4 Strategies to Collect Data in Special Education
4 strategies to collect data in special education

Collecting Data in Special Education

Data collection in special education is so important. As I've said before, collecting data in special education is one of THE MOST important parts of our job. There are typically 4 main ways that you can collect data. Let's look at those today.

data collection sheets for special education

Why Data Collection is Important

This month I have been talking all about how important data collection is in special education on the blog. From where to keep it to all the data sheets you need for the year.  

I cannot stress enough how important collecting data over IEP goals is throughout each week so that you have enough data collected at the end of each quarter. This information truly shows parents and guardians if students are making progress on their IEP goals or not. 

You can collect data through printed out data sheets or even digitally through Google Forms.

Let's look at 4 different methods of data collection in special education.

data collection binders for special ed

1. Frequency or Rate

Frequency data is keeping track of exactly how many times a specific behavior occurrs during a certain time frame. Count the number of times the behavior occurred in the time observed. For example, Marcus left his seat six times during third period.

frequency data collection in special education

2. Duration

Duration data is best collected when there is a clear beginning and end for the behavior. Taking ABC Data over a behavior might be an opportunity for duration data. For example, during a 30 minute observation, Justin had 3 tantrums total that lasted 1 minute, 2 minutes and 4 minutes each

duration data in Special Ed

3. Interval Data Collection

Try using interval data collection when it is difficult to constantly track the behavior because it happens a lot. To do this, break up the day or time frame into small intervals and mark if the behavior happens during that specific interval. For example, if a student hits himself on the head constantly, you might record that he did this during the 10 minute interval you took data on during math period.

special education interval data

4. Time Samples

Time Sample data means gathering a snapshot of the student's day and collecting data on that few minutes of it. This is typically over behaviors such as being off-task, talking out, running or screaming. (These are all just examples.)

taking time sample data on students with special needs

No matter what method above you plan to use for each IEP goal, this DATA COLLECTION BUNDLE provides data collection sheets for a variety of different goals. These will be all the data collection sheets for special education you need for the ENTIRE YEAR!

FREE Data Sheets for Special Education

Need a FREE data collection sheet for your IEP goals that will work for ANY goal? GRAB THEM HERE!

I am a High School, self-contained Autism teacher from Central New York, who is passionate about individualizing student learning. I am a mommy of three, lover of all things Disney, married to my best friend and addicted to chocolate!! I hope that you find great ideas and inspiration here, so welcome!!

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