Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Know What Works - 6 Ways to Track Progress

Do you ever feel like you offer many tips and suggestions but have a hard time keeping up with how the student performs?  Pediatric therapists need to collect data to find out what is working for a specific student.  Here are 6 ways to track progress:
1.  Tally Marks - how many times did they write the letter B correctly out of 10?  This is a super simple way of keeping tabs on whether a strategy is working.  Allow the student to try 10 times and mark a tally on the paper each time it is done correctly.  To record the data to get a percentage based on the number of trials make two columns on a piece of paper.  If the student does it correctly simply record a tally mark on the left side of the paper.  If the student does not perform the task correctly record a tally mark on the right side of the paper.  You can then calculate percentages of how well the student is doing.  Have a smart phone or iPad?   There are several apps that allow for simple data collection such as TxTools where you can make tally marks or calculate percentages.   
2.  Standardized Testing - obviously this is an effective way of tracking progress from year to year although "year" is the key word.  On a week to week basis this is not an effective way of tracking progress.
3.  Rubrics - Create your own scoring systems for different skills to track a specific child's progress over time.  Break a skill down using task analysis and assign scores for each specific piece of the overall skill.  Here is a sample rubric for walking in a line.
4.  Goal Attainment Scaling - This is a method of quantifying whether a goal is achieved based on a scale of -2 (much less of expected outcome) to 2 (much more of expected outcome).   
5.  Graphs - Nothing shows progress or decline like a visual image such as a graph.  By plotting a student's progress over time teachers and parents can see very clearly the progress a student is making (or not making).   ie Progress Monitoring Forms make a chart and record tally marks - very nice visual to represent progress.  Here is an example for catching skills.
6.  Software - There are a few software programs to track progress.  For example, the Scale of Sensory Strategies (S.O.S.S.) Tool Kit™ enables automatic data entry within minutes using the Sensory Strategy Software program to generate a sensory strategy summary, a narrative report that summarizes the data taken during sensory trials.
Any other suggestions for collecting data?

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