Autism is a complex brain-based developmental disability with unknown etiology. It involves disturbances or delays in communication, social interaction, and play, as well as behavioral abnormalities including; obsessive, ritualistic, rigid, and/or stereotyped behavior. The disorder affects 1 in 68 individuals nationwide. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is recognized by the medical community as the best practice approach to treating autism. Early, intensive, ABA treatment has been attributed to the widespread opinion that autism is now a treatable condition. The effectiveness of ABA, combined with the increasing incidence of autism, has resulted in a high demand for well-trained professionals who are able to effectively work with individuals with this diagnosis. Training programs are not producing ABA trained personnel at a rate that can meet the demand for services. Given the efficiencies which may be realized with online instruction, this study examined a blended approach to training staff by combining online professional training modules with classroom and field based instruction. The purpose of this quantitative study was to evaluate the efficacy of online instruction in ABA training models. A repeated measures design with the use of a control group was used to evaluate online instruction and compare its efficacy to that of live lecture or classroom based instruction. Results revealed a statistically significant difference in the level of training content learned and retained between the online group and the live lecture group. These results seem to suggest that something other than chance resulted in the online group scoring significantly higher than members in the live lecture group and that the online mode of instruction may have some merits that can be of value to address the demand for highly trained professionals to work in the autism field.
|Commitee:||Maio, Stephen, Rubino, Nicholas, Salia-Bao, Kemoh|
|School Location:||United States -- Massachusetts|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Behavioral psychology, Teacher education, Educational technology|
|Keywords:||Applied behavior analysis, Autism spectrum disorder, Blended adult training models, Learner control, Online instruction, Teacher training|
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