At Chartlytics, we have a simple yet far-reaching mission statement:
Empowering people with the science of precision measurement and exponential educational technologies to accelerate learning for all humanity.
Do you share our goals?
Presently Chartlytics has focused on bringing its mission to two large groups of people: schools and those who practice behavior analysis. School personnel cover a large group of people from charter schools, public and private schools, homeschools, and tutoring/learning centers.
Our reach to behavior analysts, those who make their living doing applied behavior analysis, includes people who may work in schools or homes, have their own private companies, or employ their applied science in centers. To reach the two groups of people above we have blogs, videos, (upcoming) webinars, and now workshops. The focus of the present blog shows how Chartlytics will serve the behavior analytic community with our workshops.
Applied Behavior Analysis
Applied Behavior Analysis, or ABA as many call it, has received great attention in recent years due to the rising number of students with autism and the phenomenal outcomes of ABA. ABA has grown so much that a Behavior Analysts Certification Board has come into existence to credential behavior analysts and provide a standards for practitioners. Of course, ABA serves everyone with and without disabilities.
Behavior analysis has a number of characteristics distinguishing itself from other “therapies.” Behavior analysis…
- has an exclusive focus on behavior and its functions as the driving force of human actions, not hypothetical constructs
- emphasizes direct measurement of behavior
- rigorously collects data, produces data records, and visually displays data
- makes use of frequent assessment and subsequent data-based decision making
- recognizes and implements socially valid, or personally meaningful, interventions
- identifies the individual as the most important focus of intervention and evaluation, not group behavior
The science of behavior analysis has a rich and exemplary history. Chartlytics derives its power from many ideas and practices of behavior analysis, thus further empowering practicing behavior analyst to flourish under the light of science. The workshop focus for behavior analysts will cover the following must-know topics.
Skinner defined behavior as action or movement, He wrote in his first book, “Behavior is what an organism is doing; or more accurately what it is observed by another organism to be doing” (Skinner, 1938, p. 6).
Behavior analysts often deal with problem or challenging behavior. The first, critical step in creating a behavior program involves identifying the problem behavior. Examine the following two behaviors and determine which one strikes you as clearer and easier to detect and count:
1. Aggression: Behavior that causes, or threatens to cause, physical or emotional harm to others.
2. Kicks person in the lower body.
Did you pick #2? If so, you like “pinpoints.” A pinpoint refers to a phrase describing directly observable, measurable, active behavior; just like Skinner defined all those years ago.
Behavior analysts must also program pro-social, academic, and a number of other positive behaviors. For example, many behavior analyst use the VB-MAPP to help students with autism and developmental disabilities learn language and communication. Applying pinpoints to the VB-MAPP results in a set of readily available targets that everyone can easily count and identify.
From the VB-MAPP:
Emits 2 words, signs, or PECS, but may require echoic, imitative, or other prompts but no physical prompts.
Free-says two word phrase in the presence of an adult.
Behavior analysts will learn how to use the Pinpoint+ Generator and create crisp pinpoints for immediate use.
Figure 1. The Pinpoint+ Generator in Chartlytics.
Behavior analysts, like other professionals who standardize and structure their content, will learn how parents, school personnel, and outside agencies, like insurance companies, benefit from pinpoints.
Behavior analysts make incredibly important decisions. Those decisions rest on a solid foundation of carefully pinpointed and recorded behavior. Chartlytics promotes the best measures available for capturing human behavior: frequency, duration, and latency.
Chartlytics has a data app in development that will allow the in vivo recording of frequency, duration, and latency data and will send to the Chartlytics account for each specific performer. Participants will learn how to use the data app for capturing and recording behavior.
Figure 2. A screen shot of the Chartlytics data app.
Recording data with frequency allows behavior analysts to make much more sensitive measurements. Check out the following data on multiplication facts:
Which student did the best? Look at the data with frequency and then answer who answered the most multiplication problems.
Many problems turn into solutions with the proper measures. How do we measure sitting still, standing in line, not calling out answers? Pinpointing and special frequency recording tactics answer the problem. During the workshop we will share case studies with data and video showing how frequency always better helps the behavior analyst make informed decisions.
