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Ep. 92- Staying Consistent! Skill Aquisition Protocols

show notes Sep 07, 2023

Resources mentioned in this episode

  1. Free 2 CEU course on Solving Clinical Challenges with Research-
  2. Parker et al., 2023- 

Please contact Matt @ [email protected] if you have any questions or if you need help accessing the full article!

Full Transcript (Click for downloadable copy)

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The Behaviorist Bookclub Podcast: Enhancing Skill Acquisition Through Technology and Research


Welcome to the Behaviorist Bookclub Podcast, where we dive deep into the world of behavior analysis and practices to help clients achieve meaningful behavior change. I'm your host, Matt Harrington. In today's episode, we're delving into an exciting research paper titled "Identifying and Training Skill Acquisition: A Preliminary Investigation" by Parker and colleagues (2023). This paper explores the innovative use of computer-based instruction (CBI) to develop and disseminate protocols for skill acquisition, offering a new perspective on how technology and research can work hand in hand to improve behavior analysis practices.

The Power of Computer-Based Instruction

Computer-based instruction, or CBI, is at the heart of this research. Think about it—right now, you're listening to a podcast, learning and absorbing information via technology. This podcast episode could even become part of a mini CEU course in the future. CBI leverages technology to disseminate research-backed protocols and adapt them to the unique needs of learners. This approach represents a significant step towards evidence-based practice in behavior analysis.

Protocol Development: A Crucial Element

The research paper emphasizes the importance of having well-defined, written protocols for effective skill acquisition. Just like a recipe guides a cook through the steps of creating a delicious dish, protocols guide behavior analysts in teaching essential skills. These protocols act as task analyses, breaking down complex behaviors into manageable steps.

The authors highlight two main avenues for developing protocols: pre-made curriculums and research-based approaches. Pre-made curriculums offer the convenience of ready-to-use protocols but might lack individualization and client-centered focus. On the other hand, research-based protocols draw from scientific articles and require careful consideration and adaptation to the learner's context.

The Study: Exploring CBI for Protocol Development

The research study involved collaborating with behavior analysts to develop a protocol for skill acquisition. Twenty-four analysts were initially contacted, with eight contributing to the study. While the sample size is relatively small, the study provides valuable insights into the potential of CBI for protocol development.

The study utilized CBI to train analysts in developing protocols. The CBI program consisted of modules that covered understanding the components of a research article, adapting protocols to individual learners, and more. After completion, the effectiveness of CBI was measured through social validity and a control group.

Pros and Cons of the Approach

CBI proves to be a powerful tool for disseminating protocol development skills. However, its success depends on factors like engagement, quiz effectiveness, and well-structured content. While CBI offers many benefits, it's not a standalone solution. The study shows that a combination of techniques—such as CBI, expert reviews, and tech feedback—could create a robust system for creating effective protocols.

The Value of CBI and Future Considerations

This research paper sheds light on the potential of computer-based instruction in behavior analysis. It serves as a valuable starting point for analysts looking to improve protocol development skills. However, the study's limitations, including the small sample size, prompt us to consider future research that includes a broader range of practitioners and incorporates ongoing observations of behavior and learner feedback.

Conclusion: A Step Towards Better Practices

In the ever-evolving field of behavior analysis, technology continues to shape the way we disseminate information and improve our practices. The study discussed in this podcast episode highlights the potential of computer-based instruction to enhance protocol development and skill acquisition. As behavior analysts, embracing innovative approaches like CBI can lead us closer to evidence-based, client-centered, and effective interventions.

Remember, the journey towards refining our practices is ongoing. By exploring research like Parker and colleagues' work, we take another step towards becoming more knowledgeable and skilled behavior analysts. Stay curious, keep learning, and continue striving to make a meaningful impact through behavior analysis.

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