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Psychology Dept | Library | Other SPCL OER

SPCL 7915 Behavioral Assessment and Intervention: ASSIGNMENTS & RUBRICS

Open Educational Resource (OER) created for Professor Elizalde-Utnick's SPCL 7915 course.


Students are required to keep up-to-date on class readings and assignments, and to be active team members. If students miss a class, they miss whatever their team did. The team process is critical to learning, and the content of each session will be reflected on the midterm and final exams. Most teams, in real life and here, will forgive a single absence for which students have a really good reason, and be less forgiving of multiple or casual absences. More than one absence and/or tardiness will affect the course grade (two points per absence and one point for lateness). Attendance is taken at the beginning of class and it is expected that all students will be present at the start of class.  Brooklyn College abides to the state law regarding non-attendance because of religious beliefs. If you are unable to attend class in any occasion for religious reasons, please notify me in advance to make the necessary arrangements.

Audio and Video During Synchronous Zoom Sessions: This course, which requires intense introspection, trains future clinicians who need to develop their observation skills. Class time will be used for clinical observation for supportive feedback. To this end, it is necessary for the video and audio technology to be turned on during the Zoom sessions in order to observe and analyze nonverbal communication. If in a given session, a student cannot attend with the video on, please discuss this with the professor before the Zoom session.

Midterm & Final Class Participation Self-Assessment: Twice during the semester, at the midpoint and at the end, students assess their level of class participation using the following Class Participation Rubric. Students evaluate their own level of participation and award points out of 100 using the criteria described below. This will be completed using a google form; the link to the form will be posted on Blackboard in the Assignments link.

Ultimately, it is the instructor’s evaluation that is used for grade purposes; but the self-assessment is an integral component that potentially maximizes the level of participation and performance outcomes.

Midterm Class Participation Self-Assessment due on Sunday, March 21

Final Class Participation Self-Assessment due on Sunday, May 16

Class Participation Evaluation


Consistently raises or facilitates discussion with peers (in every class meeting). During the synchronous online class sessions, both audio and video technology are on. Engages in integrative and higher order thinking in relation to the readings (e.g., integrates two or more pieces of information in the readings, integrates experience with readings, poses hypotheticals for the group based on readings).


Respectful attention to others’ contributions; periodically (at least every other class meeting) shares comments on at least one topic discussed in readings and demonstrates understanding and relevance to classroom discussion.


Consistently present in class; attends and responds to others’ contributions at personal level of experience, but does not participate in classroom discussions.


Consistently present in class; makes no contribution to discussion; unresponsive to or argumentative with others.

Less than 45


Whenever there is an assigned reading, there will be individual quizzes, or RATs (readiness assurance tests) before the Zoom sessions. Each RAT has 5 multiple-choice questions on the major concepts of the assigned readings. The lowest RAT score will be dropped. In addition, there will be a cumulative final exam, consisting of 25 multiple-choice questions.

If you are having difficulty retaining what you are reading, view the video on the SQ4R method. Note-taking is critical for a deeper processing of the material.


Whenever there are no assigned readings for a given class session, there is typically a homework assignment that will help prepare students for the scheduled application activities. Submit your homework on Blackboard via the Assignments link.


Consider a behavior that you are exhibiting and that you wish to decrease, particularly a behavior that is interfering with your optimal performance this semester. You are to consider the function of such a behavior and then develop a BIP. Hopefully, you will implement it in the coming months. For the purposes of this assignment, complete the following sections:

  1.  What is the target behavior? Provide a good operational definition.
  2. How is this behavior interfering with your academic life? What is the approximate baseline level of the behavior? Five to 10 data points are the ideal number in order to determine a stable baseline level.
  3. Conduct an ABC analysis: What are the triggers/antecedents? What are the consequences? Setting events? What maintains the behavior?
  4. What is the function of this behavior? To answer this question, you need to undergo an honest process of critical self-reflection.
  5. What would the goals be for your BIP? What is the desired behavior? What is the immediate replacement behavior?
  6. What are the triggers/antecedents? How will you prevent the problem behavior by directly addressing the triggers?
  7. How will you reinforce the replacement and desired behaviors based on the function?
  8. What will you do to redirect the problem behavior that might resurface, especially during stressful moments during the upcoming semester?
  9. How will you minimize reinforcement of the problem behavior?
  10. What are your thoughts on this assignment? How was the process of completing this assignment?

