EDF5681 - Behaviour analysis: Implementation and experimental methods - 2019

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Chief examiner(s)

Erin Leif


Erin Leif

Unit guides



  • First semester 2019 (Flexible)
  • Second semester 2019 (Flexible)




This unit consists of three modules; Applied Research Methods (Module 1), Behavioural Treatment (Module 2) and Skill Acquisition (Module 3). In Module 1, students will learn about specific tactics of scientific research in behaviour analysis, including (a) the components of experiments in behaviour analysis, (b) single subject research designs, and (c) tactics for visually analysing and interpreting graphed data. Modules 2 and 3 focus largely on applications of applied behaviour analysis with individuals with autism, developmental disabilities, and behaviours of concern. In Module 2, students will learn to conduct and interpret the results of functional behaviour assessments and stimulus preference assessments, and will learn to design function-based interventions to reduce behaviours of concern. In Module 3, students will be introduced to basic tactics for teaching new behaviours. Topics covered will include shaping, chaining, discrete trial teaching, natural environment teaching, and precision teaching. Students will also learn how B.F. Skinner's analysis of verbal behaviour can be used as a framework to teach communication and language skills. We will explore elementary and secondary verbal operants and discuss tactics for teaching functional language capabilities. Across Modules 2 and 3, we will also review evidence-based tactics for promoting maintenance and generalisation of behaviour change.

This unit aligns with BACB 4th Edition Task List requirements.


Upon successful completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Identify the defining features of single subject research designs, and describe how experimental control is demonstrated with various research designs
  2. Analyse the results of single subject experiments to identify functional relations
  3. Review and interpret articles from the behaviour analytic literature
  4. Identify potential interventions based on assessment results and the best available scientific evidence
  5. Recommend intervention goals and strategies based on such factors as client preferences, supporting environments, risks, constraints, and social validity
  6. Design and use the full range of functional assessment procedures
  7. Organise, analyse, and interpret the results of functional behaviour assessments
  8. Identify select, and teach new behaviours
  9. Make data-based decisions about the effectiveness of the intervention and the need for treatment revision
  10. Use procedures to promote maintenance and generalisation of behaviour change.


Behavioural Assessment and Treatment Project (collectively 4000 words equivalent, 50%)

Skill Acquisition Project (collectively 4000 words equivalent, 50%)

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload equals 288 hours per semester (24 hours per week of study). The Association for Behavior Analysis International (ABAI) is responsible for verifying that the Monash MEd in ABA course meets specific standards and rules. The ABAI requires that students participate in a total of 270 hours of direct instructional activities aligned to the 4th Edition BACB Task List (across all units that comprise the verified course sequence). Coursework delivered via distance format is required to include verifiable methods that ensure student are in contact with the material for the time proposed. Therefore, participation in asynchronous and synchronous online learning activities is mandatory and must be verifiable. In EDF5681, students must complete 103 hours of direct instructional activities, comprising:

  1. Contact hours for flexible students:
    • 4 x 3 hour face-to-face workshops, 8 x one-hour online tutorials, and 83 hours of online instruction over the semester; or
    • 4 x 3 hour online workshops, 8 x one-hour online tutorials, and 83 hours of online instruction over the semester
  2. Additional requirements (all students):
    • 185 independent study hours

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study