Self-study course, auditors only (no premium spots in this course),
with extensive material including step-by-step exercises for you to practice with your learner!
Through start button behaviors, we can give our learning partners control over various procedures by having them tell us when to go ahead and when to stop. This course will serve as an introduction to understanding and working with start button contingencies. You will learn how to structure your training sessions to include clear yes and no opportunities, and we will dive into the concepts of choice and control and begin incorporating start button behaviors in various settings. Learn these techniques and you’ll be able to take another giant step towards a place where you and your animal are true partners in the training process!
Course syllabus – these are the lessons we’ll go through in this six week course:
Start button behaviors are behaviors that learners perform, and that functions as cues for the teacher to make the next move. If the learner doesn’t do the start button behavior, the teacher doesn’t progress.
Through start button behaviors we as teachers get information about how we are doing in our training. If the package that we present after the start button behavior is functioning as a reinforcer, then there will be short latency and high persistance in the start button behavior. If, on the other hand, we see latency, or the start button behavior doesn’t occur or is interrupted – then we know that the package we have presented contingent upon that start button behavior isn’t reinforcing enough – which is super valuable information to us, because then we get the opportunity to instantly make adjustments and improvements in our training.
So it’s never about the specific start button behavior as such – that behavior is just a tool for clearer communication! It is as if the learner is pressing a start button which makes the trainer continue to the next step. From the trainer’s perspective: In a certain situation, if I see this response (the start button behavior), I present my stimulus (object, movement, noise, cue or whatever it is that you start) which is followed (instantly, or after a sorter or longer sequence) by a reinforcer (treat, toy, belly rub, or what the maintaining reinforcer might be). From the learner’s perspective in turn: In a certain situation, if I do this response (the start button behavior), then that stimulus will occur which in turn is followed by a reinforcer either directly or after I have done some more behavior(s).
Having the learner be in control provides us with a good way to be able to listen, making sure that we’re not pushing the pace of the training or moving in the wrong the direction all together. Thus, start button work is a tool for us as trainers to help us become even better partners for our learners!
To learn more about where we’re coming from with this subject and find a variety of other resources, please check out www.animalsincontrol.com
Welcome to the course! //E&E