Collecting data can be challenging under normal circumstances, but collecting data during virtual teaching brings with it a whole host of other issues.
We asked veteran teachers how they are collecting data during this unusual time and tips they might have for others. While virtual teaching may not be every teacher’s ideal method of instruction, it is possible to gather data on your students and make sure they are getting the support services that they need.
If you are new to virtual teaching or struggling to find data collection methods that work for you, check out the tips and tricks below. They may make your job easier and give you more peace of mind. Be sure to join our group, Mrs. D’s VIPs, for more helpful tips and see the original post.
Ways to Collect Data During Virtual Teaching
Make Parents Partners
Whenever possible, make your students’ parents your partners in data collection. While the task cannot be solely on the family, their insight and observations during distance learning can provide you with valuable information about how a student is progressing. Create a Google Form for parents to record data on.
Gamify Data Collection
Technology offers many benefits, and one of those is the ability to gamify data collection. Using tools like Boom Cards can give you the quantitative data that you need for the skills that must be assessed. Pre-made assessments are available in the store, but you can also make your own to test specific skills.
One piece of advice for activities, like Boom Cards, is making sure students aren’t learning patterns of games or activities. When students learn patterns of how to complete an activity or game (essentially to finish it quicker), this data will skew the rest of your data.
Schedule individual meetings with students to assess their progress using interactive digital resources designed specifically for them. The slides can include flashcards, manipulatives, etc. that would typically be included in their data binders.
It’s always a good idea to have a parent present and your para or a co-teacher.
If you’re wondering how to make individual student work binders, this video will be helpful:
Focused Small Groups
While whole-class Zoom or Google Meet calls can be beneficial, small groups are essential for data collection. Select students with similar goals and arrange small group calls that focus on topics that require data reporting. Structure the session around those skills and record how each student does. While not as ideal as in-person sessions, small breakout calls can be beneficial for data collection.
For goals that require students to increase their fluency or for speech goals having students record themselves and upload audio files is an easy way to gather data. Students can be provided with a reading passage ahead of time and then record themselves reading it aloud. This allows you to assess their fluency and keep track of their progress.
Social Skills Data
Social skills are challenging to assess during virtual learning as students may not be as comfortable expressing themselves on camera as they are in the classroom. Conversely, you may find that your typically shy students are much more comfortable interacting online than they are in person. Either way, data can be collected as you observe your students interact with you and one another in whole group virtual settings.
While there may be extra challenges during virtual teaching, it is possible to gather the data you need on your students to assess their progress. Above all, be patient with them, their families, and, most importantly, with yourself as you navigate distance education.