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Evidence-based Practices to Teach Students with ASD

Upcoming offerings:

Dates   Registration
July 20 - August 24, 2015

This course is estimated to require 20 contact hours to complete.

Course facilitator: Taryn Goodwin, M.Ed, BCBA
Office phone: 804-827-2685

Course Overview

This course is designed to provide educators with skills and knowledge to instruct students with ASD in the educational setting. The course provides an overview of the importance of good instruction, appropriate skill selection, and evidence-based practices. A focus of the course will surround the "foundational five" evidence-based practices. The "foundational five" include: antecedent-based interventions, visual supports, systematic instruction, and interventions to promote social and communications skills. Participants will learn how to implement the "foundational five" practices through case study examples and supplemental learning activities.

Who Should Take This Course

This course is targeted for any educator who supports at least one student with ASD. This includes general education teachers, special education teachers, paraprofessionals, and related service personnel. However, individuals who do not have direct instructional responsibilities are still encouraged to participate in the course. Others who may be interested in taking the course can include administrators, family members, and other service providers.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, the participant will be able to:

  1. Identify five evidence-based practices.
  2. Identify the process of selecting skills to teach.
  3. Discuss antecedent-based interventions.
  4. Discuss the importance and use of motivation.
  5. Discuss prompting, reinforcement, and the three-term contingency.
  6. Identify the basic tools for teaching communication.
  7. Identify the basic tools for teaching social skills.


Module One: Foundations of Instruction
Module Two: Introduction to the Foundational Five
Module Three: The Three-Term Contingency
Module Four: Strategies for Teaching Communcation and Social Skills

Pace of the Course

This course is an online offering through the Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence. Please note that this is NOT a self-pacing course. You will have assignments and due dates that must be adhered to. The course consists of 4 modules. You will work your way through 1 module at a time completing course activities which include:

Course Requirements

Participants are to complete all course activities which include narrated lectures, video examples, and learning activities. The following activities are required to complete the course and receive a certificate of completion:

Quizzes: Once all content is reviewed in a module, completion of a module quiz is required. A score of 80% or better is needed to move to the next module. Participants will have two attempts to complete the quiz with a score of 80% or better. Participants need to obtain a score of 80% or better on all four quizzes. If participants are unable to meet this requirement, they are welcome to complete the course without receiving a certificate of completion or discontinue the course at that time and register for the next available section. If the participant chooses to discontinue and register for another section, s/he would have to complete the entire course again.

Discussion board postings: During completion of a module, the participant will be required to respond to a discussion board question. Participants are required to answer each of the three discussion board questions and respond to their assigned instructor's comments for a total of at least two posts per discussion board. Participants must answer all three of the discussion board questions in order to receive their certificate.

Certificate of Completion from Virginia Commonwealth University Autism Center for Excellence

Upon completion of the course in its entirety, you will be eligible for a Certificate of Completion. This requires you to complete each module by viewing each presentation and reading any associated documents, articles, and web pages. Once you have completed the course content, please fill out the course evaluation. Once the evaluation is completed, you will be provided with a link for a printable Certificate of Completion. The course will document 5 hours of contact hours.

Continuing Education Units

Points for educators working towards licensure renewal (recertification) may be awarded for completion of this online course. VDOE provides the following requirements regarding professional development activities: Point value: one point per clock/contact hour; must be a minimum of five hours per activity. We estimate this course to take a total of 25 contact hours to complete. Any teacher who wants to use it as a professional development activity for re-certification needs prior approval of the school district. The school district will be responsible for designating the actual number of points that a teacher can earn for participating in the course.

*Please note that the course/training does not meet any of the requirements for initial licensure in special education or any category of licensure endorsement.

Accessing the Course

To participate, you need a computer with (preferably high-speed) internet access, Adobe Flash Player software within your browser, and a sound card with speakers in order to listen to the lectures (full text transcripts are provided for all lectures and multimedia).

Participants will be able to access course materials on VCU's "Blackboard" website. Each participant is provided the course URL, a unique username and a password on the first day of class. Please note that each participant should have his or her own email address that is not shared with other individuals.

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