AN BEHAV 3000RW - Applied Behaviour Analysis for Animals

Roseworthy Campus - Semester 1 - 2021

This course will introduce students to the principles of the science of behaviour known as behaviour analysis. The philosophical system known as behaviourism that underlies this area of study will be explored, with a focus on the application of behavioural principles (applied behaviour analysis) to animal training and welfare practices and procedures. Students will learn techniques for utilizing the principles of behaviour (i.e., operant conditioning) for the management of animals, as well as the benefits that the incorporation of behavioural principles into animal training and behaviour practices provides. The course will cover the general field of applied behaviour analysis as it is practiced across a variety of settings, as well as how applied behaviour analysis is derived from basic research on the experimental analysis of behaviour (EAB) and incorporated with the natural history and ethological underpinnings of animal behaviour.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code AN BEHAV 3000RW
    Course Applied Behaviour Analysis for Animals
    Coordinating Unit School of Animal and Veterinary Sciences
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s Roseworthy Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 30 hrs per week for 2 weeks
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assumed Knowledge ANIML SC 1016RW or ANIML SC 1018RW
    Restrictions Available to B.Sc (Animal Behaviour) students only
    Assessment Quizzes, Individual and Group Assignments, Final Examination
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Susan Hazel

    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Identify the ABC’s of behaviour and how this relates to understanding the immediate causes (function) of behaviour.
    2 Understand and apply the methodology used by the science of behaviour, with a focus on within-subject research methods.
    3 Design and implement strategies used for increasing and decreasing the occurrence of behaviour.
    4 Discuss how data and empirical evidence are used to evaluate the implementation of various behavioural practices.
    5 Discuss the broader ethical and societal implications for the use of behavioural principles in everyday life.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 5
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1 - 4
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1, 3 - 5
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    1 - 5
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 5
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    1 - 5
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary
    Lecture topics:
    Introduction to Behaviour Analysis
    Basic Concepts in Basic and Applied Behaviour Analysis
    Defining and Measuring Behaviour
    Designing and Assessing Behaviour Measurement
    Within-Subject Design Methodology
    Construction and Interpretation of Graphs
    Planning ABA Research
    Contingencies of Behaviour – Positive and Negative Reinforcement
    Contingencies of Behaviour – Positive and Negative Punishment
    Schedules of Reinforcement
    Antecedent Variables – Stimulus Control and Motivating Operations
    Developing New Behaviour – Shaping
    Developing New Behaviour – Chaining and Imitation
    Decreasing Behaviour Without Punishment – Extinction
    Decreasing Behaviour Without Punishment – Differential Reinforcement
    Decreasing Behaviour Without Punishment – Antecedent Interventions
    Evaluation of Behavioural Interventions – Functional Assessment and Analysis
    Ethics of Behavioral Interventions

    Practical topics:
    Animal Training
    Behavior Management and Intervention
    Anecdotal and Empirical Evaluations of Interventions
    Animal Handling – Individuals and Species Focus
    Online Interviews with Organisations involved in Animal Training and Behaviour Management

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Hurdle
    Learning Outcome Approximate timing of Assessment
    Online quizzes Formative and summative 20% No 1, 2, 4 End of each section/class
    Assessment of ABC of a specific behaviour Formative and summative


    No 1 - 3 During a section/class
    Written plan for changing a behaviour Formative and summative 20% No 1 - 3 End of each section/class
    Group assessment of individual behaviour plans Formative and summative 20% No 1, 4, 5 End of Week 1
    Written exam Summative 20% No 1, 4, 5 End of semester
    Assessment Detail
    Online quizzes – 20%
    Each quiz (10 total) will focus on the information delivered for each day/lecture. The majority of quizzes will be multiple-choice format.

    Assessment of the ABC of a specific behaviour – 20%
    During lectures, students will be presented with multiple examples of behaviours where they must adequately assess and state verbally the variables that occur before (antecedents) and after (consequences) of a behaviour. Students will be expected to describe the antecedent stimuli, behaviour(s), and potential consequences for each response in observable, operationally definable terms.

    Written plan for changing a behaviour – 20%
    At the end of each lecture, students will be presented with a target behaviour/set of behaviours (problematic for its occurrence or non-occurrence), and they will be expected to adequately describe each response and possible function of the response in terms of its antecedent, behaviour, and consequence (ABC), as well as devise a solution for deterring, eliminating, establishing, or replacing the behaviour (10 total, following each quiz; 250 words max).

    Group assessment of individual behaviour plans (group project) – 20%
    After Week 1, students will split into several groups (group sizes will be ~3-5 students) and be presented with the past individual target behaviours/sets of behaviours. The group will evaluate each individualized behaviour change plan in terms of its ethics and efficacy and present a group plan for each target behaviour/set of behaviours (10 min oral presentation per group)

    Written exam – 20%
    Final written exam delivered at the end of the semester. Final exams will cover all material learned over the semester, including ethical considerations of behaviour change plans, data collection for behaviour change plans, and time/energy/financial considerations/constraints for any behaviour change plan. (Format: 3 hours, MCQ (~50%), short answer (~25%), and essay/long answer questions (~25%).
    If an extension is not applied for, or not granted, then a penalty for late submission will apply.  A penalty of 10% of the value of the assignment for each calendar day that the assignment is late (i.e. weekends count as 2 days), up to a maximum of 50% of the available marks will be applied. This means that an assignment that is 5 days late or more without an approved extension can only receive a maximum of 50% of the marks available for that assignment.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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