Preferred Name

Sabrena Samuel

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

5-7-2020

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Department

Department of Graduate Psychology

Advisor(s)

Daniel Holt

Trevor Stokes

Sara Snyder

Abstract

With the small number of Board-Certified Behavior Analysts (BCBA) located outside of the United States, there is a continually increasing demand for applied behavior analysis (ABA) services across the globe. It is critical, therefore, to develop widely accessible, ethically compliant and effective ways to train clinicians to implement ABA procedures and interventions. With advancements in technology, online modalities can be an efficient and effective alternative to train clinicians across a wide range geographically. This study compared the effectiveness of a behavioral skills training (BST) training package used to teach the implementation of the first three phases of the picture exchange communication system (PECS) across two training modalities: in-person and tele-training. The primary research question explores if using BST to train PECS, does the training modality matter? Moreover, are we doing no harm with enlisting tele-training as a modality? The secondary research question explores if there are any items that may be differentially impacted by the training modality. Moreover, will the Task Analysis (TA) of target responses reveal any systematic effects between the training modality at the item by item level? The experimenter provided in-vivo coaching for the in-person condition and provided coaching from a different room within the same building for the tele-training condition. A comparison design was used to evaluate the effectiveness of the tele-training BST training package relative to in-person BST training. All participants in both the tele-training and in-person conditions demonstrated significant improvements in the implementation of the first three phases of PECS relative to baseline. Regarding the first research question, the participant in the tele-training group exhibited similar rates of acquisition to the in-person training group, therefore demonstrating that tele-training was as effective as in-person training. Regarding the secondary research question, when examining responding at the item-by-item level, there were no consistent pattern of errors throughout any particular phase of PECS, across participants, or across either modality, therefore demonstrating that no items on the TA were differentially impacted by the training modality. The study demonstrated that tele-training can be utilized as an effective model to provide training across a wide range of skills and across various regions around the world.

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