Building Engagement with Distance Learning

4) Collect Data


Gail Ghere, Ph.D.

Jennifer Sommerness, Ed.S.

Terri Vandercook, Ph.D

This graphic illustrates how the data collected for the IEP goals that relate to the three Learning Components will look different between school and home. Data collected at school is broader in scope and frequency. Data collected on the same goals at home is streamlined and less complex.

Part of effective instruction is having formative and summative data to document student learning. These data will be a part of classroom-level data that the general education teacher collects. Students with significant cognitive disabilities will also have individual student data collected across the three learning components represented in annual IEP goals. Having data that documents instruction and evidence of growth is important for understanding whether to continue with the instructional plan or modify it and so teams can problem-solve together to address student needs.

It is typical to have multiple people using multiple means to collect student data at school because school staff are focused on monitoring student learning. Data collection at home can be more challenging because it is an additional responsibility for the family on top of work and family demands. During collaborative conversations, the team should discuss options that could make home data collection straight-forward and streamlined so it fits into the family’s routines and schedule. For example, a family may be able to make a mark on a tally sheet every time they see their child initiating communication with their AAC device or using their AAC device to respond to others during some specified times. Then once a week, the family snaps a photo of the tally sheet to send to the teacher. There also may be behaviors that occur during distance learning that would be helpful to track at home so that teachers can consider how to positively support the student. Conversations about the behavior and what the student may be trying to communicate with the behavior are important.

Use The Learning Matrix Tool​ to consider where to prioritize data collection for the IEP Goals at school and home.  

Key Questions to Consider

Key questions to discuss with the family to align data collection between school and home are:

  • Which formative and summative assessments related to the general education curriculum will be used to monitor progress for this student?
  • Is collecting data at home an option if it can be very straight-forward and built into the daily routines?
  • Are there goals that you will collect data on more or less frequently during distance learning?
  • How can the data collection be streamlined and fit into the family’s schedule?

View an example that illustrates what responses to the questions in Step 4 might entail