Individual Feedback and Observing the Feedback of Others as a Behavior Modification Skill Training Technique
Frisch, Carol J.
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The problem. Research in training paraprofessional staff to perform behavior modification skills has shown practical training procedures to be most effective. Practical training usually consists of variations of modeling and role playing techniques accompanied by feedback. In such research, feedback appears to be a key component but its parameters and its effects independent of other training techniques have not been carefully analyzed. The purposes of this study are to isolate feedback as a classroom skill training technique, examine some of its parameters, evaluate its efficiency, and develop an efficient classroom training procedure. Procedure. Practical training sessions occurred in which 19 Mental Health Technician trainees were exposed to an audio-visual replay procedure. This replay was combined with one of four schedules of individual feedback and observation of others' feedback for each trainee. The effect of this training was observed by assessing trainee skill performance and training procedure efficiency. Findings. Training effected an immediate improvement in skill performance. No differences were found between the four different schedules of individual feedback. Also, individual feedback was found to have no effect beyond the effect of observation of others' feedback. Efficiency measures indicate that a skill improvement can be obtained by the application of this training procedure for a short period of time. Conclusion. Viewing an audio-visual display of someone performing a skill, can quickly improve an individual's performance of that skill, when the display is supplemented with specific information that pinpoints correct and incorrect skill performances within the display. Observing specific information about someone else's performance is as effective a training technique as receiving such information on one's own performance. Recommendations. This study shows an efficient training technique in which many individuals can benefit from observing the individual feedback of a few. Future research, to develop this technique to its maximum efficiency, can investigate the importance of skill demonstration and specification as opposed to the importance of the audio-visua1 medium.
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