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Applied Behavior Analysis for Educational Settings. Christopher Ewing, MS Behavior Intervention Consultant Arkansas Department of Education. Training Overview. Stages of Learning Errorless Learning Prompting and Prompt Fading Discrete Trial Training Precision Teaching & Fluency Training

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applied behavior analysis for educational settings

Applied Behavior Analysis for Educational Settings

Christopher Ewing, MS

Behavior Intervention Consultant

Arkansas Department of Education

training overview
Training Overview
  • Stages of Learning
  • Errorless Learning
    • Prompting and Prompt Fading
  • Discrete Trial Training
  • Precision Teaching & Fluency Training
  • Verbal Behavior
  • Incidental Teaching
  • Chaining
  • Shaping
stages of learning
Stages of Learning
  • Acquisition
  • Mastery/Fluency
  • Generalization
  • Maintenance
errorless learning
Errorless Learning
  • A procedure that reduces the chance of incorrect responses
  • Makes use of prompts and prompt fading to reduce incorrect responses
  • Reduces potential of learning incorrect responses
  • Prompts increase the effectiveness of teaching by decreasing the likelihood of incorrect responses.
  • Types of Prompts
    • Physical Prompts
    • Visual Prompts
    • Verbal Prompts
physical prompts
Physical Prompts
  • Physically guiding the student
  • Hand-over-hand
  • Use the least force needed to ensure correct response
  • Never physically force the child’s movement
  • Effective for teaching motor skills
visual prompts
Visual Prompts
  • Visual cues to ensure correct response
  • 4 types of visual prompts
    • Gestural
    • Picture
    • Model
    • Positional
verbal prompts
Verbal Prompts
  • Verbal instructions
  • Words or phrases
  • Can include sign language
prompt fading general guidelines
Prompt FadingGeneral Guidelines
  • Determine how the prompt will be faded before you start fading.
  • Must be done in an orderly manner.
  • Begin fading when correct responding averages 80% correct.
  • Delay prompt
  • 2-3 consecutive incorrect responses return to the last prompt level that the student was successful
prompt fading physical prompts
Prompt FadingPhysical Prompts
  • Reduce the force of grip
  • Light touch
  • Shadowing or change position of prompt
selection based imitation
Selection-Based Imitation
  • Used to teach receptive language
  • Sequence of Implementation
    • Linear configuration
      • Ensure attending
    • Field expansion
      • Strengthen scanning and increase field size
    • Linear configuration/different positions
      • Solidify scanning and prevent positional responding
    • Two steps
      • Increase flexible scanning and increase attention
    • Transfer to receptive labeling
      • “Do this.” is changed the label of the item
      • Gestural prompt is gradually faded
      • Response comes under control of verbal label of item
selection based imitation field expansion
Selection-Based ImitationField Expansion

Trainer “Do this.”


selection based imitation linear configuration different positions
Selection-Based ImitationLinear Configuration/Different Positions

Trainer “Do this.”


selection based imitation linear configuration different positions field expansion
Selection-Based ImitationLinear Configuration/Different PositionsField Expansion

Trainer “Do this.”


prompt fading verbal prompts
Prompt FadingVerbal Prompts
  • Shorten the instruction
  • Shorten the word
    • Give beginning sounds
discrete trial training




