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
- ABAKiS – our name, our brand, and our promise to you. It stands for “ABA – Keep it Simple”. (TIP: it sounds like “abacus”, a traditional counting device.)
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
NOTE: At ABAKiS we try to conform to International English spelling conventions. For example, behaviour gets a ‘u’. Now you know.
- 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
- Observation – a single instance of a behaviour, normally recorded with the Antecedent and Consequence.
Invite Team Members
First, you need to invite each of your team members to your “Program Team” account. You will do this from the Team Management section, which you can access from anywhere in the application using the red “People” menu on the left side of the screen. To add a new team member, you need to invite them to join your team. To do this, fill out the blank row at the top of the list.
- Email address – make sure they have access to this. It’s what we will use to send them a confirmation email to enable their access.
- Role – It’s important that each team member has access to the right things. See detailed descriptions of each role below.
- Team admin (optional) – turn this on if you want them to have access to the Team Administration section so they can add or edit users.
- General – unrestricted data entry.
- 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.
- 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.
- Even better, have an ABAKiS kickoff meeting! (Did you know you are entitled to one free 1/2 hour onboarding session with your team?)
Tracking instances of behaviours (we call these “Behaviour Observations”) is one of the most critical aspects of any ABA program. ABAKiS uses the “A-B-C” (Antecedent – Behaviour – Consequence) data recording method that is familiar to many. Detailed information about behaviour plans can also be entered – this will ensure all team members have access to review both the preventive measures and the intervention protocols. We’re going to be working in the green Behaviours section, which you access through the green “clipboard” menu.
TIP: any Green link in ABAKiS will take you to the Behaviours section.
Let’s start with the basics. Before your team can start recording behaviour observations, you need to first create a list of known behaviours you want to track.
You can add new behaviours directly from the main Behaviours screen. Just type in a short title that team members will recognize under the “Behaviour” column. Optionally you can add more details under Description. Don’t worry about making it perfect – you can always change it later if you need to. Then the “Plus” on the far right will add it to the list. Enter in as many behaviours as you need.
Add Antecedents and Consequences
When recording behaviour observations, your team will want a list of common Antecedents and Consequences to choose from. We build these lists from the Options tab (looks like tools). You can add as many as you need by typing into the blank box at the bottom of each list. Your team members can now record behaviour observations using any combination of A-B-C. You can edit by clicking on the list item, or add more any time you need.
Fill In the Details
Each of your behaviours comes with its own Behaviour Plan. It’s mostly empty but it can be very helpful to team members to complete these details for each behaviour you want to track. This helps ensure consistency among team members in responding to problem behaviours. To access a Behaviour Plan, click on the behaviour’s name from the list.
From here you will be able to see the complete history of that behaviour. Go to the Info tab and click “Edit” at the bottom of the table. Most of the fields are free text. If this behaviour has a usual or typical Antecedent or Consequence you can set that here (e.g., “Holding hands over ears” may have a usual Antecedent of “Loud Sounds”). This saves your team members time when entering common behaviours. Otherwise you can leave them blank.
Teaching new skills is where we unleash the real power behind ABA. In ABAKiS, this action all takes place in the Learning Modules section. The blue teacher menu will take us there.
TIP: any Blue link in ABAKiS will take you to the Learning Modules section.
Add Learning Modules
The main tab of the Learning Modules section lists each of your learning modules. To add a new one, enter the name into the box and select a type. Type describes the kind of data you will be collecting. NOTE: you cannot change the type later. “Mass Trials” is the most common type and supports Correct, Incorrect, Prompted and Non Response results. If your results will be a numeric scale (e.g., 1-10) then choose “Scale Rated” instead.
In ABAKiS, Targets are the items we record data against. Every learning module needs at least one target. To add your targets, click on the Learning Module’s name in the list to open its page. Then add as many targets as you need.
- Re-order targets by dragging them up and down with your mouse.
- To edit a target’s name, click on its name. This opens the target history page. From there, click the title to edit.
- You can delete a target as long as no data has been recorded against it.
With every learning module, there are many important details your team needs to know so everyone is doing the same thing and recording data in the same way. On your Learning Module’s page (where you see your target list), go to the Info tab. Here you will see four descriptive fields ready for you to provide all those details. Click on a box to add the information you need, and click outside the box to save.
Quick Observations – the Hotlist
The “Hotlist” is the simplest way to quickly record when a behaviour occurs. From the popup list of behaviours, click once for each occurrence. You can record multiple behaviours at once. When you’re done, click the green check at the bottom of the list. It’s quick and easy, and best of all you can get straight back to what you were doing before.
Detailed Data – the Behaviours Section
The other method of recording behaviour data is through the Green behaviours section. The Green clipboard will take you to the list of behaviours with summary details about each one. From there, select the behaviour you want to record. You’ll see a complete history of that behaviour with all of the details. The top row is reserved for you to record new data. Enter all the details and use the green check to save.
Review and Update – Session Details
Especially if you’ve made use of the Hotlist for recording data, you’ll want to go back at the end of the session to fill in the details of any behaviours. You can do this from the Session Data section. The orange calendar will take you to the list of sessions. From there, select the session you want to update.
The orange clipboard will take you to the Behaviours tab, which lists details of all behaviours recorded for that session. The behaviour name for each one takes you to the Behaviours section where you can edit the details as needed. Then click the orange session link to get back.