Visual analyzing behavior
The primary means for understanding nature (i.e., human behavior) occurs though visual analysis. Behavior analysts use visual analysis in both practice and research. As indicated by Poling, Method, and Lesage (1995):
"Graphic (visual) analysis is ubiquitous in behavior analysis (p. 129)."
And according to Lane and Gast (2014):
"Visual analysis of graphic displays of data is a cornerstone of studies using a single case experimental design (SCED). Data are graphed for each participant during a study with trend, level, and stability of data assessed within and between conditions (p. 445)."
All important decisions regarding intervention effectiveness, efficiency, and communication to stakeholders occurs with the graphed data. Chartlytics has a mission to ensure all behavior analysts use the Standard Celeration Chart for time series behavior.
Workshop participants will learn how fast a behavior has changed. The figure below shows how we can place a number on how quickly something has grown.
Figure 3. A cross section of Chartlytics’ Standard Celeration Chart showing acceleration, or the weekly growth of behavior.
Workshop participants will also learn how fast a behavior has decayed. Reductive behavior targets such as striking another person, saying inappropriate comments, or doing something that negatively impacts the person or others, will change at some rate. Chartlytics tells the behavior analyst exactly how fast the behavior has changed. Parents and other stakeholders welcome the quantitative exactitude of a number. Evaluation, forecasting, and future planning all benefit from knowing how fast something has changed.
Figure 4. A cross section of Chartlytics Standard Celeration Chart showing deceleration or the weekly decay of behavior.
How well has an intervention produced learning or change? In other words, what tells a behavior analyst how much control or influence a particular intervention has had on behavior?
Workshop participants will learn how to evaluate the magnitude of control through bounce or variability. In visual analysis, bounce, or variability, provides an indicator for how smoothly a person has learned a specific skill or behavior.
For example, a behavior analyst using PECS with a high value reinforcer will show less bounce (i.e., more stability) during the learning process when contrasted with a randomly selected reward (which might not really work as an intended reward).
Augmenting the science of behavior with numerical precision will bring the field to a new level of analysis and evaluation of interventions. Participants will learn how celeration, bounce, and the Accuracy Improvement Measure (A.I.M.) clearly communicate the degree of influence for each program run by the behavior analyst.
Functional analysis leading to the identification of variables influencing the occurrence of problem behavior represents a crowning achievement of modern behavioral assessment (Hanley, Iwata & McCord, 2003). Functional analysis has become widely popular in the field due to the rigorous methods and subsequent results helping behavior analysts understand why behavior occurs.
Yet the power of contemporary functional analysis has not reached its threshold. Because functional analysis occurs exclusively with the information, basic, and sometimes misleading, nonstandard linear graph, problems with interpretation may crop up.
The subjective nature of data interpretation using visual inspection is not a limitation specific to functional analysis, but is characteristic of the field of applied behavior analysis as a whole (Hagopian, Fisher, Thompson, Owen-DeSchryver, Iwata, & Wacker, 1997, p. 314).
Chartlytics has solved the problem of subjectivity by offering quantitative precision. While attendees will not learn how to do functional analysis, the Chartlytics workshop will show how a major improvement may come about with a celeration chart, quantified outcomes, pinpointing, and frequency.
Figure 5. A reduced size mock up of a celeration chart used for functional analysis within Chartlytics. The top chart shows the sequential view of data while the bottom displays each condition separately. Standard tactics allow behavior analysis to visual and quantitatively compare data.
Other features await you with Chartlytics (e.g., fluency library, precision analytics, videos accompanying frequency data). As we move forward with our workshops we will carefully listen to all participants and incorporate feedback and continue to offer information that will elevate the practice of the science of behavior.
Hagopian, L. P., Fisher, W. W., Thompson, R. H., Owen-DeSchryver, J., Iwata, B. A., & Wacker, D. P. (1997). Toward the development of structured criteria for interpretation of functional analysis data. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 30, 313–326.
Lane, J. D., & Gast, D. L. (2014) Visual analysis in single case experimental design studies: Brief review and guidelines. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation: An International Journal, 24(3-4), 445-463. DOI: 10.1080/09602011.2013.815636
Poling, A., Methot, L. L., & Lesage, M. G. (1995). Fundamentals of Behavior Analytic Research. New York: Plenum Press.
Skinner, B. F. (1938). The Behavior of Organisms: An Experimental Analysis. Cambridge, MA: B.F. Skinner Foundation.