SPE 526 Field Notes – Assignment Overview


The objective of the Field Notes component of our course and Program is to shape your awareness and application of the BACB Task List content areas and BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts considerations. This exercise provides opportunity for interaction with and input from your instructional team.


Students will compose Field Notes using the supplied Field Notes worksheet to demonstrate reflection on the activities and assignments in each module. Students must directly refer to BACB Task List and BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts content areas and objectives, substantiating the relationship between the content areas and objectives and the course activities completed.

Grading Procedures

A total of 5 points can be earned for each module’s Field Notes submission.  Points will be assigned based upon the quality of the alignment of the learning activities and experiences with the BACB Task List and BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts, and the professional quality of writing (spelling and grammar). Specific areas of focus are detailed below in the Scoring Grid. 

Due Date

This assignment must be completed and submitted to the Canvas assignment dropbox by 11:59 pm (Arizona Time) on the last day of the module in which the assignment is due (see Course Schedule).

Scoring Grid – Field Notes

ContentPoints EarnedPossible Points
Alignment to the BACB Task List Discussion of learning activities includes consideration of how assignment artifacts relate to the BACB Task List content areas and objectives (Specific Task List content area objectives and BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts should be directly stated)   3
Professional Writing Quality Notes are presented in professional style – free of grammatical, spelling, or typographical errorsCorrect, consistent use of precise behavior analytic terminology in lieu of colloqualisms, mentalistic concepts or general statements regarding specific behavior analytic concepts.APA-style citation and references for the tasks and content discussed.   2
Total Points 5


1. What is the ‘correct answer’ to Field Notes?
Unlike a multiple-choice exam that may have a single, ‘best response’ – in this exercise you are not searching for ‘THE’ correct answer.  Through your Field Notes, you will demonstrate your awareness and understanding of the professional standards (BACB Task List Content Areas and the BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts) – as you consider the relationship of your studies and activities during each Lesson.  You are not striving to identify a specific ‘correct’ BACB Task List content area objective for a specific Lesson – You are demonstrating your understanding of how the Standards and Objectives relate to your studies. Provide a substantive rationale for how and why your activity during the lesson relates to specific BACB Task ist content areas BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts guidelines.  The Field Notes component is intended to be an interactive instructional exercise rather than an ‘exam’.

Your Field Notes should be unique to your own, individual experience and perspectives, grounded in your recognition of the relationship between your studies and relevant objectives that you have identified. Your Field Notes must extend beyond merely listing TaskList objectives – to provide a substantiated rationale for your selection of specific objectives and guidelines.

Field Notes are not the same as “Clinic Notes” that you may be accustomed to writing on your students’ or clients’ performance. Field Notes are not a diary – or weekly logs of thoughts and feelings – instead, your Field Notes should consist of your observations of your progress toward mastering professional objectives.

FAQ: How long should Field Notes be?
There is not a specific word count or desired page length for your Field Notes – this is an exercise that you determine how best to convey your consideration of the BACB Task List objectives and BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts as related to your studies and activity during the Lesson. A helpful approach is to be sure to substantiate your association of the Standards and Objectives rather than merely listing objectives. Your notes need not be lengthy – a paragraph or two can be effective.  You may choose to vary the length and approach that you take each week – based on your focus and activity. This is an opportunity to interact with your instructional team – to receive input from your Co-Instructor on your observations. This is a formative exercise rather than a summative assessment – your instructors will provide you with feedback on refining your approach.

In addition to your alignment with the BACB Task List and BACB Professional and Ethical Compliance Code for Behavior Analysts, your Field Notes may also include reflection on information that you learned in each lesson– or new perspectives. Identify areas that you would like to study in more depth. Questions and ideas that emerge from your work during the Lesson might also be included. Consider application of the content covered in the Lesson. Reflect on your assignment preparation and activities. Your co-instructor will provide feedback on your field notes – answer questions – make suggestions for future areas of focus — with the ultimate objective of providing you individualized support toward your continued study and preparation as a behavior analyst.

How do I write field notes?

Remember in this class, you will need to download the Field Note template. You will need to complete the assignment directly in the Field Note provided.

First, simply list the tasks number and the description. You only need to list them. For example, in Module 1, we covered B-1, B-2, and B-3. You will list the following under the first prompt:

  • B-1 Define and provide examples of behavior, response, and response class
  • B-2 Define and provide examples of stimulus and stimulus class
  • B-3 Define and provide examples of respondent and operant conditioning

You must minimally list all content areas covered in this module. We do encourage you to include other task list content areas if you would like. The purpose is to make sure that you locate the relevant task list content areas covered in the module so that you can construct your reflection around them.

Under the second prompt, this is where you make connections between the learning activities and the listed content areas. There is no word limit or minimum page requirement.

So what do you write there? Remember field Notes are a reflection of what you learned and how your learning is related to the BACB task list. Thus, you can write about, for example:

  • What learning activities addressed B-1?
  • How did that learning activity address B-1?
  • What did you learn from that activity in relation to B-1?
  • Did you have any real-life observations regarding B-1?
  • Did the learning activity make you aware of the everyday real-life examples of B-1?
  • What areas in B-1 do you like to know more about?
  • Were there any Aha moments during your learning in relation to B-1?

Please note that you are not going to simply answer these questions one by one. You will still need to create narratives. These questions are for you to think about what you can write.  There is no single correct answer but, rather, we would like to see your perspective when you connect your learning and professional experiences to the listed content areas. Remember that the Field Notes are here to help shape your awareness and application of the content areas and compliance codes.

Do I have to list the compliance code for every module in the field notes?

No, you do not have to. We understand it can be difficult to align the compliance code to basic concepts such as “response class” or “behavior”. However, other concepts, especially punishment and negative reinforcement (in Module 2), should be explicitly aligned with the compliance code. Thus, it is great if you could align the code to the content areas but it is not required except for Module 2.

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