Identify need and its impact
During this stage, you are working to observe (see) the child’s need(s) and how that need impacts their ability to participate during instruction, practice skills while completing assignments, and/or demonstrate their knowledge and skills on assessments. In the case of a child identified with an IEP, you’re working to discover how their disability impacts their ability to become meaningfully engaged in class, instruction, and assessment.
If you’re an Accomods subscriber, you may find it helpful to explore the information at the top and bottom of each need page found under Browse by Topic. This information is designed to help guide your understanding of what a need may look like in a classroom.
Determine data to collect and/or observe
After identifying a need, it’s time to determine how you know it exists. What things (data) do you see? Generally, there are seven types of data you may consider:
- Accuracy: The percentage of work a student correctly completes. Accuracy data is often associated with tests, quizzes, and assignments and is collected as the percentage of questions a student answers correctly. Accuracy data is normally shown as a percent (92%) or fraction (9/10).
- Duration: The amount of time a student engages in a task or behavior. Duration data is often attributed to behavior but can also be used for evaluating other task engagement activities, such as the amount of time it takes to complete a test. You are typically observing an amount of time for duration data.
- Frequency: Frequency data shows how often an event or behavior occurs within a given time segment. Frequency data can be used to track events such as how often a child raises their hand during a class period and how often a child gets out of their seat in a 15-minute period of time. Generally, you are thinking “how often” for frequency data.
- Rate (speed): Rate is how quickly something occurs within a given timeframe. Rate data can be used to track things such as reading fluency, the number of problems a student completes in fifteen minutes, and other repetitive activities.
- Latency: Latency measures the amount of time between two behaviors or actions. Latency can be used to measure how long it takes to begin an assignment, how much wait-time a student needs to respond to a question and other prompt-response-type behaviors.
- Intensity: Intensity data can be collected using Likert scales such as 0-10 or even icon-type faces to show feelings or emotions. Intensity data can be helpful for recording feelings, degree of behavior, and other hard-to-quantify behaviors. Likert scales, also known as satisfaction scores, are often considered less accurate but may present the only option for determining the effectiveness of adaptations related to certain behaviors. Students are frequently involved in collecting intensity data because they are often the only person that can accurately report the intensity of their feelings and experiences. Teams should carefully consider and work to create a reliable scale that can be accurately used among all members.
It is key to remember at this point that the data type you select will be used to collect baseline data (before implementing an accommodation) and treatment data (after implementing an accommodation).
Collect baseline data
After you’ve selected the type of data you’re going to collect, it’s time to get some baseline data. Baseline data is a measurement that’s done prior to an intervention so, in this case, it’s the data you collect before implementing an accommodation.
Baseline data should be used to create an anticipated outcome or expectation for how you expect the child to achieve following the implementation of an accommodation.
Select and implement accommodation
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Baseline data is used to prove your observation of a child’s need and should be used to select the right intensity accommodation. Remember, your goal is to find “just-right.”
Action Driven Education covers the process of selecting the perfect accommodation in our popular “Tools for Effective Inclusion” course. Check it out if you’re interested in mastering the process of selecting and implementing the perfect accommodation!
Collect/observe implementation data
Using the same method you did to collect baseline data, it’s now time to collect some data. Recall that accommodations are designed to be the “fast leg” of special education services, so you should see improvement or change in the data over a reasonably short period. Due to the nature of individualization, it is impossible to give an exact amount of time, but your data should immediately begin to show a positive trend.
Consider the elements in the Adaptation Data Collection Form found in Accomods under the plan logo.
Prove or revise
Prove effectiveness by charting progress. The key in this step is to monitor progress to ensure that the adaptation is working and continues to work! If your data doesn’t show it’s working at any point, you need to revise your support, which may mean selecting a different or additional adaptation. Remember, as you work to find that “just-right” accommodation, your data may indicate that too much support is being provided, and it may also show signs of too little support. “Just-right” means you’ve found an adaptation that offers enough support that the child isn’t frustrated but not too much that they aren’t working to their fullest potential.
Remember that as a child’s skills improve, you should continue to revise the support you provide. Your data will show this!