The Evaluation of Declarative and Procedural Training Components to Teach the Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities to Senior Tutors
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Declarative and procedural knowledge are important behaviors to teach when training staff. This study examined the training of staff declarative and procedural knowledge about a representative staff task—the Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities (ABLA), a behavioral assessment that measures an individual’s ability to learn an imitation and five two-choice discrimination skills. The ABLA was taught to 12 senior tutors of a behavioral intervention program for children with autism. The training intervention involved the senior tutors passing mastery-based unit tests and watching instructional videos related to the ABLA. The two training components were delivered by computer-aided personalized system of instruction (CAPSI). A multiple baseline design across two training sequences (see Martin & Pear, 2019, pp. 46–49), with a reversed order of the two components, was used to monitor the changes of the senior tutors’ performance on declarative and procedural knowledge. The results indicated that all senior tutors gained both types of knowledge substantially. In addition, differential contributions of the components to training effects were observed, i.e., passing unit tests was more effective in developing declarative knowledge while watching videos was more effective in developing procedural knowledge. It is recommended that when training staff efforts be made to teach both types of knowledge—because they represent different behavioral repertoires—as opposed to assuming that it is sufficient to teach only one of these repertoires.
Keywordsdeclarative knowledge procedural knowledge mastery-based unit tests instructional videos training senior tutors Assessment of Basic Learning Abilities (ABLA)
We thank the participants involved in this study and St.Amant for their support. This research was supported in part by grant KAL 114098 from the Knowledge Translation Branch of the Canadian Institutes of Health Research. Parts of this manuscript were previously presented at the 40th annual conference of the Association for Behavior Analysis International in Chicago, IL, May 2014.
Compliance with Ethical Standards
Disclosure of Conflict of Interest
On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author declares that there is no conflict of interest.
All procedures performed in the study involving human participants were in accordance with ethical standards of the University of Manitoba’s Research Ethics Board (#P2013:024) and St.Amant’s Research Access Committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
The participation in the study was completely voluntary and an informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
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