SPE 565: Evaluation of a Behavior Change System

SPE 565: Evaluation of a Behavior Change System


The purpose of this assignment is to develop a behavior intervention using a behavior change system. This assignment will require students to research, identify and develop a plan for implementation of an existing behavior change system.

General Information

In this project you will use the information addressed in this course to research, evaluate and develop a plan to implement a behavior change system. For this assignment you are developing a plan for implementation–you will not implement the behavior change system in this course. The assignment is worth 135 points and is due in Lesson 7.  Name your document in the format:  yourlast name and first initial (e.g., SmithA_BehaviorChange). Be sure to not use spaces or special characters (#, %, or dot ‘.’ ) in your file name. Please include your name within the body of your document.


You are to develop and write an original behavior change plan using a behavior change system. Your plan should be a maximum of 5 pages (data sheet, graph, and training handouts should be attached as an Appendix. The Appendix is not included in the 5-page limit). Include section headers (e.g., Part 1) along with headers that describe the material covered (e.g., Participants).  Be sure to answer all questions under each header.
Your behavior change system plan should include:

  1. a narrative description of your plan (5 pages maximum)
  2. an Appendix which includes:
  1. one data sheet,
  2. one graph, and
  3. materials used for training others to implement the plan/system.

The data for this project will be hypothetical as you will not be collecting data on actual participants. Your data and graph should convey your understanding of the collection and interpretation of data resulting from implementation of the plan that you have proposed.
Your paper should be professional in tone and should reflect critical thinking, application, and evaluation of the principles of applied behavior analysis. Your assignment development and refinement must be conducted during this course. You may not use material developed and submitted for other courses. This paper should observe APA style guidelines and be presented in the format described below.

Activity Details

Develop an intervention plan using a behavior change system. Consider each item below as you design your plan. Describe the following components as they relate to your specific project; be sure to describe your project clearly using operational terms so that anyone with knowledge of behavioral principles could understand and replicate your study.

Part 1: Introduction

  1. Behavior Change System (10 points)


  • Choose a behavior change system from the following list:  (2 points)

o   Self-management
o   Direct Instruction
o   Precision Teaching
o   Incidental Teaching
o   Functional Communication Training

  • In one paragraph explain/describe the system. Provide a brief, concise description and purpose:

o   What behavior does the system used address? (target behaviors) (2 points),
o   typically designed with what population (participants) (2 points),
o   who typically implements it (2 points),
o   and in what settings (2 points)?

  1. Literature Review (20 points)
  • Conduct a preliminary literature review to locate two research articles that implemented the behavior change system that you have identified. At least one of your articles must be from theJournal of Applied Behavior Analysis and at least one article must be published after 2008 (5 points)
  • Write one to two paragraphs summarizing the findings of previous research that used the behavior change system you have selected. For both articles: explain how the system was implemented (independent variable) and the target behavior(s) (dependent variable) (2 points), participants and settings (1 point) and what the other researchers found (2 points) – (10 points total)
  • Include these articles in a reference list using APA style. (5 points)

Part 2: Method – Participants, Setting, and Behavior Change System Plan

  1. Clearly describe the participants (5 points)
  • Who are the specific individuals targeted for the behavior change system project? (1 point)
  • Why are they included (social validity)? (1 point)
  • What eligibility criteria, if any, do they have to meet? If no eligibility criteria, state and explain why not. (3 points)
  1. Clearly describe the setting in which the system will be used (10 points)
  • Where will the system be implemented? Clearly describe the exact location(s). Is it natural or contrived/analog? Who will implement it? (5 points)
  • Why is that setting relevant, important, and ideal for this system? (5 points)
  1. Clearly define the target behavior(s) you want to increase/develop using the behavior change system (15 points)
  • Operationally define your target behavior/dependent variable. (5 points)
  • Include examples of behavior that would meet the definition of your target behavior. (5 points)
  • Include non-examples of behavior that would not meet the definition of your target behavior. (5 points)
  1. Describe implementation of the behavior change system (10 points)
  • Provide a thorough description of how you plan to implement the behavior change system. State exactly what you will do during intervention sessions. (7 points)

o   What will you say and/or show the participant (1 point)
o   What stimuli/materials will be used during intervention sessions? (1 point)
o   Describe prompting procedures if applicable (1 point)
o   Describe the reinforcement and schedule of reinforcement  (2 points)
o   How long will sessions be? (1 point)
o   When will the intervention phase end? (1 point)

