Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Dr. Marcie Desrochers


Preference-based teaching (PBT) incorporates choice and preferred activities into a teaching task to increase the rate of learning among students with developmental disabilities (DD). This study compared the efficacy of discrete trial training with and without PBT. Participants included three students from an afterschool facility that serves children with DD. Researchers met with each participant in one-on-one teaching sessions to determine if the PBT method embedded in discrete trial training led to more learning than discrete trial training alone. Learning occurred in both conditions and there was no clear difference between the PBT and comparison conditions. Generalization and social validity assessments were conducted for each participant. The generalization assessments failed to show a difference between conditions such that all participants retained the same amount of learned skills across both conditions. During the social validity assessments, all three participants chose the PBT condition over the discrete trial training condition. Interpretations of the results are discussed.

Included in

Psychology Commons