• Experimental Evaluation of Self-directed Versus Instructor-assisted Online Applied Behavior Analysis Training: Examination of Post-Knowledge and Application Assessments with Minority Students

      Desrochers, Marcie; Gillespie, Janet F.; Ratcliff, Jennifer; Kwamogi, Laker (2019-09-11)
      Given the growing demand for applied behavioral analysis (ABA) training, self-instructional online programs could be useful to teach strategies to various individuals who are minority-ethnic and may need training (e.g., therapists, college students, parents). Although self-directed online training has been shown to be an effective learning method, little research has been done examining the best methods of online training with ethnic minority students. Past research suggests that instructor-assisted training may help minority-ethnic students overcome difficulties (low satisfaction, engagement, motivation, and understanding) with online training material. Participants reported issues based on possible cultural factors (i.e., miscommunication, negative perceptions from instructors, misunderstandings) and feelings of isolation negatively affecting their performance. In this study, a mixed subjects cross over experimental research design was used to evaluate the instructional effectiveness of learning ABA material by minority-ethnic college students in two online conditions (self-directed versus instructor-assisted). Post knowledge and application assessments measured participants’ acquisition of ABA material in each online training condition. Subjective evaluation assessments measured participants’ perceptions of the two online training conditions. The present study showed no statistically significant difference in participants’ mean post-knowledge and application assessment scores and no difference in online training preference. However, participants’ perceived that learning was greater in the instructor-assisted training condition in comparison to the self-directed training condition. Further research is needed for empirically informed decisions concerning the best way to provide online ABA training with minority-ethnic groups.