Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Tracking Data for Students with ISPs

I have just returned from a school where I was talking about how to track data (and then use it!) for students who are on ISPs. The challenge in most secondary schools is that ISP students have a number of teachers throughout the day/ week.

Before I go any further, I will say that please make sure you are complying with FOIP and that you do not use students' names on forms stored in the Google cloud. If you have questions about what this means, contact me, an administrator, etc…

With that warning out of the way, let’s proceed.

So, what do I do with my (fictional) student Jimmy in my somewhat large-ish secondary school? How he is doing with his behavior, executive function or basic learner attributes? This is challenging data to collect from each teacher individually...but if we could get that data easily and then have a way to visualize it efficiently, could we use that information to set more effective interventions? For example (and this is only ONE example), I want to track Jimmy’s behaviour/attitudes in the following areas:
  • Jimmy turns in assignments on time.
  • Jimmy brings appropriate materials to class.
  • Jimmy is in class on time.
  • Jimmy accepts consequences of his behavior.
  • In general, Jimmy had a _____ day today in class.

This is what I am pulling off the top of my head...maybe you want to track other things...but you get the idea…

So I create a Google form. The ORDER of the questions  is important, because in the end I want to be able to track/visualize Jimmy’s behaviour over time. I want to monitor his behaviour, intervene when necessary, and share that data with all interested parties, including Jimmy. Here is the final product, a MOTION GRAPH...the horizontal axis I set to default to TIME. On the vertical axis I can select one of the behaviours I am tracking from the list above. When I “play” this motion graph I can see behaviour tracked over time. Notice that each circle represents a person who has been filling out the form (Science teacher, Jimmy, etc.). Take a moment to play around with the motion graph below.

The MOTION table ABOVE was created from the form response sheet in Google sheets. BELOW is a look at the original form. PLEASE NOTE: the order of the questions and the numerical responses on the behaviour questions are important in creating this form, if you want to end up with a motion graph at the end. Also, this is a sample from the OLD forms, the new FORMS has an even better date function, so you won’t have to input actual dates, respondents can simply select the date from a drop down calendar.

Now, all I need to do is send out an email on a schedule to collect info. For those of you using Exchange, here is a link to how to schedule sending email. That way you can get your emails ready in advance and just schedule them to go out when you need them to...

Here are a few other links that might be interesting:
EIPS Learner Attributes (descriptors and scales from elementary report card, but useful for all ages)
List of 33 Executive Functions (a handout I have collected in my teacher travels)

Anyway, I present this as food for thought...what things would you like to track over time? Would being able to visualize the data help? EIPS folks feel free to give me a call or an email if you’d like some help setting something like this (or something different) up!


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