 Aspects of a Target

    • It is an SD

    • It focuses the animal’s attention


Learning communication basic staff training program

Pryor's Ten Laws That Govern Shaping

  • Raise criteria in small increments

  • Train one aspect at a time

  • Have current step of behavior on a variable reinforcement schedule before moving to next step

  • Relax old criteria when training a new aspect of a behavior

  • Be prepared if the subject makes sudden progress


Learning communication basic staff training program

Pryor's Ten Laws That Govern Shaping

  • Do not change trainers midstream

  • If one shaping procedure is not progressing, find another

  • Do not end a session without reason

  • If behavior breaks down, back up to how the behavior was trained

  • If possible, end the session on a positive


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

Fading

  • Fading is a method one can use during the successive approximations used to train a behavior

  • ATAC Fading Video

    • www.imata.org

    • Log in

    • Click on 'Library'

    • Click on 'IMATA Glossary of Terminology'

    • Click on 'ATAC Video Glossary'

    • Click on 'Fading'


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

4 Training Methods

  • Manipulation or Molding

    • Animal learns to “let the trainer do the work”

    • Problem

      • Animal does not actively perform behavior

    • Benefits

      • Don’t have to take the time to train the actual behavior

      • Animals usually become quite desensitized


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

4 Training Methods

  • Imitation, Mimicry, or Observational Learning

    • Animal learns behavior and maintains it based on how reinforcing it is to perform

    • Problem

      • Animal learns at own pace and must have adequate social mates to learn a lot

      • Behavior may be difficult to troubleshoot if it degrades

    • Benefit

      • Relatively short learning curve


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

4 Training Methods

  • Scanning or Capturing Behavior

    • Trainer forms the contingency between the animal offering a behavior and opportunities for outside reinforcement

    • Problem

      • Can’t utilize original “training steps” if the behavior degrades

    • Benefit

      • Relatively short learning curve


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

Review: Communicating Best When Training

  • Have a properly conditioned bridge

  • Break down behavior into successive approximations

  • Utilize targeting techniques

  • Use cumulative training techniques

  • Set your animal up for success!


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

The Golden Rules of Training

  • To communicate well with your animal, you must be CONSISTENT

  • The rules must be FAIR and PREDICTABLE


Learning communication basic staff training program

LEARNING & COMMUNICATION

Things to Consider Before Training

  • Know the natural history of the species:

    • Where the animal lives, physiological needs, social groupings

  • Know the particular individual’s background:

    • Age, sex, health issues, prior training, prior aggression issues

  • Know the environment in which you will be training:

    • Human and animal safety, ability to view animals, potential for enrichment

  • Have a plan!


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

Having a Plan

  • Trainers communicate with their animals to modify behavior

  • Consequences affect learning and the overall motivation of an animal in training

  • A trainer must have a plan before beginning the training process


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

Steps to Train an Animal

  • Define the game plan

    • Why are you training this behavior?

    • Can this compete with other behavioral goals?

    • When does it need to be completed?

    • What resources will you need?


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

Steps to Train an Animal

  • Evaluate the individual’s history

    • What type of learning history does the animal have?

    • Has the animal learned this behavior before?

    • Is the behavior similar to something the animal already knows?

    • Could this training somehow be punishing to your animal?

    • Will you be changing the context of the target?


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

Steps to Train an Animal

  • Select an SD

    • A unique stimulus that the animal cannot associate with any other stimuli

    • Choose something that is simple

    • If possible, have the SD resemble a part of the training process


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

Steps to Train an Animal

  • Create the Pyramid

    • A formal behavioral outline

    • Identify steps (approximations) to train the behavior

    • It may be necessary to adjust the pyramid once training begins


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

Steps to Train an Animal

  • Execute and Evaluate

    • Implement the pyramid

    • Sometimes it can be beneficial to have recent approximations on a variable reinforcement schedule before moving on to the next approximation

    • If no progress is being made it may be necessary to adjust the pyramid; on the other hand you may skip steps for an animal that is learning quickly


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

Summary

  • Learning is a relatively permanent change in behavior due to experience

  • Operant Conditioning states that behavior is altered by the consequences that follow that behavior

  • In order to effectively communicate with an animal, we must become significant and possess a means of saying “good job”

  • Know the animal and the environment


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

Summary

  • Keep training simple

  • Desensitize objects

  • Shaping behavior through the use of targets is preferred

  • Sharp bridges are essential

  • Pay attention to reinforcement schedules and ratios


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

Summary

  • Once criterion is established for one approximation, maintain it on an intermittent schedule

  • Don't over train or over use SDs, desensitization may follow

  • Try to end sessions on a positive

  • Keep it fun!

  • There is more than one way to train a behavior

  • Utilize resources


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

The Training Game!

  • Tools

    • Reinforcement

    • Bridge

    • Props

  • The training game can be done with scanning or utilizing a target

  • Assume that bridges and targets have already been conditioned


Learning communication basic staff training program

TRAINING

The Training Game!

  • How to play

    • A person is chosen to be the "dolphin" and asked to leave the room

    • The trainer is assigned a behavior to teach the "dolphin"

    • The trainer prepares the pyramid, then the "dolphin" comes back into the room

    • Trainer can scan for desired behavior, or use a target

    • Behavior is complete when the "dolphin" consistently performs behavior correctly


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