Please see the corresponding rubric for this paper.



Each student will write an FBA-BIP report using a simulation case – a real student who was assessed in a local public school. Each student will have their own simulation case. This project is divided into two parts: FBA and BIP. Each section is described below.

Part 1: FBA. Students will go through the process of conducting an FBA using the case’s indirect and direct data. The data collected during this phase includes (but is not limited to): A description of the reason for referral, background and demographic information, operational definitions of behavior, antecedents and triggers of the interfering behaviors, consequences, as well as reinforcers. Direct data consist of structured observation(s) of the target child within the classroom setting. All of the data should then be combined to create a hypothesis statement that reports the suspected function of the behavior in question. Students then test their hypothesis by conducting a functional analysis (i.e., a structural and/or consequence analysis). This will be discussed in class. Based on the function of the target behavior, students will recommend intervention goals. The results of the FBA will be presented in a written report; students are to use the report template located on the course website. The FBA component of the written report will have the following sections. A draft of this section of the report will be submitted for feedback by the due date.

  • Target Behavior
    • Background
    • Past Strategies
    • Behavioral Definition
    • Behavioral Objective
  • Assessments
    • Indirect Data (target behavior; antecedents; consequences)
    • Direct Data (ABC analysis; baseline behavior – frequency, duration, latency, intensity)
    • Functional Analysis (consequence and/or structural analysis)
    • Function of Behavior
  • Intervention Goals

Please see the corresponding rubric for this paper.

Part 2: BIP. Based on the results of the FBA and functional analysis, students will “develop and implement” a function-based behavior intervention plan (BIP) that incorporates an individually tailored reinforcement plan for both the replacement and desired behaviors, antecedent (trigger) prevention strategies, as well as strategies that minimizes reinforcement of the problem behavior. Students will find three published scholarly (peer-reviewed) articles (dated 2010 to present) on evidence-based strategies to be used in the BIP. Students will engage in progress monitoring throughout the intervention phase utilizing the simulation case’s data. Students will analyze the outcomes of the BIP by comparing the baseline and intervention data using visual analysis procedures. Students will also determine the effect size of the BIP by determining the PND value (percentage of non-overlapping data). This will be discussed and demonstrated in class. In their report, students will also describe the procedures used to enhance treatment integrity. Furthermore, they will prepare a parent handout with recommendations, behavioral strategies, and recommended readings based on the FBA-BIP. The BIP will be presented in the second part of the final written report, following the FBA; students are to use the report template. The BIP component of the written report will have the following sections.

  • Intervention Plan
    • Target Behavior
    • Replacement Behavior
    • Behavioral Supports Previously Tried
    • Behavioral Supports Currently in Place
    • List of Student’s Interests & Possible Reinforcers
    • Intervention Strategies
      • Setting Event Strategies
      • Antecedent Prevention Strategies
      • Replacement Behavior Teaching Strategies
      • Target Behavior Teaching Strategies (with performance and skill deficits)
      • Consequence Strategies (for both target and replacement behaviors)
    • Published Research Articles on Evidence-Based Interventions (3 articles – 2010 to present)
    • Treatment Integrity (Fidelity) Plan
  • Evaluation
    • Target Behavior (baseline and intervention data – pre-post data)
      • Graph (pre-post data)
      • Visual Analysis (level, trend, variability, immediacy of effect, consistency of data in similar phases)
      • PND Score and Effect Size
        • Percent of Non-Overlapping Data Score
        • Statement of effect size based on PND score
    • Replacement Behavior
      • Graph (pre-post data)
      • Visual Analysis (level, trend, variability, immediacy of effect, consistency of data in similar phases)
    • Treatment Integrity
  • BIP Graphic Handout
  • Parent Handout

Please see the corresponding rubric for this paper.

FBA REPORT DRAFT due between Friday, March 26 and Monday, March 29.

FBA-BIP REPORT due Sunday, May 9.


Students, in pairs, will be assigned one of the behavior interventions from Burns, Riley-Tillman, and Rathvon (2017). Using a slide presentation or other online format, each student will present the intervention and facilitate a brief activity with the class. Each presentation is limited to 15 minutes. Several of the interventions describe the use of a particular form which can be used during the presentation, as needed.

Refer to the rubric form when preparing for the presentation.