Thursday, June 25, 2009

High Jump video

We have posted our classic high jump video to YouTube. This illustrates some of the basic principles of TAGteach. Note the self assessment and absence of frustration when they miss the tag point. This video shows rapid learning of a complex skill without ever pointing out mistakes. It also provides a good example of backchaining... starting with the last part of the skill and gradually adding pieces to move toward the completed skill.

Monday, June 22, 2009

TAGteach Online Course

We are pleased to announce the availability of the TAGteach Online Course. This is an introduction to TAGteach suitable for anyone who wants to teach something to someone else or to encourage a change in another's behavior.
I love the online course. It is clear that a great deal of time, expertise and attention went into its creation. The audio was very pleasant to listen to and informative. The use of Scott’s supporting documentation is very user friendly. My impression was that it resulted in a high-end professional experience for the user.

Danielle G. Theule, DDS, CPDT, KPA CTP, TAGteacher Level 1, CGC Evaluator – Canis Jedi Canine Training

Download Course Outline

Download PDF Demo with working video links


For more information Click Here

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

TAGteach at the Association of Behavior Analysis International Conference

TAGteach was the subject of five presentations at the recent ABAI conference. One was on the subject of teaching the golf swing, presented by Victoria Fogel and the others were about TAGteach applications in teaching children diagnosed with autism. The titles and abstracts of the austim presentations are listed below:

Using TAG Teach Methods to Develop Eye Contact Behavior in Children with Autism.
REGINA L. MAENDLER (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), John W Eshleman (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology), Traci M. Cihon (The Chicago School of Professional Psychology)

Many children diagnosed with autism demonstrate limited eye contact behavior with others. Eye contact can be an important prerequisite for the development of other behavioral repertoires including mands, imitation, and social interaction. Because the eye contact movement cycle can be quite brief, it is not always possible to provide immediate reinforcement and often one may inadvertently reinforce another behavior (e.g. looking away). The purpose of this study was to increase eye contact behavior in children diagnosed with autism using two reinforcement methods; contingent positive reinforcement and Teaching by Acoustical Guidance (TAG). During the first treatment condition, descriptive praise statements as well as access to preferred items and activities were made contingent upon occurrences of eye contact behavior. During the second treatment condition, occurrences of eye contact behavior were immediately tagged with an acoustical marker and directly followed by access to a backup reinforcer in the form of descriptive praise statements as well as access to preferred items and activities. Treatment conditions were presented during randomly alternating sessions through a multielement design. Differences in responding between conditions were attributed to the effectiveness of each treatment variable as an intervention for developing eye contact behavior among children with autism.

The use of TAG to Improve the Acquisition of Instruction Following in Young Children with Autism.
MARIDITH R. GUTIERREZ (Applied Behavior Consultants, Inc)

The use of TAG (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance) was examined in the acquisition of Receptive Instructions in children with autism. Receptive skills can be difficult for children with autism to acquire and the discrimination of different instructions is often an observed deficit. Four students at a non-public school for children with autism participated in the study. The students had not acquired the skill of following instructions in a structured teaching environment using standard discrete trial teaching nor through incidental teaching (e.g., within routine contexts). A multiple baseline across subjects design was used to examine whether the insertion of TAG, used to reinforce the target response prior to receipt of the highly preferred item, led to an increase in the acquisition of the skill. Students were exposed to a Receptive Instructions lesson with standard discrete trial teaching (i.e., SD-R-SR) during baseline. The use of TAG was implemented with each student in a staggered fashion and inserted immediately after a correct response.

Evaluating the Maintaining Effects of TAGteach on the Social Skills of an Individual with Autism.

