Getting Started with ABAKiS User Guides

These pages are designed to help you make the most out of using ABAKiS to enter your ABA team's program data. We encourage you to read them - and if you're still stuck, let us know and we're always happy to help.

Introduction

We've gone to great lengths to make ABAKiS simple to use, because we want everyone to use it - from your BI's and BCBA's to teachers and grandparents. We like to say "Make it so easy that Grandma could figure it out." We're not dissing grandmothers of course (mine actually maintained the IT computers at her community hospital until the age of 90) - but we do recognize that ABA data can be extremely complex, and not everyone will understand it. Start by clicking on the ABAKiS Login link at the top of this page to open the myABAKiS application, and working through the user guide sections in the tabs to the left.

ABAKiS Glossary of Terms

ABA itself can seem like a bit of an alphabet soup, and while there are some commonly used terms, some things mean different things to different people. Here is a list of terms we use at ABAKiS for your reference. For more adventurous types, there is an extensive ABA dictionary available at www.scienceofbehaviour.com

General Terms

  • ABAKiS - our name, our brand, and our promise to you. It stands for "ABA - Keep it Simple". It sounds like "Abacus".
  • Session - all data collected by one team member in one day. Even if the same person comes back later in the same day, it all counts towards the same session.
  • Program Team - a unique set of behaviour plans, modules, team members and data. You might be a member of multiple Program Teams but you can only work within one at a time.
  • Family Team - a type of Program Team built around collecting data for a single child.
  • Clinic Team - a type of Program Team built around managing a clinic. It can have multiple Family Teams associated with it.

User Types

  • Analyst - our generic term for BCBA, Behaviour Consultant, Provider, Behaviour Analyst, etc.
  • Interventionist - our generic term for BI, therapist, etc. who collects and records data for their own session.
  • Data Entry - often a team lead but can be anyone who needs to enter historic data or record data for other team members after the fact.
  • Team Admin - a separate setting that allows any team member to manage team member roles and assignments. The person named on the Program Team billing account is the default Team Admin.
  • Clinic Admin - a separate setting that allows any team member of a Clinic Team, to manage and assign associated Family Teams, in addition to other Team Admin functions.

Skills Development Modules

  • Module - our term for a skill to be learned systematically - you may know this as Program, SD, Short Term Objective (STO), etc. Modules come in different flavours called "types", which vary by how data is collected and presented.
  • Mass Trials - a module type where each data set consists of one or more trials, each of which has a defined correct response. The response types are defined as follows:
    • CR - Correct Response, without prompting.
    • IR - Incorrect Response, whether prompted or not.
    • PR - Prompted Response, where the correct answer is given only after some form of prompting.
    • NR - No Response.
  • Scale-Rated - a module type where each data set consists of a single value which is scored (rated) on a scale customized for that module. There are two settings that define this for a module:
    • Scale Label - what the scale value refers to, For example if you wanted to record the time taken to complete a task, you might use "Minutes" as your scale label.
    • Scale Max Value - the maximum allowable value that can be recorded. The minimum is always zero.

Skills Development Targets

  • Target - a specific learning target used to teach a module. You can also use targets to break down skill chains into individual steps.
  • Data Set - all data collected for a single target in a single session.
  • Target Status - there are several options available for setting a target status. Besides New, which indicates that no data has been recorded against that target, none of the predefined target statuses have any special meaning or affect how data can be recorded.
  • Automation Rule - an optional rule that defines the conditions under which a target status will be automatically updated.

Behaviours

  • Behaviour Plan - this includes the Behaviour and the proactive and reactive plans. Note that there may be multiple Behaviour Plans defined for a single behaviour, depending on the circumstances.
  • Antecedent - the situation or circumstance that immediately preceded the behaviour.
  • Behaviour - the behaviour that is actually observed.
  • Consequence - what reinforcing action was taken following the behaviour.
  • Proactive Plan - the defined plan for how to prevent the behaviour from occurring.
  • Reactive Plan - the defined plan for what to do when the behaviour occurs.
  • Context - the situation in which the behaviour occurred
  • Behaviour Observation - a single observation of a behaviour, normally recorded with the Antecedent and Consequence.