  • Anyone who reads your plan should be able to follow through with what you are going to do. It needs to have enough detail that it can be replicated by anyone. (3 points)

Part 3: Monitor and Analyze Outcomes

  1. Data collection plan (15 points)
  • What dimension of behavior will you be measuring?  (5 points)
  • Explain the measurement method you will use. (2 points)
  • Include a blank data sheet at the end of your write-up. (3 points)
  • Include a description of how and when you will measure the target behavior. (5 points)
  1. Results (10 points)
  • Describe how you will analyze your data. How will you determine if the intervention is working?  (2 points)
  • Describe how you will graph your data. (What type of graph will you use and why?) (3 points)
  • Include an example graph at the end of your write-up. Include all parts based on the type of graph – line graph, scatterplot, bar graph, standard celeration chart. Include at minimum a Baseline and Intervention phase (5 points)
  1. Ensuring fidelity (15 points)
  • Describe your procedures for training those who will implement the behavior change system. Be sure to indicate specifically who will be implementing the plan (e.g., parents, teachers, etc.). Your training procedures need to be appropriate for the individuals you indicated would be implementing the system.
  • In your description include:
  • An overall procedure (4 points)
  • Handouts for training target individuals. These should be handouts you create, not copies of handouts that exist for a published curriculum or procedure. (2 points)
  • A description of how you plan to monitor their accuracy and consistency in implementing the plan. (4 points)
  • What potential supports will those implementing the plan need? Describe how you will meet those needs. (5 points)
  1. Ensuring reliability (10 points)
  • Describe how you will ensure your data collection is reliable (e.g., IOA) and what criteria you will set for accuracy in measurement.  Describe your plan for addressing situations in which your criteria for acceptable IOA is not met. (5 points)
  • Specifically state what method of calculating IOA you will use and how it will be calculated. (5 points)
  1. Plan for generalization and fading the intervention (10 points)
  • Describe how you will ensure generalization and maintenance of the DV. (3 points)
  • Describe how you will assess for generalization and maintenance. (2 points)
  • Describe when and how you plan to fade the intervention. (3 points)
  • Reference course materials that support the approaches that you propose. (2 points)
  1. Use APA format and proper grammar (5 points + Pass/No Pass)

Write professionally, clearly, and abide by APA format guidelines as well as use proper grammar. Review your document for typos, spelling errors, and incomplete sentences prior to submission. In accordance with expectations of a graduate level course, papers not meeting format and professionalism standards will not be accepted. Papers receiving a No Pass must be revised and resubmitted.

Scoring Grid – Evaluation of a Behavior Change System

A total of 135 points can be earned for this assignment. Points will be assigned for accurate and complete information addressing each question/topic outlined in the activity details (above) and summarized in the grading rubric (below). Failure to address a question/topic will result in lost points.

Required Component Points
Points Possible
Part 1: Introduction
1 Behavior Change System   10
2 Literature Review   20
      Pass / No Pass
Part 2: Method – Participants, Setting, and Behavior Change System Plan
1 Clearly describe participant(s)   5
2 Clearly describe setting   10
3 Clearly describe target behavior   15
4 Clearly describe behavior change system plan   10
Part 3: Monitor and Analyze Outcomes
1 Clearly describe data collection plan   15
2 Clearly describe analysis of results   10
3 Clearly describe plan to ensure fidelity   15
4 Clearly describe plan to ensure reliability   10
5 Clearly describe plan for generalization and fading the intervention   10
6 Professional style – APA format/grammar   5
  Professional style   Pass/
No Pass
Project Total Points   135