There have been many noted interventions utilized in teaching social skills to children with Autism. TAGteach or Teaching with Acoustical Guidance incorporates the use of a tagger (audible marker) while pairing it with positive reinforcement and shaping in order to quickly teach a vast repertoire of skills to individuals in a variety of populations. The current study focused on analyzing the maintaining effects of TAGteach on the social skills (e.g., eye contact during manding and close proximity to peers) of a 7-year-old male diagnosed with Autism. Previously, eye contact while manding and close proximity to peers had been targeted and increased utilizing TAGteach compared to a more commonly used method. Maintenance data showed that the target behaviors did not maintain; however, required considerably less time to reacquire the skills utilizing TAGteach.

An Auditory Marker as a Secondary Reinforcer in the Shaping of Specific Behaviors in Children with Autism.
JEFF E. OOSTYEN (Focus Psychological Services)

This study examined the training of two behaviors (maintaining proximity and eye contact) in six children with Autism. An auditory marker, or TAG (Teaching with Acoustical Guidance) was employed as a secondary reinforcer for shaping the desired behaviors. The intervention followed the tenet of Applied Behavior Analysis and learning theory. The study was directed by personnel with TAGteach certification A multiple single case design with a multiple baseline across behaviors design was utilized to implement the intervention, as well as increase the ease of collecting data. The interventions took place in a natural environmental setting where each child’s behaviors were ecologically balanced. The data supported the efficacy of the intervention, but only in the context of training a child with Autism. Following full implementation, the rate of reinforcement was methodically reduced. The data indicated that the behaviors could be maintained at a level well above baseline. The implications of these results are discussed.

Additional study reports and information about TAGteach and autism can be found at

TAGteach at the Animal Behavior Management Alliance Conference

TAGteacher Lisa Clifton-Bumpass was a presenter at the Animal Behavior Management Alliance Conference in April and reported that she was
"giddy with delight to see that TAG was a prominent theme - either as the hallmark subject or referenced heavily in the materials."

It is exciting to see TAGteach taking on a life of its own as more and more people are having success with the approach and are spreading the word. We are really proud of the high caliber TAGteachers that are leaders in their field and presenters at these conferences.

Here is a list of the presentations that involved TAGteach:

April 26th
1. Devising Innovative Treatment Modalities for 0.1 Geriatric Giraffe: The Synergistic Effect of a Team Training Program At the Oakland Zoo's Giraffe Facility
by Amy Phelps & Lisa Clifton-Bumpass, Oakland Zoo

2. A Dog Trainer On Leash at the Zoo, Building the Bridge Between a Zoo's Training Program and Dog Training
by Lisa Clifton-Bumpass, A Step Beyond

April 29th
1. Karen Pryor Academy and the Veterinary Profession: Making the Collaboration Click, by Laura Monaco Torelli, Karen Pryor Academy Julie Shaw, Purdue University and Karen Pryor Academy and John Ciribassi DVM, Dipl. ACVB, Chicagoland Veterinary Behavior Consultants.

2.TAG - That's It! Using What We Know As Animal Trainers to be Better People Trainers, by Jody Ambrose, Training Made Simple

3. Advanced Training, Poultry in Motion by Terry Ryan, Legacy Canine Behavior and Training

May 1
1. Fixing Broken Horses Through Operant Conditioning Training Programs, By Elizabeth Abram, The Oakland Zoo

Karen Pryor's New Book

Karen Pryor's new book, Reaching the Animal Mind was released yesterday. This book contains a chapter dedicated to TAGteach - Chapter 11. The associated website has links and additional resources to augment the material in the book.

Reaching the Animal Mind

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

TAGteach in Texas In July

Date: July 18-19, 2009
Place: Creekside Pet Care, N. Richland Hills, TX 76180
Register at

  • Quickly increase student success rate
  • Instantly reduce student anxiety
  • Turn nag points into "TAG points"
  • Increase the `fun' quotient
  • Earn Primary TAGteach Certification
  • CPDT CEU credits available

"This teaching technology has truly changed our lives"
Lynn Boulier, Tail Waggin' Training Center

"The best money you'll ever spend on training!"
Melissa Winkle- Dogwood Therapy Services

"This class has really opened my eyes. There are a lot of positive ways to deal with people" Cascade Fishing Company