As a special educator, data is likely a part of your daily existence. Data is taken and analyzed to assess the progress of students and the effectiveness of instructional programs. Below is a summary of some frequently used types of data.
This data is taken before any instruction is given. Baseline is recorded when the teacher observes the student’s ability to demonstrate certain behaviors or perform skills that have been identified as being instructional objectives (Westling & Fox, 2000). It is important to remember that, for best results, you should not prompt or assist your student while taking baseline data.
Frequency data may be the most commonly used by teachers. It is collected to determine how often a target behavior occurs. This type of data is often used when trying to help a student increase a desirable behavior or decrease an undesirable behavior. Frequency data is commonly used to monitor progress on IEP objectives. For example, objectives that ask students to perform a behavior in 9 out of 10 trials require frequency data.
When measuring the length of time over which a target behavior is displayed, duration data would be taken. Examples include staying on task and interacting appropriately with peers. Typically, duration of time would be combined with frequency in setting the criterion of an objective (Downing, 2002). For example: Chris will stay with his group for at least 10 minutes (duration), face the teacher, listen to directions, and respond to at least one modified question once a day (frequency) for 2 consecutive weeks.
The amount of time that elapses between a direction or other stimulus and the expected response is recorded as latency data. Typically, teachers expect students to respond immediately. Decreasing the latency period between responses in a social setting is a common use of this type of data. For example: Maria will respond by looking, using a picture or object within 4 seconds of the question asked for 12 of 15 consecutive questions (Downing, 2002).
• Find some excellent data templates here: (broken link) http://www.polyxo.com/documents/#data
• Create a graph to display your data here: http://nces.ed.gov/nceskids/graphing
• Request a free CD from T-TAC ODU that provides a self-study module called “Collecting Meaningful Data on Student Progress.” Go to ttac.odu.edu, click on the TACtics tab, click on Audio Visuals, then select the CD title and complete the request form, or use the enclosed TACtics request form.
Westling, D., & Fox, L. (2000). Teaching students with severe disabilities (2nd ed.). Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.
Downing, J. (2002). Including students with severe and multiple disabilities in typical classrooms. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing Co.