How to Handle Tagging Errors
If you make the odd mistake while tagging, don’t worry about it. This is a very forgiving method and the occasional mistake will not have any impact on the learning.
Case #1: You Occasionally Tag When You Shouldn’t Have
If you tag and the learner expects a tangible reinforcer (i.e., you are giving a candy, a sticker, a bead, or a point on a chart etc.), then you MUST give the reinforcer even if you tagged at the wrong time or the learner missed the tag point, but you tagged anyway. You can point out your error “oops, I tagged wrong” if you want – they generally think that is funny.
Case #2: You Frequently Tag When You Shouldn’t Have
Consistent tagging errors will have an impact on learning. If you are making frequent errors, you will need to do one or both of the following:
1. Redesign your tag points so that they are easier to tag
2. Practice your timing so that you are better at catching the exact moment of success
Case #3: You Miss Tagging Correct Responses
Missing the occasional correct response will not affect learning. Usually the learner will know that they should have got a tag and will alert you to the situation. You probably saw this in a few of our videos. If you miss you say, “oops I should have tagged” and they get whatever tangible reinforcer you are using even though it’s way too late to influence the behaviour.
If you are missing correct responses frequently, the learners will become confused and frustrated. The answer is the same as described above:
1. Reassess the tag point
2. Practice your timing