On-the-Job Training of Special Education Staff: Teaching the Simultaneous Prompting Strategies

Article excerpt

Abstract

The aim of this study is to analyze the effectiveness of stafftraining on discrete-trial teaching (DTT). Multiple baseline design across subjects was used in order to analyze the effect of the training program on the educators' performance on probing and intervention implementation. For teaching these two skills, presentation of an information manual, live model and error correction including feedback giving through video were used. The results showed that the percentage of correct response related to probing and training skills through simultaneous prompting was 100% among all participants. Students who were instructed by these educators also reached 80-100% correct responding level in terms of the skill taught. Follow-up data was collected 4-8 weeks after the completion of the process and it was seen that the participants partially maintained the skills acquired. Social validity data was collected in order to assess opinions of the participants about the survey.

Key Words

StaffTraining, Simultaneous Promptings, Discrete-Trial Teaching, Individuals with Developmental Disabilities.

The success of individuals with developmental disabilities depends on the effective and proper use of appropriate teaching methods as well as the changes and adaptations of the attitudes of the people who play active roles in the child's education, such as peers, staffand parents. Staffmembers are individuals who interact with children with developmental disabilities and provide services to them (Sturmey, 2008). Considering this relationship, the effectiveness and significance of training these staffmembers have become an important current issue.

StaffTraining: A Review of the Literature

In the existing literature, there are many studies on the effects of staffmember training on a staff's performance and the performances of the individuals with developmental disabilities to whom the staffprovides service. Most of the studies aim to teach discrete-trial teaching, an evidence-based practice, to staffmembers working with children who suffer from developmental disabilities (Belfiore, Fritts, & Herman, 2008; Dib & Sturmey, 2007; Fazzio, Martin, Arnal, & Yu, 2009; Koegel, Russo, & Rincover, 1977; LeBlanc, Ricciardi, & Luiselli, 2005; Ryan & Hemmes, 2005; Sarokoff& Sturmey, 2004, 2008; Thiessen et al., 2009). The findings of these studies indicate that staffmembers, who have undergone this training, enjoy a distinct increase in the accurate usage of this method. In another studies on stafftraining, teaching through daily routines (Lavie & Sturmey, 2002), and the evaluation of stimulus preferences (Lavie & Sturmey), have been conducted to gain information and skills to staffmember.

In stafftraining, there are four main methods: the handbook, which presents related information through a trainer's written notes; modeling, which trains the staffvia live performances or videos; rehearsal, which encourages trainees to apply their skills; and feedback, which is the trainer's explanations of the staff's performance through written, oral or graphic accounts (Sturmey, 2008).

In most of the studies investigating the effectiveness of stafftraining methods, at least two of these methods were used together (Dib & Sturmey, 2007; Koegel et al., 1977; Lavie & Sturmey, 2002; Leblanc et al., 2005; Ryan & Hemmes, 2005; Sarokoff& Sturmey, 2004, 2008; Schepis, Reid, Ownbey, & Parsons, 2001), yet in only one study was the effectiveness of self video modeling (in which the participants watch themselves) examined (Belfiore et al., 2008). The teaching methods in stafftraining play a significant role in creating the desired effects on the staffand the individuals taught by the staff. In addition, these methods are expected to be efficient in terms of time and effort. These features are involved in the desired characteristics of stafftraining (Sturmey, 2008).

In Turkey, the discrete-trial approach was applied in various studies. …