Date of Award

6-1-2021

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Behavior Analysis and Therapy

First Advisor

Baires, Natalia

Abstract

Virtual learning has been used long before the COVID-19 pandemic for mental health care or acute conditions but was rarely used as a replacement for in-person visits. Additionally, virtual learning was primarily used for those earning graduate and undergraduate degrees. Virtual learning for individuals younger than eighteen is not typically researched, as it has not been a subject of importance or seen as a replacement for in-person learning. The current study worked with four male children under the age of eighteen from both the neurotypical and neurodiverse populations. Participants were paired into dyads to assess learning done both virtually and in-person when presented with a brainteaser puzzle using a multiple baseline across participants design. Two of the four participants engaged in both treatment conditions. Percent of independently completed steps of a brainteaser puzzle and percent of on-task behavior were measured across conditions. Implications of the current study suggest that individuals that are considered severely delayed may learn more proficiently when in-person, however, others with less severe developmental disabilities and those that are considered neurotypical may be able to learn across either condition.

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