Tips for Collecting Data during Online Learning

Collecting data during online learning

Taking meaningful data during online learning is tricky! There are so many things that impact collecting data when you aren't face to face with students... from caregivers providing prompts, just trying to juggle technology and the general distractions that come with teaching online. I'm sharing a few tips that have helped me with collecting data during online learning, I hope they can help you too!

Be direct with families & caregivers:
It's important to remember that caregivers aren't mind readers. They aren't going to magically know how you want them to support learners during online sessions. I've found it really helpful to have direct conversations with families before sessions start to set expectations around how/ when they will support their learners during sessions. This can help to reduce over or under-prompting from caregivers and can reduce distractions/ getting off topic. Also, don't forget that it's okay to redirect caregivers so that the student can be supported better. Here are a few possible ways to guide caregivers based on a variety of scenarios:

  • A caregiver is having side a conversation, has the TV on, is talking on the phone, etc. and it's distracting students and/or teachers: "I'm struggling to hear/ focus with the background noise, is there a quieter place ____ (insert student's name) can finish this session?"
  • A caregiver is under or over-prompting a student: "I think ____ (insert learner's name) needs more/ less support. Will you try supporting them like this _____?" (and then model or explain it)
  • A caregiver is chatting with you or wanting to talk about something not related to the student's session: "This time is scheduled to work on _____ (insert lesson or activity) with ____ (insert student's name), if you want to talk about _____ (insert off-topic), please send me an email and can schedule a time to talk."

Add data collection methods to Google Slides, Seesaw, etc.:
During 1:1 and small group virtual sessions, we use a lot of Google Slides and Seesaw activities. I started embedding text boxes to collect data directly into the slides. That way, we can just circle the level of prompting that the student needed during the session. Then I can go back to the slides and move the data into my data IEP data collection system. 

Collecting data during online learning

You can also simply draw/ write short hand prompting codes or add text to Google Slides and Seesaw activities. You can see in this example, I simply wrote "VP" at the top of the page to indicate that a verbal prompt was needed. 

Collecting data during online learning

Use Google Forms to collect data:
Using Google Forms to collect data during online sessions is SO simple! I just keep another internet tab open with the form and add data was we work. This is nice so you don't have to have confidential data sheets or binders in your home and you can use the form responses to great charts & graphs. 

Collecting data during online learning

Making forms is super simple! I don't have a tutorial for it and I can't give tech support for this, but here's a general how-to:

  • From your Google Drive account, click "new" and select "Google Forms"
  • Add a title to the form (your student's name or initials are great)
  • Click "add question" to add IEP goals to take data on. Add the goal to the question box and then decide what type of data you want to collect. Forms are nice because you can use them to take a variety of data points. For example:
    • You can add numbers or levels of prompts with check boxes or multiple choice
    • You can use the "short answer" feature to add the ratio of problems a student got correct
  • Once the form is completed, click "send" and then click the link image. This will give you the link you will use to complete the form. I copy & paste my links and then bookmark all of my data collection forms in one folder. 

  • You'll need to create a new form for each of your students' goals

Use websites or platforms collect data:
There are a TON of websites you can use during online sessions that will collect data for you. Some of these websites/ platforms cost money, but they've been worth it for me! It's also important to note to make sure you get approval from your district/ school to use these websites since they will hold student data. If I want to use data from these websites, I typically share my screen and enter or click the responses/ answers that students give me or I watch students complete the assignment with their screen shared. I don't typically use data from websites/ platforms if students aren't completing the activity with me 1:1 or in small groups because I can't be sure what level of prompting they were given. Here are a few of my favorite websites to use for this:

If you have tips for taking data during online learning, leave them in the comments!

I'm not affiliated with Boomcards, HappyNumbers, or Google. I have no connection with these companies other than just sharing what has worked for me!

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