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DDDC Research Course - Fall

dddc student in a playground swing

Thursday, 12:30-2:00

Rob Isenhower
Office hours: By Arrangement
(848) 932-4500



Assignment Due


Introduction to Course



What is Autism?

Mesibov Chapter 2 (on reserve)


Intro to ABA

Harris & Weiss Chapter 1 & 5 (on reserve)
Green Chapter 3 (on reserve)


Overview of Current Research

Yoder & Stone (on reserve)
Lugo & Delmolino Proposal (on reserve)
Delmolino Introduction (on reserve)


Understanding Journal Articles

Green Chapter 2 (on reserve)
Charlop-Christy et al., 1998 (on reserve)
Article Synopsis Due


Behavioral Assessment

Must have completed IRB approval


Intro to Experimentation and Single Case Design
ABAB Design

Kazdin Chapter 6
Dugan et al., (on reserve)
Article Synopsis Due & Presentation


Multiple Baseline Designs

Kazdin Chapter 7
Taylor & Harris, 1995 (on reserve)


Interobserver Agreement

Carr & Newsom, 1985 (on reserve)


Evaluating Data

Cooper p. 130-139


Changing Criterion Designs

Kazdin chapters 8 & 9


Multiple Treatment Designs

DeLuca & Holborn, 1992 (on reserve)
Ahearn et al., 1996 (on reserve)
Paper Outline Due


Review of Single Case Designs

Final Paper Due 12/13


DDDC Research Course

dddc student using manipulatives

The Research Course is offered through the Behavior and Research Services at the Douglass Developmental Disabilities Center (DDDC). The DDDC serves the dual functions of providing services to children with autism and their families as well as advancing knowledge of the understanding and treatment of autism.

The course is designed to expose students to applied behavior analytic research with children with autism. The required commitment to the course consists of 150 hours total (divided between both research and academic activities).

IRB approval- University and federal regulations require that individuals involved in research activities must complete certification in working with human subjects. This requirement must be completed by the middle of October.

Two (2) Article summaries- Article summaries are aimed to help students learn how to critically read and understand research articles. Article summaries will be handed in and critiqued by the instructor. Each article summary should be no longer than 1 1/2 pages in length. We will present our article synopses to each other as a group.

Participation- To help you better apply your understanding of research designs to areas of interest, during November you will be asked to bring in an article related to your area of interest that uses a research design covered in the previous class. If you are unable to find an article, you may describe a way in which you might use the research design to target an important aspect of your area of interest. We will review these articles together at the start of class - you will need to understand the purpose of the study and the way in which the research design was used to explain it to your peers.

Final Paper -The final paper is similar to an "Introduction" in a research report. The final paper includes a comprehensive literature search and review on a topic of each student's choice. Papers should address topics that can be thought through in applied behavior analytic terms. Grading is based on how thorough the review is, the content of the article critiques, and the interpretation of the results and designs. The final paper should be between 8-10 pages in length. A one-page outline of the final paper will be due in mid-November and the final paper will be due on in early December.

DDDC Research Activities -Involvement in the research activities at the DDDC is about 8.5 hours per week. Some of the activities involve collecting observational data, running assessments, data coding, checking data, helping with preparatory work, sending surveys and mailings, and entering data. Reliability training will be a part of preparing for all observations and data coding.

Kazdin, A.E. (2011).Single Case Research Designs: Methods for Clinical and Applied Settings. Second Edition. Oxford University Press. The book is available at and The book and other readings are on reserve in the research office.

50% of the final grade is determined by the assignments: IRB approval (5%), participation (5%), final research paper (20%) and article summaries (each 10%). 50% of the final grade is determined by involvement and participation in the ongoing research activities. There will be two evaluations during the semester: once mid-semester (20%) and once at the end of the semester (30%). The evaluations will be shared with each student. A copy of the form to be used is contained in the handbook.



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