Data is one of the pillars of the classroom. With accurate and well-thought-out data, we can make positive changes and reinforcements to make the learning experience for students the best it can be. That being said, with all the data educators have to record, finding the best way to document and store it can be difficult.
The different types of data sheets
Most data is recorded on data sheets which come in different formats and options. One of the benefits of such a diverse selection is that you can find the one that works best with your teaching style. While it may seem confusing to know which one you should use, data sheets usually fall into three categories. This way, you can decide based on your needs: trials and accuracy, time or duration, or functional and behavioral.
Accuracy and trials are the most common type of data and are used most frequently for IEP goals. Trials are based on opportunities to demonstrate the desired behavior. You present the trial to the student, and then they perform the target behavior correctly or they don’t. Accuracy is based on precision of a desired behavior. In this case, you’d present a set of steps or trials, and the student performs the target behavior with precision. Trials have a longer setup time or situational requirements. Accuracy, on the other hand, is typically done with more volume and is easier to set up.
Duration or time are data collection sheets used more for functional skills and behaviors. Duration data sheets are based on the elapsed time the target behavior occurs. Once the criterion is in place, we measure the elapsed duration by recording the start and stop times. It’s most often represented by minutes or seconds, depending on the goal. Functional and behavioral data sheets may include frequency, interval, latency, or rate. When using functional behavior data, we must be very attentive to the skill or target behavior prior to choosing your data sheets.
Taking the next steps
There are many different kinds of data sheets that educators have access to. With all these choices, you might need a little help to know which one is right for you. Ayo Jones knows this, so she created this comprehensive course. Ms. Jones, a celebrated SPED educator with over 15 years of education experience, knows the best ways for educators to decide between the various sheets available. The course, Data Collection for SPED — Setting up Your Data, is all about the ways to create and store your data sheets for future use. You’ll also learn the steps to set up your classroom for efficient data collection.
In this 1-hour course, you’ll learn:
- Which data sheets work in different situations
- How you can organize data inside your classroom
- A step-by-step breakdown of how you can be successful in getting your data set up
- Some tips for storing your data