Engaging Online Behavior Analysis Students in Creating Culturally Relevant Content for a Niche Discipline: A Replicable and Discipline-Universal Strategy

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Brief Abstract

When OER are scarce for a niche discipline, facilitate student-generated content that represents diverse learning histories, cultural contexts, and values. This session shares one open pedagogy practice in process that is being implemented to supplement the limited OER available while providing an engaging a relevant learning experience for students.


Dr. Rachel Potter is an associate professor of education at Mary Baldwin University in Staunton, VA, where she serves as the Director of ABA and Autism Studies. With vast interests in diverse applications of ABA, Dr. Potter has experience applying the principles of behavioral science in juvenile justice settings, in early childhood intervention, and in classroom teaching; additionally, she has a growing interest in the use of behavior analytic strategies by coaches for enhancing collegiate athletic performance. She is the President of the Association for Behavior Analysis International's OER Special Interest Group (ABAl OER SIG), an Affiliate Member of the Association for Behavior Analysis International, and sits on the Professional Advisory Board of the International Behavior Analysis Organization.

Extended Abstract

While Open Educational Resources (OERs) are beginning to be available and adopted at rates comparable to traditional publishers in lower division courses, adoption lags far behind in niche content areas and pre-professional courses of study. This asynchronous “discovery session” highlights efforts by one online program in a niche discipline (Applied Behavior Analysis) to increase the availability of relevant OER, with a particular emphasis on student-generated content.

The Task List Glossary Project, an open pedagogy endeavor to crowd-source student-generated examples of the professional principles that align with the behavioral sciences, is about to enter its second year of implementation.  The strategy, which employs inductive models for OER content creation, emphasizes the intentionality of including experiences that represent the learning histories, cultures, and values of a diverse group of aspiring behavior analysts, psychologists, educators, and others pursuing careers in related areas.

While this session will present an example from one specific academic subject area, application of this strategy is discipline-universal and replicable by others. One of the primary themes of this open pedagogy project is the emphasis on the importance of cultural context & anti-bias approaches to facilitating consumer-creation of OER. The session will address how to engage students in such a project while ensuring compliance with FERPA and avoiding coercive practices.

As a “discovery session” the presentation will briefly share the strategy itself, key data points from the first year of implementation, examples of how the project has intersected with the cultural context intention, and provide practical next steps for attendees who may want to explore implementing similar efforts with their students, regardless of disciplinary area.