Discrete Trial Training
  • A structured way of teaching
  • Each trial has a clear beginning and ending
  • Trials are distinct and succinct
  • A trial is one set of instructions
discrete trial training components
Discrete Trial TrainingComponents
  • Presentation of Materials
  • Instructions
  • Prompting
  • Delivery of Consequences
discrete trial training presenting the materials
Discrete Trial TrainingPresenting the Materials
  • Materials are ready and organized
  • Unnecessary items are removed from area
  • Materials and reinforcers are accessible to trainer
  • Items must be randomized each trial
discrete trial training 5 components of effective instructions
Discrete Trial Training5 Components of Effective Instructions
  • Clear and easily identifiable
  • Appropriate for the task
  • Consistent for new tasks
  • Uninterrupted
  • Gain student’s attention
delivering consequences correct responses
Delivering ConsequencesCorrect Responses
  • Initially reinforce all correct responses
  • Once prompts are faded, use praise only to signal correct prompted responses
delivering consequences incorrect responses
Delivering ConsequencesIncorrect Responses
  • Do not use “No, no” prompt
  • Remove materials
  • If prompt has been faded, do not prompt after first incorrect response
  • Present materials and instruction
  • Reinstate last successful prompt after 2 incorrect responses
precision teaching
Precision Teaching
  • A fluency based set of methods and practice procedures which adjust curricula for each student to maximize learning
precision teaching examples of success
Precision TeachingExamples of Success
  • Students at Malcom X College made 2 grade level gains in 16 hours of instruction (Johnson & Layng 1994)
  • Sacajawea Elementary students gained 20-40 percentage points within 3 yrs. on standard achievement tests (Beck & Clement 1991)
  • Morningside Academy offers 2 money back guarantee for program
    • Students will progress 2 grade levels each year
    • Time on task will increase from 1-3 min. to 20 or more minutes (Johnson & Layng 1994)
    • Have not refunded any monies to date
precision teaching key features
Precision TeachingKey Features
  • The learner knows best
  • Uses frequency for measurement
  • Daily charting on the Standard Celeration Chart
  • Focused instruction and practice on directly observable behavior
precision teaching benefits
Precision TeachingBenefits
  • Frequency of response is the basic unit of measurement
  • Free operant responding
  • Emphasizes teaching sequentially
  • Instructional decisions are data based
  • Multiple instructional techniques can be utilized
precision teaching 5 steps
Precision Teaching5 Steps
  • Select a Task
  • Set an Aim
  • Count and Teach
  • Develop a Learning Picture
  • Decide What to Do
precision teaching select a task
Precision TeachingSelect a Task
  • Countable
    • The movement must be observable and measurable
  • Counting Period
    • Consistent
    • At least 8-10 movements
  • Correct/Incorrect Pair
    • Define correct and incorrect movements
    • Count both correct and incorrect movements for each counting period
  • Learning Channel
    • Input and Output
    • Multiple learning channel sets for each skill
  • Hard-To-Do
    • Goal is to teach a new skill
precision teaching learning channels
Precision TeachingLearning Channels


See Hear Touch Think


Say Write Touch Sign

Reach Press Mark Point


precision teaching learning channels50
Precision TeachingLearning Channels

Sample Learning Channel Sets

See/Write See/Say

Think/Do Hear/Write

Think/Write Hear/Sign

See/Match SeeHear/Touch

precision teaching set an aim
Precision TeachingSet an Aim
  • Strategy 1
    • Use component skill frequencies
      • 1.5 to 2.0 times greater than composite skill
      • Ex. Writes 120-160 digits/minute
        • Aim for multiplication facts = 80/mintue
  • Strategy 2
    • Ratio between teacher and student

Adult Skill Rate = Student Skill Rate

Adult Tool Rate Student Tool Rate

80 = X = 40/minute

100 50

    • Ratio between fluent student and student
precision teaching aims
Precision TeachingAims


Learning Channel Set




60-90 Digits/Minute



15-25 Words/Minute



125 Letter/Minute



90-140 Words/Minute

precision teaching fluency for children with autism
Precision TeachingFluency for Children with Autism

















*Syllables per minute

**Digits/letters per minute

Frabizio/Moors Consulting

precision teaching count and teach
Precision TeachingCount and Teach
  • Count correct and incorrect movements
  • Teach
    • Materials
    • Prompting
    • Consequences for correct and incorrect movements
    • Practice
precision teaching develop a learning picture
Precision TeachingDevelop a Learning Picture
  • Daily charting
  • Draw expected celeration line (minimum celeration line)
  • 3 consecutive days below line change teaching strategy
precision teaching decide what to do
Precision TeachingDecide What to Do
  • Slice Back
    • A smaller movement of the original movement
    • Error rate is higher than correct rate
  • Step Back
    • A movement that is easier than the original movement
    • Error rate is higher than correct rate
  • Change the Counting Period
    • When endurance is an issue
    • Duration should equal real life
  • Change the Aim
    • Set a temporary aim lower than the final aim
    • Gradually increase the aim as each temporary aim is met
precision teaching standard celeration chart
Precision TeachingStandard Celeration Chart
  • Standard charting conventions
  • Multiply/Divide
    • Advantages of multiply/divide
  • 1 response/1000 minutes
  • 1000 responses/minute
scc calculating the record floor


