We aren’t just taking data because we love, it looks pretty, or our principals told us too. We are taking data so we can learn about our students’ skills, progress, and needs. Taking data and doing nothing with it is as useless as just not taking data at all. The whole point to taking data is to analyze and utilize it. It’s definitely easier said than done. By the time you get through the whole process of creating data sheets, training staff, organizing data systems, you have barely enough energy to drag your tired body to the bathroom or coffee pot much less review all that data you took. Don’t worry my friends – google forms can help do that for you.
You can use google forms to create SUPER easy to use systems to collecting and analyzing your data. You (or your paras) can input information onto the form and google will do the work of organizing and analyzing it. Setting up the forms are actually super simple and you will look like literally the most impressive teacher in the world when you pull out this bad boy at your next IEP.
So let’s start with the basics before we get fancy. I recommend having a folder for your classroom data in Google Drive with a Folder for each student. Once you have that setup, create a New Form in the student’s folder. I like to do one for each goal or major area you take data on.
Next you are going to create the form. Only you will see this part. When you or your paraprofessionals are input data – these are the questions they will answer. You can customize this section as much as you want. I recommend always starting out with the date as the first question. Google will timestamp the entry for you but we might not always be putting data in every day. I also recommend ending with a notes section so the adult can add any necessary notes (like the student was sick, there were a lot of distractions, etc.)
After you write out the name of the goal – write out a plain English (not IEP English) version of the goal below. The question after the date, should probably be what target set you are working on. When we take data on a skill, we want to be specific. Break down the skill you are working on into sets. If you are working on colors, the first set will be red, blue, and green; the second set will be yellow, brown, and purple, etc. Choice a Multiple Choice Question on google forms and write in each set. Make sure to click that the question is required!
After you create the form (see below for types of forms), click SEND to share with whoever will be input the data. If you have a classroom computer, you can book mark the links for each form to find it easily!
For many academic goals we work on, we are likely tracking the number correct and the number incorrect. Set up the form question as short answer, have one question for number correct and one question for number incorrect. Pro tip: Click on response validation in the lower right hand corner and then select number in between and select 0 and the highest amount of trials the student is doing. If the student is always doing 10 trials – choose 10. They should never be getting more than 10 correct or incorrect for this goal/
Prompting Level Goal
For some goals, we are tracking the level of prompting. Google Forms is perfect for this. Click on dropdown or multiple choice question, type in the task, and put the prompting levels as the options. Be sure to specify what you mean by minimal, moderate, and maximum prompts with a range (i.e. minimal prompts (1-2 prompts). You could also put the options as the type of prompt with verbal, gestural, partial physical, and full physical. For this example, I have 4 hygiene tasks and the data collector will select the prompt level for each task.
When looking at analyzing the function (or purpose) of behavior, we often take ABC (antecedent, behavior, consequence) data to try to figure out what is causing this behavior to occur. Again – we aren’t doing this for our health. The entire point of this data is to utilize it so we can determine a successful intervention. Google Forms REALLY shines here because you can include a lot of different information and it will break it all down for you. Include information like the date, time, total time of incident, location (use a dropdown menu for choices), antecedents (use a checklist and check all that apply to each incident), behaviors (checklist again), and consequences (checklist).
You know I love a good fluency center in any classroom. You can gather so much data – quickly and easily! Set up a coordinating Google Form for all of your fluency programs. I love keeping this in one form for easy access. Create a short answer question for each program and put total correct per minute (or timing length).
Analyzing that Data!
After you and your staff have started using the form and submitting data, comes the fun part! On the same google form you created, click responses (the right tab). Everything is broken down so you can easily see the data you have taken in a variety of ways. You can see how often behavior is occurring in each location. You can see which prompting levels are most common.
You can also open up the data in Spreadsheets by clicking on the green button in the upper right hand corner. For frequency correct and incorrect goals, I like to open in the spreadsheet and create a line graph to show progress over time.