Donny Newsome, PhD, BCBA-D – Mastery: Defined Functionally, Measured Behaviorally
1.0 Type II CEU
About the presentation:
Generally speaking, the concept of ‘mastery’ is well understood. We know a masterful performer when we see one. His or her performance seems to come naturally, quickly and accurately. Difficult or complex tasks are made to look effortless and novel problems are readily overcome. On the other hand, the absence of mastery is equally apparent. Critical skill deficits result in measurably slow, frustrating, inflexible performance and can adversely affect one’s quality of life. As such, mastery is a commonly stated goal of educators in their crafting of skill acquisition plans. Unfortunately, inspection of common goal setting practices by behaviorists and educators reveals an unsettling divide. Whereas the characteristics of mastery listed above represent broad programmatic goals, the specific ‘mastery criteria’ for acquisition targets are often woefully inadequate to produce such results. In this presentation, barriers to adequate goal setting such as inappropriate measurement systems and charting conventions will be addressed. The desired result of the presentation is to empower attendees to move away from goals like, “80% correct across three consecutive trials…” toward criteria more fitting of our experience of functional mastery in everyday life.
About the presenter:
Dr. Newsome earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and his Doctorate in Psychology from the University of Nevada, Reno. He is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA-D) and Founding Director of Fit Learning™ where he helps to train and manage a growing global network of affiliated learning laboratories. Dr. Newsome is currently serving as Past-President of the Standard Celeration Society (SCS) and President of the Academic Access Initiative, a non-profit for underserved student populations. His research initiatives have focused on organizational behavior and educational technologies across various business sectors including public utilities, universities, school districts, Fortune 100 companies and community service providers. He has been invited to share his expertise via presentations, workshops and university courses on a wide variety of socially relevant topics to a diversity of professional audiences. He has successfully developed and supervised dozens of teams of practitioners, researchers, community groups and organizational initiatives. The overarching value guiding Dr. Newsome’s work is contributing to the transformation of human well being through the science of teaching and learning.
Upon completion of this presentation, participants will be able to:
Describe the difference between dimensional and derivative types of measurement, give examples of each.
Describe difference between arbitrary mastery criteria and functional mastery criteria, give examples of each.
Describe how you could test whether the mastery criteria being used in your practice are adequate.