Collecting Progress Monitoring Data Virtually
Collecting Progress Monitoring Data Virtually
Progress monitoring is an essential part of a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS) and, specifically, the data-based individualization (DBI) process. It allows educators and administrators to understand whether students are responding to intervention and if adaptations are needed. In addition, these data are often used to set high-quality academic and behavioral goals within the individualized education program (IEP) for students with disabilities. With the closure of schools due to the COVID-19 pandemic, educators and administrators need to rethink how they collect and analyze progress monitoring data in a virtual setting. This collection of frequently asked questions is intended to provide a starting place for consideration. If you have additional questions, contact us at ToolsChartHelp@air.org.
Frequently Asked Questions on Collecting Progress Monitoring Data Virtually
- Will the data be valid? Will the data be an accurate representation of student performance?
- Will it be feasible? Can I collect data in this context? Can I still use my current progress monitoring tool or should I find a reasonable replacement?
- Will it be useful? Will it help me improve communication with parents or planning and delivery of instruction?
Many tools provided information related to virtual administration in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. To understand whether your progress monitoring tool can be administered virtually and considerations for administration, it is important to explore vendor websites or contact the vendor directly for the most up to date information.
Virtual progress monitoring provides continuous data to guide ongoing instruction for students who are still able to participate in an intervention virtually and can provide information to monitor progress on IEP goals as appropriate. It can also help to facilitate communication between educators and families.
- It is possible that not all students will be able to participate in the progress monitoring due to limited access to computer equipment, internet, or family assistance. Recommendation: Focus on continuing to provide high-quality, evidence-based instruction and use more informal approaches to monitoring progress when possible.
- The modifications necessary to accommodate distance-based administration could affect scores, increasing variation and error. Recommendation: Use these data to guide instruction and if necessary, to use theses data in high-stakes decision making, interpret scores with caution, and when possible gather data from additional sources.
Can I still use the published rates of improvement (ROI) and end-of-year benchmarks (EOY) to set goals and compare progress?
The norms developed for most tools did not include students participating in the assessment virtually. For this reason, it is best to use caution when making comparisons to national benchmarks or national norms with scores obtained from distance-based methods.
What should school administrators and teachers understand about interpreting progress monitoring scores?
- Scores from progress monitoring assessments can help inform distance-based instruction and guide students and parents for at-home learning.
- If using scores from assessments administered outside the school for high-stakes decision making, be sure to interpret scores with caution and when possible gather data from additional sources.
If there are concerns about the accuracy of the data, consider using additional data sources to assist in decision making about a student’s progress in the intervention. These data sources may include performance on classroom assessments, other progress monitoring measures, feedback from parents or the student, or review of previous performance data.
What are considerations for communicating with parents about conducting virtual progress monitoring?
- Ensure parents understand why you are collecting progress monitoring data and that the assessment will help inform decisions about instruction.
- Explain to parents the importance of not providing additional support to the student while taking the progress monitoring assessment. Explain that when they provide support or change the environment, they may impact the data and make it difficult to understand and interpret the data.
- Encourage parents to try to create a consistent environment for when the student takes the assessment.
What should educators consider when preparing for virtual administration of a progress monitoring assessment?
- Do an equipment check.
- Plan for poor connectivity.
- Prepare teacher materials and ensure student has access to any required materials.
- Practice delivering in a virtual setting to increase fidelity of implementation.
- Communicate with parent/family member about procedures.