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Psychology Dept | Library | Other SPCL OER

SPCL 7915 Behavioral Assessment and Intervention: HOME

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


Welcome to SPCL 7915!

All the readings and materials that you will need for the course are located on this website. Any text highlighted in blue is a live link. Enjoy exploring the site and SYLLABUS before our first class on Thursday, February 4.

Look at the GRAPHIC SYLLABUS and the COURSE CALENDAR for a quick overview of the course. 

Many of the session activities are available to you to preview before and review after each session. We will go over course requirements and this website during our first session.

Class will meet weekly on Zoom at our originally scheduled time, as indicated below:

Class Time:  Section 16650: Thursdays 1:00 - 3:30 p.m.

                      Section 16651: Thursdays 4:30 - 7:00 p.m.

Review the syllabus and this course site before our first class.

Note that there are assigned tasks to be completed prior to our first Zoom session. Go to the SESSIONS tab to see what needs to be completed prior to each Zoom session. 


This course is designed to provide students with knowledge and understanding of behavioral assessment and intervention strategies. Students will learn and review the fundamental principles that govern behavior according to behavioral and learning theorists. Students will then apply these principles of behavior to the classroom for assessment, intervention, and evaluation purposes. This course prepares students to engage in collaborative problem-solving and conduct a functional behavioral assessment (FBA). This course also prepares students to 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 minimize reinforcement of the problem behavior.

This is a screenshot of the graphic syllabus, or visual overview, of the course. Please see the actual graphic syllabus (linked in the welcome section above) which has live links to the readings. You can also find the readings on each session's webpage.


Due to COVID-19, instruction at CUNY transitioned to a distance learning modality for most of the courses. Using this OER website along with Blackboard, Zoom, and other online platforms, Prof. Elizalde-Utnick will use both synchronous and asynchronous strategies to facilitate the class sessions.

The class will meet at the scheduled course time via Zoom. Assignments will be submitted electronically by posting on Blackboard.

Students are expected to participate actively in all aspects of the course, both the asynchronous and synchronous components. During the synchronous component, active participation entails working on skills important to assessment - active listening and active participation in small- and large-group discussions. To foster active engagement during the synchronous sessions, all members of the class are expected to turn on their audio and video technology.


table of students, click for guidelines

These are SPCL students in a TBL course with Prof. Elizalde-Utnick. They are discussing and deciding on the best seating arrangement when conducting a counseling session with a parent and interpreter.

This course will be using aspects of Team-Based Learning (TBL) pedagogy ( that can be incorporated into online teaching formats. TBL increases students’ understanding of course concepts by using them to solve authentic, real-world problems and help them develop their workplace learning skills.

The rhythm of TBL

TBL courses have a recurring pattern of instruction that is typical of many flipped classrooms. Students prepare before class and then students spend the bulk of class time solving problems together. In SPCL 7915 this term, each session has a similar rhythm, opening with the Readiness Assurance Process that prepares the students for the activities that follow, and then moving to Application Activities that explore real-life case scenarios and apply concepts described in the readings.

Phase 1 - Pre-Class Preparation: Students are assigned preparatory materials to review before start of each module. The preparatory materials can be articles, videos, homework exercises, or PowerPoint slides. The preparatory materials highlight foundational vocabulary and the most important concepts the students need to begin problem solving, but not everything they need to know by module end.

Phase 2 - Readiness Assurance Test (RAT): Each session will begin with a five-question, multiple-choice quiz posted on Blackboard. The quiz will begin at the course section’s designated start time (1:00 or 4:30 pm) and students have 30 minutes to complete it. The RATs only take 10-15 minutes to complete, and a double-time accommodation has been added for all students. The RAT holds students accountable for acquiring important foundational knowledge from the assigned readings that will prepare them to begin problem-solving during the Zoom sessions. Zoom sessions will begin right after the quizzes.

Phase 3 - In Class Activities: Using Zoom’s breakout room feature, students and their teams use the foundational knowledge, acquired in the first two phases, to make decisions that will be reported during the whole-class discussions and subject to cross-team discussion and critique. The class will use a variety of methods to have students report their team’s decision at the end of each activity. Sometimes students will hold up cards indicating a specific choice, sometimes they will write their answer on Zoom chat, sometimes they will display their work gallery style for the other teams to comment, and other times they will complete short worksheets or surveys, which will be randomly reported to the rest of the class.

Credits: Header image from Pixabay, released free for use. TBL in-class activity image is a TBL cartoon from Sibley and Spiridonoff at the Centre for Instructional Support, University of British Columbia. Online team image from Pixabay, released free for use. 

Open Educational Resource Information

Unless otherwise noted, content on this site is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

This course website contains copyrighted materials available only for your personal, noncommercial educational and scholarly use. This site is used in accordance with the fair use provision, Section 107 of the U.S. Copyright Act where allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Every effort has been made to provide attribution of copyrighted content. If you wish to use any copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain expressed permission from the copyright owner. If you are the owner of any copyrighted material that appears on this site and believe the use of any such material does not constitute "fair use", please contact Professor Graciela Elizalde-Utnick to have the content removed, if proven necessary.

This open educational resource was created as part of the CUNY and SUNY 2017-19 Open Educational Resources Initiatives. Governor Andrew Cuomo and the NY State Legislature awarded CUNY and SUNY $16 million to implement open educational resources to develop, enhance and institutionalize new and ongoing open educational resources across both universities.

Special thanks to the CUNY Office of Academic Affairs, the CUNY Office of Library Services, Brooklyn College Administration and Professor Miriam Deutch, Coordinator, Brooklyn College Open Educational Resources Initiative. Site design and formatting by Colin McDonald, OER Developer.