Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘E-Learning’

We reviewed this study in our July 2019 Journal Club meeting. The full citation is: Jang, J., Dixon, D. R., Tarbox, J., Granpeesheh, D., Kornack, J., & de Nocker, Y. (2012). Randomized trial of an eLearning program for training family members of children with autism in the principles and procedures of applied behavior analysis. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 6, 852-856.

For some background info…. staff at CARD in the R&D department as well as some of the staff in the Training Department (now known as the Institute for Behavioral Training) conducted this study on E-Learning. In full disclosure, I worked at CARD when staff conducted these studies.

We know that training parents to implement ABA is possible. (See some of Dr. Hancock (now Blackmon) and Dr. Kaiser’s vast work in the area of training parents to implement EMT and other language interventions).

I love this excerpt from the National Research Council’s book on educating children with autism (National Research Council 2001. Educating Children with Autism. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/10017.)

The committee recommends that families’ participation should be
supported in education through consistent presentation of information
by local school systems, through ongoing consultation and individualized
problem solving, and through the opportunity to learn techniques
for teaching their children new skills and reducing behavioral problems.
Although families should not be expected to provide the majority of educational programming for their child, the parents’ concerns and perspectives should actively help shape educational planning.

The introduction section of this paper builds the case for parent training. For example, see this statement, “Thus, it has become the consensus that all treatment for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD) should
include substantial parent and family training (Brookman-Frazee, Stahmer, Baker-Ericzen, & Tsai, 2006; Matson, Mahan, &​ ​Maton, 2009; McConachie & Diggle, 2007).​
“​ And while we have little data on the amount of parent training provided to parents as part of on-going ABA programs, we do know that insurance companies reimburse ABA providers for the service of parent training and for group parent training (when fewer than 8 parents participate)​​. Additionally, we know that E-Learning is an effective tool for teaching fact based knowledge regarding ABA concepts. Thus, the purpose of the study is logical: “evaluate the effectiveness of an eLearning program for training family​ ​members of children with ASD in the principles and procedures of ABA treatment​”​

The authors recruited 28 family members (mostly moms) to participate in this study. The majority of participants held a bachelor’s degree or higher.​ All participants spoke English and had access to high speed internet. 25 of the participants reported that their children currently received ABA services. The combination of these factors would suggest that the results of the study might not be generalizable to all populations but rather to those with higher education and SES.

The authors utilized a group design study and randomly assigned participants to one of two groups: treatment and waitlist. This design removed any ethical concerns regarding a no treatment group. Thus, the participants who were assigned to the no treatment group would ultimately receive training, just at a later date. In our online meeting, we discussed the limitation regarding the wait. Participants only had to wait one week after taking the pre-test before receiving access to E-Learning. We felt that a longer waiting period may have been better because participants may have been tested too much, too close together. Specifically, participants in the waitlist group took a pre-test, waited a week, took the pre-test, then started training and took the pre-test again.

The authors reported that the E-Learning resulted in improved performance on the test with the treatment group improving, on average, from 63% to 90% correct and the control group improving from 51% to 92% but only after they received training.

I think we can all agree that E-Learning is a viable option for teaching concepts. As the authors noted, having this technology available for parents is helpful to reach parents who live in rural areas. Using E-learning also allows families to proceed at their own pace. And finally, neither clinicians or parents have to travel to provide/receive the training.

​And while of these are advantages for E-Learning, our bigger struggle is the next p​​hase of training: application of principles.

If you enjoyed this article, you may also enjoy reading this article where the authors used the same E-Learning Program to train therapists. Here is the full reference: Granpeesheh, D., Tarbox, J., Dixon, D. R., Peters, C. A., Thompson, K., & Kenzer, A. (2010). Evaluation of an eLearning tool for training behavioral therapists in academic knowledge of applied behavior analysis. Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 4(1), 11-17.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: