Initiation and generalization of self-instructional skills
Smith, Katherine Almand
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This study evaluated the effects of progressive time delay (PTD) to teach four participants how to initiate self-instruction in the presence of a task direction for an untrained task. Participants were taught to navigate to videos on an iPhone in history training, and all participants were screened for imitating video models prior to the study. A combination multiple probe across participants and multiple probe across settings design was used to evaluate the effects of PTD on initiation of self-instruction. All participants learned to self-instruct. Two participants generalized self-instruction learned in one setting to two additional settings without instruction. Two participants required instruction in two settings before generalizing to the third. Three participants generalized self-instruction in the presence of a task direction from the researcher to a task direction from their classroom teacher in all three settings. One participant generalized to a task direction presented by the classroom teacher in one setting, but not in the other two. All participants maintained self-instruction when probed one week after all participants met criteria in all settings. Self-instruction using videos or other supports on a mobile device is a pivotal skill and can increase independence for individuals with disabilities by decreasing a need for adult supports.