“By far, the best way to study for your BCBA exam is to come up with examples and non examples of each term. That’s because the exam does not focus on memorizing applied behavior analysis terms and picking out their definitions. It focused on applying the principles of behavior to real life situations. If you can write your own examples of applying terms, you will be able to understand the scenarios on your exam.” Jessica Leichtweisz

This blog post written by Katherine Yohn, models some examples of the chaining procedures.

Forward chaining

Amanda is teaching Toby how to brush his teeth. She first teaches Toby to get the toothbrush out of the holder and then completes the rest of the steps together with prompts. Once. Toby mastered taking the toothbrush out of the holder, then she teaches him to get the toothbrush wet. Toby will have to complete getting the toothbrush out of the holder and getting the toothbrush wet independently, with all other steps prompted, before moving onto the next step. Toby has to complete each mastered step plus the new step to move forward.

Backward Chaining

Timothy is less advanced than a lot of his other classmates. Timothy is being taught how to wash his hands. Timothy’s aide prompts all the steps but the last step, which Timothy has to do independently. Timothy receives reinforcement immediately after completing the last step. Once, the last step is mastered his aide will prompt all steps but the last two and continue this process until all steps are mastered.

Total Task Chaining

Sarah wants to be taught how to make a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. She has the prerequisite skills that are required to make the sandwich and will be able to master it within a few tries. Sarah’s mom decided she will teach her and goes to the store to get the supplies. She lays put all the materials and teaches the entire chain of making the sandwich all the way through. Sarah then made a sandwich with prompting from her mom for all the steps. Sarah was able to master making a sandwich by herself in 3 trials.

Backward Chaining with Leaps ahead

Ella knows how to tie her shoe almost entirely by herself. She struggles with a few steps in the middle. Backwards chaining is used to teach the steps she does not know. Teaching the steps she knows is skipped.

Behavior Chain with limited hold

Cassie must input all 10 digits of the phone number within 1 minute otherwise the dial tone of the phone will come on.

Behavior Chain interruption strategy

Billy was asked to make his bed by his mom. Billy went upstairs to make his bed and was in the process of putting on the sheets when his mom sat on the bed.

Citation: Cooper, J. O., Heron, T. E., & Heward, W. L. (2020). Applied behavior analysis (3rd ed.). 

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