April 27, 2015
A behavior chain is an event in which units of behavior occur in sequences and are linked together by learned cues. Back-chaining, which means teaching those units in reverse order and reinforcing each unit with the cue for the next, is a training technique. We use this technique to take advantage of the intrinsic nature of the event.
Thanks to Karen Pryor, from her Clicker Training website: www.clickertraining.com.
This was my chain:
- I received an email from Tammy with the dates of our next monthly visit to the UP prisons. That was my initial "cue."
- I accompanied her on the long drive north.
- We worked with the inmate raisers and their puppies, and sometimes furloughed puppies.
- I took photographs and notes.
- I returned home to process the photographs and notes.
- I wrote and published blog posts.
MY CHAIN IS BROKEN.
Here are some breaks in my chain:
Step 1. Emails from Tammy stopped after September 2014, when Leader Dogs for the Blind stepped in to get a handle on what was happening in the growing-too-fast program. While it is true that I received emails from Leader Dogs (I was, after all, allowed to accompany Deb during her October and December 2014 visits, and later, Tammy and I were asked to cover the January and March 2015 visits), communications were not consistent. I have no clear definition of what to expect in the future.
Step 5. Too often when I returned home life got in the way and I was unable to get right at the photo and note processing.
Step 6. I was not consistent in publishing posts! The more "behind-er" I got the more overwhelmed I felt; the more overwhelmed I felt the less motivated I felt, even though I challenged myself a few times to catch up.
So, I'm going to try "back-chaining" to build myself a new chain. I'm going to start at where we are today, and work backwards until I bring things back to where I left off in 2014.
Here we go...wish me luck!