Lesson #1 - Setup your team

At ABAKiS we are huge fans of the power of teams. The absolute best way to get started is to get your entire team on board as quickly as possible. With a few simple steps you can help your team make the switch to using ABAKiS and you'll be well on your way to getting the most out of your ABA program.

 Setup User Accounts

First, you need to grant each of your team members access to your account. You will do this from the “Team Management” section, which you can access from anywhere in the application using the red “People” icon on the left side of the screen.
To add a new team member, click “Add New User” at the bottom right of the page. Here are a few things you should know about the information requested for each user:
  • Email address - this is a required field, as it serves as their user login ID.
  • Password - enter a temporary password for each user. Once they login they will be able to change it.
  • Role - see below to choose the correct role for each user to restrict what kinds of data they can enter.
  • Team admin (optional) - selecting this checkbox will grant them access to the Team Administration section so they can add or edit users.

Selecting the correct user role:

Every team member can view all team data no matter what you choose here. The user role only restricts what data they are able to enter or modify.
  • General - unrestricted data entry. (Tip: you might want to start with this to keep things simple. You can always change it later.)
  • Analyst - can enter plans and targets but not data sets or session notes
  • Interventionist - can enter targets, data sets, behaviour observations and session notes
  • Data Entry - similar to interventionist but can also enter data recorded by other users (useful for adding historical data or transferring from paper notes)
  • Observer - can’t enter data. This is useful for family members, classroom assistants etc who don’t record data but would like to monitor progress.
Complete the information and click “Create User”. The new user will then appear in the Team Management grid. If you need to make changes, you can click “Edit” beside the team member’s name.

Adoption Tips

As you enter each team member, they will be automatically sent an email with their login credentials. Here are a few important tips to make sure they are on board:
  • Let them know about ABAKiS and why you’ve chosen to start working with it to help manage your ABA team.
  • Make sure they are able to login, and know how to contact us if they run into any issues.
  • Discuss it at your next team meeting.

Lesson #2 - Start recording session data

By now you should have your team members all in place, and everyone has had a chance to login and start looking around the application. The simplest and most effective place to get everyone using ABAKiS right away is the Team Communications area. To get there at any time, click on the amber Calendar icon in the side menu. This will take you to the Sessions List.
In ABAKiS-speak, a “session” is a container for all the data entered by one team member in a single day. For example, let’s say your team member Joy works from 1-4pm on June 23. All the data they enter for that date will go under a single “session” for Joy on June 23. If another team member Peter enters data on the same date, that will go under a different session. If Joy comes back to do some more work in the evening of the same day, the data recorded would go in the same session as the data from the afternoon.

Sessions List

As you are just starting out, the Session Logs grid will be empty – but don’t worry, it will fill up as you begin entering session logs. This grid will show you a quick summary of every Session that has been recorded by your team. Click on a row to open up the details. If a team member hasn't had a chance to look at a particular Session Log, it will show for them in Bold, just like email. This way everyone can easily see at a glance where they need to catch up.

Creating a Session Log

A new session log is automatically created when a team member enters any behaviour observation or trial data. But we can also manually create one from the Session Logs grid. Some user role types, such as the Data Entry user, can create a Session Log on behalf of another user. This is useful for entering historical data, which we will cover in another lesson.

Once the Session Log has been created, you can add a note or upload an image such as a photo.

ABAKiS Bonus Power Tip:

Is your child is in school?  You can use Session Logs as a simple way to communicate with the teacher or teaching assistant. Add them as a team member (we suggest “Interventionist”), and ask them to add a Session Note at the end of each day. This way everyone will know how the school day went. As a side benefit, the in-school team can also see what the at-home team is up to and be alerted to any problem areas that may arise.

Lesson #3 – Working with Behaviour Data

By now, you should have your team familiar with creating Session Logs for sharing general information. Now it’s time to get started using the Behaviours area. If you are just getting started with your ABA program and don’t have a set of behaviour plans already, we strongly suggest you work through this with your Behaviour Analyst (or BCBA, Consultant, ABA Provider, etc).
The Antecedent – Behaviour – Consequence ("A-B-C") chain forms the backbone of Behaviour Data in ABAKiS. Here’s a quick summary in case you aren’t already familiar with these ABA terms:
  • Antecedent - what led up to the behaviour, what triggered it or what happened immediately before.
  • Behaviour – a description of the behaviour itself. Note this is best described as a specific action verb like “Hitting”, instead of an emotion such as “Angry”. But you can use whatever makes sense to the team – if “that elbow thing” has a clear meaning to the team, go with it.
  • Consequence – the action or specific intervention technique to be used as an immediate result of the behaviour being observed.

