Teaching chained tasks in dyads: Acquisition of target and observational behaviors

Mark Wolery, Melinda Jones Ault, David L. Gast, Patricia Munson Doyle, Ann K. Griffen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


This investigation used a multiple probe design to evaluate the use of a constant time delay procedure in a small group instructional arrangement. Two pairs of two students (i.e., dyads) with moderate mental retardation were taught domestic and vocational chained tasks. Tasks for each dyad were divided so that one student of the dyad was taught the first part of the task, and the other student was taught the second part. Interactions between members of each dyad were specifically prompted so that students delivered both antecedent (i.e., attentional cue) and consequent (i.e., reinforcement) events to their dyad member. Students observed each other learning their respective parts of the task and then were assessed on their ability to perform both parts of the task (i.e., the part taught directly and the part taught to the other member of the dyad). The results indicate that (a) constant time delay was effective in teaching chained tasks in dyads, and (b) all students learned a substantial amount of the tasks that they were not directly taught but that they observed being taught to the other member of their dyad. These findings are discussed in terms of designing effective and efficient instruction for students with moderate handicaps.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-220
Number of pages23
JournalThe Journal of Special Education
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1991

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Rehabilitation


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