Effect of Task Sequence and Preference on On-Task Behavior

  • Tiffani Warren
  • Rachel R. CaglianiEmail author
  • Erinn Whiteside
  • Kevin M. Ayres
Original Paper


This study compared effects of student choice of task sequence to two variations in teacher-manipulated task sequences on on-task behavior of elementary-aged students with disabilities. Researchers modified Call et al.’s (J Appl Behav Anal 42: 723–728, 2009) demand assessment to determine high-, moderate-, and low-probability tasks. Next, researchers applied the results from the demand assessment to inform teacher-manipulated variations in task sequences: a high- to low-probability task sequence and low- to high-probability task sequence. These sequences were then embedded in a visual activity schedule (VAS). Results of task sequence manipulation embedded in a VAS indicated slightly higher median percentages of on-task behavior for the high- to low-probability task sequence. Future directions for research based on these preliminary data are discussed.


On-task behavior Off-task behavior Visual activity schedules Task sequence Student choice 


Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Autism and Behavioral Education ResearchUniversity of GeorgiaAthensUSA

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