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EFFECTIVENESS OF PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK FROM A SUPERVISOR VERSUS A NON-SUPERVISOR IN PROMOTING PARAPROFESSIONALS' IMPLEMENTATION OF BASIC FIRE-EVACUATION TRAINING

CHRISTOPHER JOSEPH FOX, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Abstract

Prue and Fairbank (1981) have identified parameters on which feedback procedures should be analyzed. This study investigated one parameter, the source of feedback. It was expected that feedback from supervisors would exert more control over paraprofessionals' behavior than feedback from non-supervisors. Paraprofessionals from six residences at a state school for mentally retarded persons were trained to work in pairs to teach their clients to leave the residence when a fire alarm sounded. Twenty-eight paraprofessionals participated; their ages ranged from 21 to 55, thirteen were women and fifteen men. Subjects were taught how to conduct fire-evacuation training, given the equipment they needed, and specific schedules. The dependent variable was the number of training trials each team did. The independent variable was a feedback memo on the team's performance from one of the two sources. The research design was a multiple-baseline across teams with the order of presentation of feedback sources counterbalanced. Training sessions were scheduled twice a week, but were only conducted when there was enough staff, about two-thirds of the time. A methodological refinement was made during the intervention; feedback on a team's performance began to be sent to each member rather than the team as one. Data were analyzed graphically and statistically. Results showed that each team did more training after feedback was introduced, but there were no differences across feedback sources. Delivering feedback to individuals improved several teams' performances. All clients who received feedback made progress. Four conclusions were drawn: (1) Feedback from different sources can control the behavior of paraprofessionals working in an institution for mentally retarded persons; (2) written feedback is more effective if delivered in a manner that ensures that each subject always sees it; (3) it is not effective to rely on antecedents to manage paraprofessionals' behavior; and (4) much work remains to be done on teaching mentally retarded persons fire-evacuation skills. ^

Subject Area

Occupational psychology

Recommended Citation

FOX, CHRISTOPHER JOSEPH, "EFFECTIVENESS OF PERFORMANCE FEEDBACK FROM A SUPERVISOR VERSUS A NON-SUPERVISOR IN PROMOTING PARAPROFESSIONALS' IMPLEMENTATION OF BASIC FIRE-EVACUATION TRAINING" (1983). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8401062.
http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations/AAI8401062

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