This course builds upon the science of applied behaviour analysis (ABA). Concepts include ABA definitions and characteristics, behavioural assessments, intervention strategies and outcomes, behaviour change procedures and systems support. All topics will be addressed within the context of current best practices and contemporary professional ethics.
The following global ideas guide the design and delivery of this course:
- Professional ethics and social validity are fundamental to the field of ABA.
- Behaviour analysts employ a scientific approach to the study of human behavior and avoid pseudo- and anti-scientific approaches.
- The field of ABA is predicated on research employing single-subject research designs.
- The collection and interpretation of data underscore all aspects of ABA.
- Assessing and changing problem behaviour is achieved via a functional and not a structural analysis of behaviour.
- Changing dimensions of behaviour are the result of manipulating antecedent and consequence stimuli.
- Setting generalization, response generalization, and response maintenance are considered prior to developing behaviourally-based interventions.
- Skinner’s (1957) analysis of verbal behaviour emphasized a functional approach to language acquisition and maintenance.
Means of Assessment
This is a Graded course. Course assessment may include the following: Class participation, class presentation, quizzes, exams, fluency test, and literature review
Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:
1. Define and apply the ethical framework in which the behaviour analyst works
2. Differentiate data collection methods including distinguishing methods of measuring occurrence and dimensions
3. Differentiate science from pseudo- and anti-science approaches to working with people with developmental disabilities and apply the components of the scientific method to single subject experimental designs:
- Distinguish key terms including baseline, baseline logic, and stable/steady state responding
- Outline pros and cons of group designs.
- Outline pros and cons of single-subject designs including alternating treatment design, changing criterion design, multiple baseline (including multiple probe and nonconcurrent) design, and reversal design
4. Display data and offer interpretations via visual analysis:
- Construct equal-interval, bar, cumulative and scatterplot graphs
- Calculate split middle, and quarter-intersect lines of progress
5. Construct methods to assess procedural integrity and competency based training:
- Identify factors that confound internal validity including subject, setting, and measurement confounds
- Identify factors that lead to independent variable confounds including treatment integrity and treatment drift
- Identify factors that influence external validity including direct and systematic replications
- Identify threats to measurement accuracy and reliability
6. Implement and evaluate various antecedent and teaching strategies:
- Define, differentiate, and offer applied examples of establishing and abolishing operations, ecological strategies, setting events, and the matching law
- Develop interventions with consideration to generalization and maintenance.
7. Summarize Skinner’s Verbal Behavior (1957) text and its application to teaching language.
Textbooks and materials to be purchased by students. Consult the Douglas College Bookstore for the latest required textbooks and materials. Examples of textbooks and materials include:
- Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L.. Applied Behavior Analysis. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson/Prentice Hall.
- Course pack of assigned journal readings
- Individually assigned readings and/or books