Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Education (MEd)


Department of Educational Foundations and Exceptionalities


Keri Bethune


Science content is still a commonly over-looked academic content area for students with severe disabilities despite recent research. The purpose of this study was to show that students with severe disabilities can learn science content in a whole group setting when taught using applied behavior analytic principles, such as prompting and fading techniques. Four elementary-aged students with severe disabilities between 1st and 5th grade were taught science content using group lessons and effects were measured by a multiple baseline design across units. Participants were taught content from three different units: Energy, weather, and plants; the science content selected aligned with Virginia’s Alternative Standards of Learning (ASOL) and helped complete two of the participants’ Virginia Alternate Assessment Program (VAAP) portfolios. Each unit consisted of five vocabulary words and their definitions and three concept questions (i.e., key ideas of the unit). Science content was taught to all four participants in group lessons using systematic instruction utilizing errorless prompting methods such as constant time delay and activities that related to the unit content. Probe trials were used to determine baseline and intervention effects.



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