Find 50 Ways Behavior Analysis Intern Students Gain Fieldwork Experience During COVID-19

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With the closure of schools, many behavioral analysis interns doing their supervised independent fieldwork in an educational setting lost the opportunity to accumulate hours related to restricted activities of a therapeutic and educational nature with students from Kindergarten to Grade 12. 12th grade.

Considering the impact on interns, two faculty members at the College of Education, University of Nevada, Reno developed 50 suggestions for school interns to continue to accumulate hours for restricted and non-restricted activities. restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Brighid Fronapfel and MaryAnn Demchak published an article in the journal Behavior Analysis in Practice on an extremely accelerated timeline that gives Board Certified Behavior Analyst interns 50 ways to accumulate hours during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We were originally looking to help our students because it was our immediate need, but then we found value in the fact that it would likely be applicable internationally, as our students are not the the only ones to be in this situation, ”said the research assistant. professor at the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities and co-author Brighid Fronapfel said.

Interns need 1,500 hours and must earn a minimum of those hours each month. Without direct access to students or centers, the journal article provides desperately needed ideas for many students, including those outside of the University of Nevada, Reno.

“It helps interns get the hours they need when they’re struggling to come up with ideas on how to get the hours,” said MaryAnn Demchak, co-author of the article and associate dean of the research and graduate programs at the College of Education. “When you’re a student you might not be fully aware of all the types of things you could do to get hours. And as supervisors, we help our students get the hours they need, but it’s different when you don’t have access to the workplace.

Getting enough hours and finding new ways to meet those demands is essential for BCBA interns. Demchak said that even wasting a few hours each month is a big deal when trying to rack up 1,500 hours.

“When we talk about students who can rack up, we’ll say between 20 and 30 hours before the schools close per week, they’re probably now, you know, looking like two to eight,” Fronapfel said. . “So it was a big hit.”

Although the interns had an initial panic about their hours and future, the guidelines created by Demchak and Fronapfel provided the students with a resource to show that they are not in dire straits.

“[The list of activities] Calmed them down a bit and they realized they had access to more potential hours than they originally thought, ”said Fronapfel. “A few other supervisors also reached out and said they were grateful because they are no longer in that panic of trying to find things to do for their interns. “

The 50 activities count as hours, but most importantly, they are just as effective in teaching interns the valuable skills they will need for their careers. Each activity was reviewed to find one or more articles that support the suggested activity. The activities were also linked to the Behavior Analysts Certification Board task lists used to guide the supervision of trainees.

“They can be credited for doing research on how to assess preferences,” Demchak said. “They can then get hours to specifically develop the protocol they intend to follow with their clients or the children they work with. They can play a role in being ready once they have access again. And so that gives them some of the key areas that they need to be able to do and gives them ideas on what they could do in relation to that key strategy.

Here are some examples of activities:

  • Develop and write instructional plans to teach new skills to students
  • Research Literature to Support Instructional Plans
  • Demonstrate proficiency in implementing instructional procedures such as prompting a response (for example, using verbal instructions, modeling, or physical assistance) through role plays with the supervisor and other trainees
  • Teach instructional procedures such as prompting response procedures to parents and / or other teachers

According to the Behavior Analysis in Practice website, it would normally take 79 days to get a first decision on a submission. From submission to acceptance, it would take 252 days. The acceptance of Demchak and Fronapfel took only 5 days.

“We submitted it on a Tuesday and it was accepted on Saturday, which is unheard of for peer-reviewed journals,” Demchak said.

“The publisher commented that it was ‘pure solid gold’ and therefore needed at this time.”

At the time of writing, the manuscript has received over 2,500 downloads, less than a week after publication. “For a scientific manuscript in this amount of time, having so many downloads is pretty phenomenal,” Demchak said.

The rapid rate implies the usefulness of the information for BCBA trainees as a whole, and not just for those who complete the verified course sequence at the University of Nevada, Reno’s special education program. The published article is in the journal Behavior Analysis in Practice.


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