The Importance of Progress Monitoring

Apr 28 2022

Key Takeaway: 

Common training procedures proved effective for training preschool teachers to collect progress monitoring data, an essential skill for teachers, especially those working within the implementation of multi-tiered support systems. While teachers acquired, maintained, and generalized data collection procedures, they did not implement these procedures outside study sessions, highlighting the importance of top-down scaffolds to ensure regular implementation of progress monitoring. – Ashley Parnell

Progress Monitoring

“Progress-monitoring is an essential skill for teachers serving children for whom the general curriculum is insufficient.” “The reason for progress monitoring is simple: it gives you data to measure whether the intervention or instruction a student is receiving is actually helping them close gaps in their learning”.1  

Increased adoption of multi-tiered systems of supports (MTSS) across education programs heightens the need for feasible, routine, and reliable data collection systems. In turn, identifying effective methods for training teachers to implement data collection is crucial. 

The Study 

In response to this need, the current study evaluated the effects of a training package on teacher implementation of data collection procedures in inclusive preschool classrooms.

Two teachers (one lead and one assistant) per class in two different classrooms were trained to implement a teacher-directed behavioral observation (TDBO) data collection, which involved:

  1. Securing student’s attention
  2. Presentation of demand or question
  3. Absence of any form of prompting
  4. Provision of specific praise of correct response or ignoring/responding neutrally to errors.
  5. Scoring of each trial as correct or incorrect.

Each teacher was assigned three children in their respective classroom. All children scored in the bottom 25% of their class on the Assessment, Evaluation, and Programming System (AEPS), a criterion-based assessment, in one of the following areas: concepts, premath, or phonological awareness and emergent reading. Using the AEPS assessment data, one behavior/skill and 5-10 related targets were identified for each child (e.g., labeling of letter sounds, letter A-J; counting objects, numbers 1-5). 

Teacher training package consisted of: 1) a video-based multimedia presentation, 2) a single-page hand-out describing each TDBO procedure, and 3) structured feedback following each training session. Sessions took place in the classroom setting 4 days per week (3 sessions per day with each child assigned to them) for 3 months. Teachers selected the materials and activity in which they collected data on the child’s target skill. Generalization data were collected throughout the study, with the exception of participants that mastered the material during the skill acquisition phase. 

Results and Implications

Results suggest:

Implications to practice include:

Summarized Article:

Shepley, C., Grisham-Brown, J., Lane, J. D., & Ault, M. J. (2020). Training Teachers in Inclusive Classrooms to Collect Data on Individualized Child Goals. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 0271121420915770.

Summary by: Ashley M. Parnell — Ashley strives to apply the MARIO Framework to build evidence-based learning environments that support student engagement, empowerment, and passion, and is working with a team of educators to grow and share this framework with other educators.

Academic researcher Collin Shepley participated in the final version of this summary.

Additional References:

  1. Spruell, F. M. (2021, June). Progress monitoring for MTSS at the secondary level. Branching minds. https://www.branchingminds.com/blog/progress-monitoring-secondary-level-mtss
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