Record Floor =

Number of Minutes

SCCCalculating the Record Floor
  • Record Floor equals 1/Number of Minutes
    • 1 Minute Timing = 1
    • 5 Minute Timing = 1/5 = 0.2
    • 10 Second = 6
        • 60/10 = 0.17
        • 1/0.17 = 6
scc minimum celeration line
SCCMinimum Celeration Line
  • Draw aim star
  • Complete three days of baseline
  • Draw start mark
    • Draw mark at day two at the median frequency for the three days
  • Draw line
  • If frequency falls below minimum celeration line for 3 consecutive days, change programming or set new aim with new minimum celeration line.
scc charting data
SCCCharting Data
  • Count the number of correct and incorrect responses per given timing
  • A pass or skip is counted as an incorrect
  • Self corrected responses are counted as a correct and an incorrect response
  • Draw the record floor
  • Chart data
scc charting data65
SCCCharting Data


1-minute timing

5 correct and 3 incorrect

10 correct and 1 incorrect

15 correct and 0 incorrect

18 correct and 0 incorrect

25 correct and 1 incorrect


5 Correct

3 Incorrect

1-Minute Record Floor

scc charting data72
SCCCharting Data


30-second timing

5 correct and 3 incorrect

10 correct and 1 incorrect

15 correct and 0 incorrect

18 correct and 0 incorrect

25 correct and 1 incorrect


Record Floor = 1/0.5 = 2

Record Floor = 1/time in minutes


3 Per Minute

5 Per Minute


1 Minute Record Floor

30 Second Record Floor

5 Minute Record Floor

scc drawing celeration lines
SCCDrawing Celeration Lines

Quarter Intersect Method

1. Divide the frequencies into four equal sections.

2. Find the median frequency for each half.

3. Mark where the median frequencies for each half crosses the 1st and 3rd quarter intersect lines.

4. Draw a line connecting the marks on the 1st and 3rd intersect lines.

scc celeration values
SCCCeleration Values
  • Draw celeration line
  • Mark where celeration line crosses a Sunday line
  • Draw a dashed line from Sunday mark to the next Sunday mark
  • Measure celeration using rate finder
precision teaching91

Precision Teaching

Sample SCC

See/Write Addition

Think/Write Name


The fluid combination of speed and accuracy that characterizes competency, mastery, and expert performance (Binder, 1988).

fluency training benefits
Fluency TrainingBenefits
    • Retention
    • Endurance
    • Application
    • Performance Standards
    • Stability Over Time
mean averages for retention checks participant 1
Mean Averages for Retention Checks Participant 1

% Correct






Fluency Training



mean averages for retention checks participant 2
Mean Averages for Retention Checks Participant 2

% Correct






Fluency Training



fluency training big 6 6
Big 6

Reach Grasp Touch

Point Release Place

Big 6+6

Pull Squeeze Shake

Push Tap Twist

Fluency Aims

In isolation 200-300 movements/minute

As a compound 100-120 movements/minute

Fluency TrainingBig 6+6
verbal behavior
Verbal Behavior
  • Topographic Response
    • Spoken
    • Sign
  • Selection Response
    • PECS
verbal behavior101
Verbal Behavior
  • Mand
    • A request for a reinforcer
  • Tact
    • Verbal response to non-verbal stimulus
  • RFFC
    • Receptive by Function, Feature, and Class
    • Classification
incidental teaching
Incidental Teaching
  • Promotes generalization
  • Teaching in the natural environment
  • Must be programmed
  • Backward Chaining
  • Forward Chaining
  • Whole Task Chaining
  • Successive approximation towards a terminal behavior.