Chata Dickson, Rebecca P. Fallows MacDonald
Date of Award
Master of Applied Behavior Analysis
Department or Academic Unit
Bouvé College of Health Sciences. Department of Counseling and Applied Educational Psychology.
psychology, behavioral, autism, group instruction, observational learning
Autistic children - Education, Group work in education
Special Education and Teaching
Group instruction may be an efficient and effective format for teaching children with autism spectrum disorders. Group instruction allows for the possibility of observational learning and as a result children may acquire new skills that are not directly taught. However, not all students have the prerequisite waiting and attending skills necessary for observational learning. In the first phase of this study, two participants with autism spectrum disorders were assessed on their ability to wait which was defined as follows: while teacher is instructing other student at the same table, target student maintains sitting with feet on floor, with no interfering motor or vocal stereotypy. One participant required training and acquired the skill after 40 trials. In the second phase, the participants were each taught a set of sight words in 1:1 sessions. After each of the participants' performances met mastery criteria, they were grouped together, and after observing 2 sessions of maintenance trials for the other student, a probe was conducted. Both participants demonstrated mastery of the sight word sets that were not directly trained after observing four maintenance sessions. The results have implications for instructional arrangements other than 1:1 training. Through observational learning in the context of group instruction, students may begin to acquire skills more efficiently.
Carey, Andrea, "Observational learning in the context of group instruction" (2011). Applied Behavioral Analysis Master's Theses. Paper 55. http://hdl.handle.net/2047/d20001020
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