 Start with the A-B-C’s

Before you can start entering behaviour plans, you will need to populate a list of A-B-C items you are likely to encounter. You will do this from the Settings area of the application, accessed using the grey Gear icon on the left menu. From here, you can click on the empty bubble under each column to add items as needed. If you make a mistake, just click on the list item to edit it.

 Build Behaviour Plans

Once you feel you have enough A-B-C list items, you can start building your Behaviour Plans. A Behaviour Plan guides the team on how to respond to different behaviours. This you will do from the Behaviours area, which you will access using the green Clipboard icon on the left menu. From the Behaviour Plans grid, select the "Create" tab to create a new behaviour plan. Here are some tips for entering the details:
  • Title – This is the title of the Behaviour Plan itself. In many cases this could be the same as the Behaviour, but you might use different techniques in different situations.
  • Behaviour – Select one of the Behaviour list items. If the one you need isn’t there, go back to the A-B-C section and add it.
  • Description – If you need to, add more information here describing the behaviour.
  • Reactive Plan – Describe how you want team members to react when the behaviour is observed. It can include the consequence but you can also add more details.
  • Preventive Plan – Describe what team members should be doing to prevent the behaviour from occurring in the first place.
  • Antecedent, Consequence – If you select an item for either of these, it will be the default that shows when recording a behaviour.
Once you've got your behaviour plans entered, you can record an details of a behaviour when it's observed. Select the appropriate behaviour plan from the grid, and simply enter the details in the top row of the Observations tab. If the behaviour occurred while working on a Learning Module (we'll learn about these in the next lesson), you can indicate which module you were working on in the Context field. This information can sometimes be extremely valuable to your Analyst. Some behaviours occur with high frequency and it can be easier to record multiple observations in one report. Use the "Count" field for this purpose. If you need a quick glance at the behaviour plan details, just click on the Info tab. Your Analyst will love spending time on the Chart tab to track behaviour trends over time (and so will you).

Lesson #4 - Getting Started with Learning Modules

Let's recap: You've got your team on board, using the Team Communications area to sharing information with Session Notes. The behaviour management plans are all documented and available to everyone, and you've started tracking when behaviours are observed as well as the response measures taken.

In short, you're off to a great start.

Now it's time to dive into the most powerful tool in the ABAKiS kit - Learning Modules. This area is designed to provide structure the skills development component of your ABA program, so that your team can record data simply, consistently and efficiently. This in turn allows you, your ABA Analyst, or anyone else you choose, to see at a glance what is going on with your kiddo - without having to tote around those old ABA binders.

It might seem like a lot of work at first but stick with it! You'll be an ABAKiS wizard in no time. (Don't forget to use your team to spread the load.)


In ABAKiS-speak, a "Learning Module" is used to track progress towards a single learning objective that is tracked through multiple "targets". Different teams use different teams for these, such as "SD" (Discrete Stimulus), or "STO" (Short-Term Objective). Just remember - ABAKiS is a tool, to use and adapt to your specific needs.

Create a Learning Module

You will access the Learning Modules area of the application using the blue "linked-dots" icon on the side menu. From there, open the "Create" tab.

Each learning module should have a distinct name. For example, you may have a series of objectives under the heading "Emotions". In this case you will want to create a separate Learning Module for each - "Emotions 1", "Emotions 2", etc. As a rule, it's best to start with keeping things simple by entering only the Learning Modules your team will be working with. Things may change, and you can always add more later.

Here are some tips for what to put in the fields for each Learning Module. Much of this information will come from your ABA Analyst, or from your existing binders if you are transferring data. If you're not sure, ask your ABA Analyst.

The Type field will determine how ABAKiS collects and displays data, so it's important to get this right as it can't be changed. The remaining fields are instructional for the benefit of your team members, and can be changed later in case something is not clear.

