Data collection is a regular activity in the special education classroom. It requires assessing the student’s success on individual items in his or her goals on a regular basis, usually at least once a week.
When a special education teacher creates the IEP goals, he or she should also create data sheets to record the student’s progress on individual goals, recording the number of correct responses as a percent of total responses.
Some school districts require that special educators record their progress monitoring on computer templates the district provides, and store them on shared computer drives where the building principal or the special education supervisor can check to be sure data is being kept. Thorough data collection is an essential way of showing whether a student is or is not making progress on goals. If a teacher fails to keep good data, it makes the teacher and the district vulnerable to due process.