3 Steps to Fade Errorless Learning Activities for Students with Autism
Errorless learning can be a beneficial technique for students with autism. This approach promotes success and confidence, reduces anxiety, and can increase compliance. Errorless learning is honestly one of my favorite strategies to use with students! However, many educators wonder, once students become successful with errorless learning activities, how do I transition them to different activities?
Errorless learning is a technique in which the instructor teaches the student content and strategies while ensuring the student is correct. For example, when using errorless teaching strategies for matching activities, a student is only given the correct icon(s) to match. This can be done using task cards, binder activities, vocabulary cards, file folder activities, and the list goes on and on! However, fading these errorless learning activities is equally as important as implementing them.
Step 1- Mastering Errorless Learning Activities
Errorless learning works to ensure a student can complete an activity in its errorless format. When completing matching task cards, students are expected to put the matching icon on the task card. When working on task cards in step one, students are only given the correct icon to match to each card; distractor images are not present. Once students can complete task cards independently at this step, fading errorless learning activities becomes important. In another example, shown below, students are required to complete this page of a binder activity by matching the sweater. The sweater is the only icon present to match.
Step 2- Introducing a “Blank Distractor”
In the next step, we add a second component to the activity; this is when discrimination should be introduced. To continue with the task card example from before, the correct image for the task card, as well as a “blank” distractor should be present. The student is then responsible for identifying the correct picture, rather than the distractor. In addition to the responsibility of completing the task cards correctly, this step introduces discrimination and scanning to the student. In another example (seen below) students are required to complete this page of a binder activity by matching the pants. As you can see, there is an identical picture of the pants, as well as a blank distractor present.
Step 3- Discriminating Between Images
Lastly, a third component is added to the activity. After the student masters discriminating between the correct image and a blank, the student is introduced to discriminating between two images. Again, continuing with the task card example, there will be a minimum of two images for students to discriminate between. Students are responsible for identifying the matching image for the corresponding task card. In another example, as seen below, students are required to complete this page of a binder activity by matching the hat icon. As you can see, there is an identical picture of the hat, as well as a picture of a shirt present.
Applying the Steps in your Classroom today…
Interested in creating these activities in your classroom? You can easily print multiple copies of pictures, task cards, or file folder activity pieces to create an errorless activity in your classroom. For example, if you wanted to create an errorless learning activity around the number one, you can print copies of only number one task cards.
Furthermore, if you would like to trial my binder skills activities, you can download a free “clothing” binder skill activity below. These were highlighted in my examples throughout the post. This freebie will assist you in introducing errorless binder activities in your classroom, but also in beginning to fade errorless learning activities. This single product can be used with students on varying levels.
If you are interested in additional activities to assist fading errorless learning activities for students with autism, be sure to check out my Binder Skills activities. My Binder Skills activities include materials for all three of the previously mentioned steps. These activities are available for seasonal activities, colors, shapes, letters, beginning letter sounds, and so much more. Check out the link to my Binder Skills activities here.