To see the other posts in this series click HERE.
No, I promise not to sing, but the more I write about it, the more that Jackson 5 song pops into my head. If you are too young to know what I’m talking about (don’t tell me), Google it and see Michael Jackson as a kid. 🙂
The balance of trying to collect data while still running the classroom is the never-ending story in clinical work. Here are some ideas that give you some tools to do it.
In a previous post I talked about the checkoff data sheet you see in the picture to the left and you can download it free in that post. The thing that’s great about the check-off form is that you don’t have to write a log for every behavior. The downside is that you have to have some inkling of the behaviors and conditions that need to be included in the checklist in order for it to be really functional.
Another method is to take data on index cards, which I’ve talked about in a previous post as well. The advantage of using index cards, to me, are that I can stick them and a pen in my pocket and I don’t have to carry a clipboard around everywhere I go. In the pictures to the left, I simply divided index cads into ABC sections and record what is happening on them. Another advantage to them is that you can easily summarize the data by sorting the cards by different events.
If you don’t know enough about the behavior to make a check-off sheet, you can download the sheet to the right to use as a behavior log. This works well for recording naturalistic observations, particularly if you are not in the middle of instruction and can just observe and record what happens. I’ve included a place to address how the student appears that day (e.g., tired, on edge) and to describe any events that might impact behavior in order to gather some information about setting events that might make the behavior more frequent. You can download this sheet in pdf format HERE.
Another way to take data easily would be to videotape episodes. Chances are good that you won’t catch the antecedent, unless you know what to look for, but that you will capture the behavior itself and the aftereffects in the environment. Just make sure, obviously, if you are videotaping that you have permission from parents to do it and that you keep the videos secure and private to preserve confidentiality.
Finally, there are some apps that have been created for taking data. The one I’m most familiar with for ABC data is Behavior Tracker Pro. Essentially it allows you to create a check-off system on a smart phone or tablet that you can use to track behavior and has the option to videotape as well. I have tried it but, although I’m pretty technologically advanced, I find it hard to record the information on it effectively. I do use it and other apps for tracking behavior once I know the function however. If you know of other apps that have been useful in collecting ABC data, please share them in the comments!
One of the advantages of an app and of index cards comes when you need to summarize and interpret the data, and that’s where I’ll pick up next time.
Until next time,