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General Course Information for ABA601: Assessment in ABA

Course: ABA601 - Assessment in ABA
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description:

Introduces the student to the philosophy of behaviorism and the basic tenets of applied behavior analysis. Focuses on behavioral assessment and observation, and time series research design and its use in the scientific evaluation of behavior-environment relations.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Given a written description and/or graph of a single subject research design (a) name it, (b) evaluate its procedural implementation, (c) discuss the situations for which it is appropriate and inappropriate, (d) explain the logic by which it controls extraneous variables, (e) evaluate it with respect to its ability to control extraneous variables, and (f) interpret the results.
  • Given the name of a design (a) describe the procedures for its implementation, (b) explain the logic by which it controls extraneous variables, (c) evaluate it with respect to its control of extraneous variables, (d) discuss the situations for which it is appropriate and inappropriate, (e) present a completely labeled figure with hypothetical data illustrating the design, and (f) interpret the results.
  • Compare and evaluate the various single system designs with respect to the types of research questions for which they are appropriate and their control of extraneous variables.
  • Given a behavior that needs to be changed, describe that behavior and other relevant behaviors in the same functional response class in observable terms such that it is amenable to systematic behavioral observation.
  • Use a variety of direct and indirect observational methods, such as narrative recording, anecdotal observation, whole and partial interval recording, momentary time sampling, even recording, duration recording, etc.
  • Using computer software (i.e., Excel), construct times series graphs.
  • When asked, be able to articulate orally or in writing, the basic philosophical tenets of behavior analysis, to include Skinner's conception of the role of private events in a natural science of behavior.
  • When asked, be able to explain orally or in writing the seven basic tenets of applied behavior analysis as articulated by Baer, Wolf Risley (1968).
Specified Program Learning Outcomes:
  • Apply methods of applied behavior analysis to practice.
  • Apply methods of behavior analysis in applied settings.
  • Articulate orally and in writing the principles of applied behavior analysis as they relate to the basic laws of learning common to multicultural environments.
  • Critically read the relevant research literature as well as use idiographic research methods to solve problems that are germane to the field of applied behavior analysis.
  • Evaluate data and information from applied behavior analysis procedures, and synthesize in graphic, textual, and oral formats.
  • Examine societal influences on academic and social behavior.
  • Present data and information from applied behavior analysis procedures in graphic, textual, and oral formats.
  • Read, understand and apply techniques and methods of applied behavior analysis.
  • Successful program graduates will be able to present data and information from applied behavior analysis procedures in graphic, textual, and oral formats.
  • Understand the importance of the use of multiple data sources and points of view in the design, implementation, and evaluation of applied behavior analytic goals.
  • Use multiple data sources and points of view in the design, implementation, and evaluation of analytic goals.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures