PSYCH587-20D (HAM)

Behaviour Analysis Practicum

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Psychology


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Paper Description

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The Behaviour Analysis Practicum covers the assessment of verbal behaviour in a practical setting using an assessment tool called the VB-MAPP. Students will carry out this assessment in an external organisation/agency/school, with a client and be given professional supervision and instruction to ensure ethical and effective practice.
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Paper Structure

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Learning outcomes will be achieved though both academic course work in classes (this can be online) and practical training (through undertaking a project in an off-campus setting). Ethical standards and professional conduct will be covered. The practical issues that come with observing and administering a Psychological assessment, as well as designing and implementing behaviour change procedures will be addressed both in class and through the practical training. Students will be learning about assessment and carrying out an assessment with the aim of identifying skill deficits and designing behaviour change procedures to remedy these in their projects.

Class attendance and regular communication via Moodle is expected. At these classes, your work will be presented to and discussed with the group. If you know you will be absent from any of these or from a pre-planned meeting at the off-campus setting please make sure you give your apologies via email or the previous week. You will also be expected to liaise with relevant people in the setting in which you will be doing your projects. You will also arrange times to be in that setting to undertake assessments, observations and other tasks relevant to your project.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • Gather information and conduct a VB-MAPP assessment. Use the assessment results to formulate and provide recommendations regarding treatment or intervention.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • participate in group discussions and reflection on your own and other’s work.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • work in line with the Behavior Analyst Certification Board’s (BACB) Guidelines for Responsible Conduct for Behavior Analysts, BACB Professional Disciplinary and Ethical Standards and NZ Psychologists Board’s Code of Ethics
    and other standards which might be identified.
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • work within the rubric of applied behaviour analysis
    (e.g., as in BACB’s Task List, as defined by Baer, Wolf, and Risley’s (1968, 1987) seven dimensions, as a scientist practitioner, as an evidence-based practitioner, and other models which might be identified.
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Your grade will be based on the completion of contact logs, (15%), video uploading, reflection and group discussion on challenges whilst completing the VB-MAPP (60%) and the results summary (25%). In order to gain the material required for these assignments, you will be assigned or find a student at a local school and will need to follow the processes to administer each section of the VB-MAPP, reporting on your findings and reflecting as you go.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Contact Log
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Video, Reflection and Group Discussion of the VB-MAPP
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Results summary
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
  • Presentation: In Class
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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There is no required text but you will be referred to various texts and articles during class supervision. You will also be expected to find materials on your own. Details of some of the readings will be provided on Moodle. The APA (American Psychological Association) manual may be useful for your writing and referencing. Two books which you may find useful both within this course and related papers are:
Martin, G. & Pear, J. (2014) Behavior Modification: What it is and how to do it. (10th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Publishers.
Cooper, J.O., Heron, T.E. & Heward, W.L. (2014). Applied Behavior Analysis. (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
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Online Support

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A communication space for students studying psychology.

Graduate Virtual Common Room
The Graduate Virtual Common Room has been designed to help you locate the resources you are likely to need as a graduate student, to find out what is happening in the School and to network with other graduate students.

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Successful completion of this course provides coursework hours towards the Behavior Analyst Certification Board coursework hours. The hours provided are in the following areas:

4th edition task list: A & H: Measurement inc. data analysis, 10 hours; G & I & D. Identification of the Problem and Assessment, 20 hours, D & E: Fundamental elements of behaviour change and specific behaviour change procedures, 10 hours; K. Implementation, Management and supervision: 5 hours.
5th edition task list: C & D: Measurement, data display and interpretation; experimental design, 10 hours; F: Behaviour assessment, 20 hours; G & H Behaviour change procedures, selecting and implementing interventions, 10 hours; I: Personnel supervision and management, 5 hours.

The amount of work expected of a typical student in a 15 point graduate paper (offered over one semester) is approximately 10 hours per week. These figures are only approximations, as papers vary in their requirements and students vary in both the amount of effort required and the level of grades they wish to achieve.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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Prerequisite papers: PSYC314 or PSYCH314 and PSYC307 or PSYCH307, or equivalents




Restricted Papers: PSYC587

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