Token systems, Prompting and Reinforcement

Assignment 4 – Token systems, Prompting and Reinforcement

This assignment relates to the following Course Learning Requirements:

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CLR2: Apply in theory and practice the principles and procedures of ABA/IBI in working with individuals with ASD

CLR3: Develop intervention plans within ABA/IBI context that are developmentally appropriate and functional

CLR5: Recommend and/or modify intervention strategies and adapt the environment as needed to increase learning success and reduce problematic behaviours

Objective of this Assignment: Through a video role play and a complementary written component, the student will demonstrate an understanding of token systems, prompting and reinforcement when teaching new skills to a learner using the verbal behaviour approach.


Alex is a 9 year old boy with an ASD who, based on his assessment fits the profile of an intermediate learner. He loves chocolate, going mini-putting, all things “Star Wars”, Harry Potter and Pokémon. You are Alex’s therapist and are required to use a token system to teach him a brand new skill.

· Role play video:

· For this assignment you will create a role play video of yourself teaching the following ABLLS-R language target:

o G8 – Labels a picture of an ongoing action

§ When shown a picture of a person performing an action and asked “What is the boy/girl/man/woman doing? The learner will tact the action

§ SD: What is [person doing]?

§ R: “[actioning]”

o Note: In advance, coach your volunteer “learner” to pretend that they don’t know the skill that you are teaching and respond according the prompts you are using.

o In your video you should use a verbal behaviour approach. This means you will mix and vary tasks from the B, C, D and G section of the ABLLS-R (Note: You do not need a copy of the ABLLS-R in order to complete this assignment. See a description of the tasks below)

§ Here are the tasks you can select from:

§ B5 – matching identical pictures

· SD: “Match”

· R: Learner matches card with correct sample in a visual field of 2-3

§ C9 – Clap hands, bang table and stomp feet

· SD: “Clap hands” Bang table” “Stomp feet” etc.

· R: Learner complies with instruction

§ D4/5 – Imitation of motor movements (“Do this”) rub hands, arms up and tap legs

· SD: “Do this”

· R: Learner imitates therapists actions

§ G4 – Label common items – Hold up pictures of any common items

· SD: “What is it?”

· R: Learner labels the item

§ H1/2 – Fill in phrases and songs – “Twinkle, twinkle little …..“, “Ready set ….” Etc.

· SD: Therapist says the beginning of the phrase

· R: learner fills in the last 1-2 words

o Teach your new target skill according to the standards that you have outlined and submitted to your facilitator (below)

o Note: You will not be directly evaluated on your ability to teach using the verbal behaviour approach. The emphasis of the role play component is on prompting, prompt fading and reinforcement using a token system as is reflected in the instructions and rubric.


Demonstrate the following in your video and include a separate write-up including all of the requirements below:

· Token System:

o Create an appropriate token board, given the scenario above.

o Provide a picture of the token board and a brief (1-2 sentences) rationale for what you chose.

o You will use this token system in your role play video

· Prompting:

o Outline which prompt(s) will you use to teach this skill (Lesson 5)?

o Which prompt fading strategy will you use? Provide a brief rationale

· Reinforcement:

o Identify the schedule of reinforcement you will use to teach this brand new skill. Explain why.

o Identify a backup reinforcer. Explain why you chose it.

· Self-Rating:

o Watch your role play video before submitting and rate yourself on the following:




Most of the time


Some of the time


Not often enough


Prompts outlined are the same prompts used in the video









Prompt fading is attempted and follows strategy identified









You are modelling the appropriate schedule of reinforcement?









Each token delivered is obvious to the “learner”














You identified a backup reinforce?







The backup reinforce is delivered immediately following the delivery of the final token?







· Written component:

o This written component should contain complete sentences and paragraphs, using headings and sub-headings as outlined above. Include the self-rating chart at the bottom of the document.


Please se assignment in Brightspace for Rubric










· Pictures are the visuals used on visual support systems

· Week 7: Assignment 4-Token Systems, Prompting and Reinforcement + Module 9 – Teaching Play Skills

Posted Oct 12, 2020 7:30 AM

Hi Everyone – Welcome to week 7. Officially the half-way point of FAM0020!

Your module and readings this week are related to Teaching Play Skills.

Assignment 4 – Token Systems, Prompting & Reinforcement is DUE June 29, 2019. There has been some confusion with the assignment in the past so I am posting a number of clarifications and TIPS for success below. Please take the time to read through this announcement!


· ABLLS-R: G8 is identified as the target skill for acquisition (the skill that you are teaching and therefore prompting). This is the ONLY skill you should outline and demonstrate prompt and prompt fading for. Choose the prompt/fading strategy that best matches the G8 response based on the description provided in the assignment and/or in the ABLLS-R assessment & curriculum guide.

· The other skills mentioned in the assignment are meant to be previously learned skills (aka, the ‘easy’ and/or ‘mix/vary’ targets). You should assume these would NOT require prompting.

· Two of the techniques used to increase on-task behaviour in the Verbal Behaviour teaching approach are ‘mixing and varying skills’ (mixing between skills from a variety of learning domains) and interspersing easy/difficult (including a ratio of previously learned responses and acquisition responses). Easy (mastered) skills are used at the beginning of a teaching sequence to fade in demands AND between teaching trials to sustain learner attention.


· For this assignment, tokens will be provided for reinforcement. For tokens to be valuable, they must lead to access to a preferred item/activity – once a certain number of tokens are earned. Always assess learner motivation and use the token board to establish a FIRST-THEN contingency before placing demands. VIDEO: be sure to show the preference assessment and the first-then on the video!

· Token Boards – simple is best. The design should include a clear demonstration of how many tokens need to be earned before they can be traded in for the backup item/activity.

· Tokens should be provided to the learner immediately after CORRECT responses on the TARGET skill (G8). At first, it is expected that the target responses will be correct WITH prompts but eventually, we hope for the target response to be correct with LESS or NO prompts (prompt fading).

· Since G8 is a new skill, reinforce each CORRECT independent response and/or reinforce each time you FADE the prompt. The number of total responses recommended prior to reinforcement is often prescribed as a Variable Ratio so the number of responses in a run-through would vary around the mean (e.g. VR4). There is no schedule specified for this assignment but I would recommend about 5. Try this formula: 2-3 easy instructions/responses (contrive them to be correct in your demo), prompt G8, fade-prompt G8 > REINFORCE

· Tokens should be delivered directly to the learner – support the learner as needed to place the tokens on the token board and also give PRAISE! Only give PRAISE with a token (try to avoid praising after easy responses)

SAMPLE TEACHING SEQUENCE to access the first token:

1. Teacher gives identical picture cards and says “match” > Learner correctly and independently matches the picture cards (easy, mastered skill)

2. Teacher says “clap hands” > Learner claps hands correctly and independently (easy, mastered skill)

3. Teacher says “What is he doing?” and shows a picture of a person reading + PROMPT > learner says “reading”

4. Teacher says “What is he doing” and shows a picture of a person reading + FADED PROMPT > learner says “reading”

Teacher says “Super! He is reading!” while providing the learner with a token.

Continue with additional teaching sequences in this way until all tokens are acquired.

This video shows an example of a token system of reinforcement used within discrete trial teaching. Please note, however, the learner has a thinner schedule of reinforcement than recommended for our assignment. It would take some time to build a learner’s ability to tolerate such a high rate of demands, but I think it is a good video none the less. .

Please let me know if you have any questions. Have a great week!


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