  • Type - This determines what data your team will collect. Use "Mass Trials" for teaching methods that have a well-defined correct answer. Use "Scale-Rated" for methods where the result is more subjective or requires a numeric rating.
  • Materials - What materials (e.g., flash cards) need to be available when conducting the learning session?
  • Instructions - What does the team member need to know and do?
  • Teaching Procedure - What teaching instructions or prompts are given to the child when presenting a target?
  • Data Taking Procedure - What data is to be recorded? If you're using a numeric scale (Scale-Rated module types), what do the different scale values represent?
If you choose the Scale-Rated type for your Learning Module, you will need to enter two more fields.
  • Scale Label is a short description of what you are measuring, e.g. "Minutes" (such as if you are timing an activity duration), or "Score". This will appear in data results and charts.
  • Max Scale Value is the maximum allowable value that can be recorded in individual results.
If you're not sure what these values should be, it's OK to guess - you can always change them later.

Adding Targets

Once you've got your Learning Module defined, you will need to add a list of learning "Targets" - these are what your team will use to record trial data against, e.g., if you have an "Emotions 1" Learning Module your targets might be "Happy", "Sad", "Angry", etc.

Select the desired Learning Module from "List" tab on the Learning Modules screen and go to the "Data" tab of the Learning Module details screen. From here it is simple to add or edit targets using the Plus and Pencil controls under the Actions column. The only information you need is a target name.

Recording Data

Now you're ready to start recording data. Click on a target name to open the Target Details page. This is laid out much the same as the Learning Module details page, and you will always be entering data on the "Data" tab. The Info tab is useful for quickly looking up the module instructions, and the Chart tab is useful for graphically viewing progress. The new data entry row is always at the top of the list. Depending on your defined Role on the team, you may be required to select the Session from the list. This is needed when entering historical data but most of the time it isn't needed. For "Interventionist" users, this will automatically show the current session to keep things simple and reduce data entry errors.

For Mass Trials type modules, the data entry fields available are:

  • CR - Number of Correct Responses
  • PR - Number of Prompted Responses
  • IR - Number of Incorrect Responses
  • NR - Number of No Responses
  • %CR - Automatically calculated percentage of CR divided by total responses.
For Scale-Rated type modules, there is a slider control to help you select the correct value. You can also enter Comments.

More to Explore

Once your Learning Modules are setup and your team is comfortable entering trial data, take some time to start exploring some of the other features of ABAKiS such as:
  • Updating target status
  • Charts
  • Exporting your data
  • The navigation bar in the application header

Lesson #5 - Team Settings & Optimization

Now that your team is up and running, it's time to look at some quick housekeeping tips. Especially if your team has been running for a while and you've collected loads of data, you may have noticed that your lists start to get cluttered and some of those views start to become sluggish. ABAKiS has two very simple features that can help you with these problems: Limit Displayed Data and Inactive Learning Modules.

Limit Displayed Data

This setting is found under the "Tools" tab in the Team Management section. Normally it is set to "Show All Data", but you have a few other options to choose from. For example, if you set it to "3 months" then the data and charts in the Learning Module and Behaviours sections will show only the last 3 months of data. You can still access older data through the orange Session Logs section.

Especially if you've been running your ABA program for a long time, you should find that limiting displayed data in this way makes some of those views load a lot faster - without impacting the day-to-day activities of your team.

Inactive Learning Modules

At some point you will start to collect learning modules that you've finished working on and no longer need to see every day. You can hide these away so they don't clutter your views, without losing any of their valuable history. You can do this from the "Tools" tab on the Learning Module page where the target list is shown. There you will find a setting called "Active". Just switch it off and the module will no longer be visible to the team.

Hiding away your old learning modules can also make certain views load a lot faster!

Important: All of your data will still be there! Instead of showing under the main list of Learning Modules, you will now see a separate "..." tab where you can separately access your inactive Learning Modules.


PRO TIP: Often "less is more", and one way to get the most out of your ABA team is to keep them focused. It's also good practice to make Learning Modules inactive if for any reason they aren't ready for the team to start working on yet.  

Coming Soon

Here is a sample of additional user guides we are currently working on and you can expect to see joining this page soon.
  • Session Data entry basics
  • Frequent Behaviours - Using the Hotlist
  • ABC's of Advanced Behaviour Data Recording
  • Entering Historic Data
  • Target Automation
  • Managing your Clinic Team
  • Tips and tricks to make things simpler