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Discrete trial training (DTT) is a method based on the principle of breaking behavior down into small (discrete) steps that have a clear beginning, middle and end. This is called a "single teaching unit." Trials are often repeated several times and the child is rewarded for answering correctly. DTT can be done in classrooms or homes. It can even be done in the community. When DTT is implemented in multiple environments, generalization is more likely to occur. This module will provide information on the evidence-based intervention, DTT.

Estimated Time to Complete: 1 1/2 hours

  • What's Included
  • 29 pages
  • Pre/post-assessments
  • Optional $15 certficate

Module Objectives:

  • Identify the foundations of Discrete Trial Training (DTT) and understand why it was developed
  • Describe at least two different skills for which DTT could be utilized
  • Describe how to implement DTT in a variety of settings
  • Describe how to apply DTT strategies with learners with varying skill levels and challenges
  • Identify the evidence base for DTT
  • Identify data collection measures to monitor the frequency, duration, and intensity of the behavior at the start of, during, and following the discrete trial training process
  • Develop and implement a list of intervention steps to conduct the discrete trial procedures
  • Complete frequent follow-up checks of intervention

Module Authors


  • Bobby Huffman, MA-ABA
  • Teresa Crowson, MAEd, BCBA, LBA, OTR/L
  • Jennifer Bogin, BCBA
  • Lisa Sullivan, Ph.D.
  • Sally Rogers, Ph.D.
  • Wendy Szakacs, M.S.
  • Laura Maddox, Ph.D.
  • Janette Long, BCBA

Modules on this site are always free. If you would like proof of completion, you can purchase a certificate when you have successfully completed this module. The certificate will provide contact hours for this module.

Graduate credit for courses is available through OCALI's partnership with Ashland University. Access information about course options and semester dates in the Search.

Continuing education credit from providers such as ASHA and NASW is in progress. For questions contact

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