Tip of the day: Random Rotations

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Caveat: I'm not a formally trained or certified BA. So please take this post as general advice from a parent who has observed ABA programs for years and picked up on a few tricks.

One question that has come up a few times is, how to enter data for a module where all (or a section) of the targets are basically complete but you want to run through a bunch of them quickly before declaring them Mastered.

In a typical mass-trials type module, you would run one target at a time and enter the count of each result type. So if you repeated a target 10 times and got 4 correct responses, 3 incorrect responses and 3 correct with prompting; you would enter CR=4, IR=3, PR=3. Then move onto the next target. ABAKiS is setup to do this readily, and this complete result (4/3/3) is what we call a Data Set.

But sometimes you want to do a review, randomly cycling through some of the targets completed to date, to ensure the skill has been retained. So you will run a single trial for each target and mark the result for each. In our old binders, it was simple - we would just write "RR" and list the targets. With an online tool though, it gets a bit tricky. Let's say you're doing RR with 10 targets. It seems awkward and tiresome to record 10 separate Data Sets, doesn't it?

There are several ways you could make this really complicated. Let's not.

What we suggest in this case is to simply create a new target called "RR" and record one data set with all the results. If you need to mark specific targets as completed, or one as failed, add a note.

This also works for "probing" a new module. This is the term we used when checking out a new module to see if it might already be a mastered skill. Just create a target called "Probe" (or whatever term your team agrees on) and record the data against that.

The nice thing about doing it this way is that it's a lot easier and faster to enter. It's slightly less precise but as long as everyone is clearly informed (remember team communication), it provides enough data to make decisions. In this case, can we move onto the next thing or do we need to work on this more?

Sometimes, less is more and simplest is best.

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