Jen over at Crazy Speech World had this fun idea of doing a data linky party, so I thought I’d join up! Check out her post to find out specific details on how to join. So. Data. I LOVE data! Well, let me rephrase that. I love having data, but I don’t necessarily love taking data. Having data on student progress is fantastic because:
1) You know exactly what goals your student is making progress on, and what goals they aren’t.
2) Seeing progress in scientific, observable numbers is really rewarding! I love looking back at past sessions to see how much progress my students have made.
3) If a child is only able to make small, slow progress, the progress may only be visible in the numbers.
4) It’s one of the only ways we can prove to the child, parents, and ourselves that what we are doing is actually helping!
BUT, taking data is a whole other story! Taking data is tough when you’re in the middle of a session and your whole focus in on teaching the student(s) a concept. There are also so many questions involved with taking data:
- how do I take consistent, accurate data, especially when what we’re working on isn’t black and white? For example, who out there has attempted to take data on social skills? It’s tough!
- how do I keep track of cues and prompts used?
- how often do I take data (ie: the whole session, for 10 minutes, etc)?
- how do I keep my data organized?
Well, I do not claim in any way that I’ve solved the answer to any/all of these questions. Taking data is a work in progress for any SLP. If someone were to tell me they’d created the perfect data tracking system for every client, I’d say PROVE IT! But, over the years, I have created a system that works pretty well with most students. It’s not perfect, and I’m constantly tweaking it and looking for new ideas, but it gets the job done.
Because I own my own private practice, I am not required to fill out the mountains of paperwork that is required in the schools (thank goodness!). I’ve been there, done that, and it’s time consuming! I only need enough data to demonstrate progress to myself, the child, and the parent. So, I use the following data sheet for each student.
Every student has their own goals listed at the top of the sheet. There are columns for the date of service, goal number, activity, raw data, type of cue/prompt used, percent correct, and quality rating. I like this sheet because it provides a lot of information in an organized manner without taking a lot of space or wasting paper. When looking back at past sessions, I am able to quickly locate percent rankings for each goal. When taking data, I use one row for each activity, so I may use several rows per session. I especially love the cue/prompt and quality rating boxes. The cue/prompt box allows me to see how close my student is to independence on a particular goal. I typically use the quality rating box for my artic students. You know how sometimes, especially when a child is learning a new sound, the placement and sound is mostly right, but not quite perfect? I hate saying they are producing the sound incorrectly, because compared to previous productions, it sounds pretty good. But I can’t say it’s perfect. So, I use a rating scale of 1 to 5 (1 lowest quality, 5 highest) to rate the quality of the sound. When they are consistently producing the sound correctly with a 4 or 5 quality rating, I know it’s time to move on.
That’s pretty much it. If you would like your own copy of this data sheet, you can get it here! I’m excited to see what others do for data!
Until next time,