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Workshop series

Professional development is about building relationships that mature over time, enabling deeper and more indelible learning. Our workshops are thus planned in such a way that informational workshops are followed by one-on-one coaching sessions where educators can practice what they have learned with the data and challenges from their specific students.

Our IEP data workshop consists of three workshops, each linked to in-depth coaching sessions. The first focuses on the essential components of an evidence-based IEP goal or objective. The second workshop focuses on methods to establish efficient data systems for collecting evidence related to the IEP goal or objective, including the benchmarks. The third workshop concentrates on how to use the data collected to design and assess the effectiveness of interventions.

Workshop 1/Coaching 1: the essential ingredients of an IEP goal

Based on Hauser’s 2017 publication in Teaching for Exceptional Children, participants will learn how to: 1) operationalize goals and objectives so that they are measurable; 2) collect meaningful baseline data and set appropriate benchmarks; 3) establish scales of measurement that provide interpretable data; 4) develop methods of data collection that are valid, unbiased, reliable, and sensitive to the factors that can impact student performance. All participants will have access to our online IEP evaluator, a software system that walks users through a series of questions about the details of the goal and objectives, thereby facilitating the feedback provided.

Workshop 2/Coaching 2: setting up efficient data systems

Data systems need to be designed to provide interpretable results. We thus help educators think first about the results and then design the data system to achieve such results.  Data systems must also be efficient, meaning that input and access are easy. They must also connect to systems that analyze and chart the data collected, providing educators with patterns that guide future work.  We discuss different options for data systems, pointing out strengths and weaknesses of different platforms.

Workshop 3/Coaching 3: using data and designing interventions

The importance of data collection around IEP goals and objectives is twofold:  1) to address expectations for growth within the IEP and 2) to design interventions that contribute to growth. In this session, we start by showing educators how to dissect the data collected so that it reveals both patterns of change and causes of growth or stagnation. We then show how to set up interventions based on the data collected, providing participants with an online Intervention template that organizes the information, including the methodologies, the individuals involved, the timing of data collection and analysis, and expectations if the intervention has worked to impact growth.


Datacation: a dedication to collecting and using data to enhance student growth!

The datacation workshop focuses on the five essential components of an evidence-based approach to education:  1-Gather, 2-Dissect, 3-Interpret, 4-Design, and 5-Implement. As the chart below shows, these components are part of an iterative cycle. There are, therefore, five workshops, each focused on a single component, but with an eye to understanding how they link together. Throughout, we discuss time commitments associated with each component to help teachers, counselors, and administrators plan accordingly. Following each workshop are one-on-one coaching sessions, targeting the specific data requirements and opportunities of your school. 

Datacation 5-component cycle.png

Workshop 1/Coaching 1: Gathering

This workshop focuses on how to determine the appropriate type of data to gather, the data format, the methodologies for data collection including techniques to enhance consistency and reliability. We also review the pros and cons of different data gathering technologies including pen and paper, spreadsheets, and cloud-based software. Lastly, we review different methodological issues associated with gathering baseline data and data relevant to growth measures.

Workshop 2/Coaching 2: Dissecting

This workshop focuses on how to dissect or analyze the data gathered. We start with a discussion of different descriptive statistics (e.g., average, range, percentages, variance, min-max), emphasizing the importance of going beyond summative statistics to look at variation and its potential causes. We then turn to factors that, in most educational settings, can impact student performance, and thus must be analyzed in relation to the observed

Workshop 3/Coaching 3: Interpreting

This workshop focuses on how to interpret the patterns in the data, and in particular, how to determine whether the baseline is sufficient prior to assessing growth, how to assess whether there is evidence of growth, and if there isn't growth, what factors may have contributed to stagnation or decline in performance. We will also discuss how to understand variability, including the magnitude of peaks and troughs as well as the interval of time in between large swings in performance. In cases where performance reveals stagnation or decline, understanding the patterns of variation  is critical to designing interventions for growth, the next in our workshop series.

Workshop 4/Coaching 4: Designing

In this workshop, we explore the core features underlying the design of interventions aimed at improving student performance.  We start by considering how the data collected thus far reveals either stagnation or decline in performance, and what the analyses indicate in terms of potential factors related to or causally responsible for current performance. We then turn to the design of an intervention, including what evidence would indicate positive impact and over what time period, as well as who will be responsible for implementing the intervention, when, in what way, and how often.

Workshop 5/Coaching 5: Implementing

This workshop describes the process of implementing an intervention, including the methods required to assess consistency and reliability.  We also discuss how to monitor the impact of the intervention, including the potential costs and benefits to both student and teaching staff.  Lastly, we discuss how to evaluate the impact of the intervention, including when to pivot and design a new or modified version of the current intervention, and when and how to determine success. 

Next steps?

Get in touch!  We are eager to set up a time to discuss our workshops with you. We can start whenever you are ready.  The key is to map out the Workshop sessions, and then set up a schedule for the individual Coaching times.  The cost of this workshop depends upon the number of staff that will be involved, especially in terms of the coaching sessions.  Once we establish the dates of each workshop, we will then give each of your faculty access to our IEP evaluator, the Intervention template, and links to our online meeting software.  During the period of the workshop, we also work with administrators to make sure that staff are satisfied with the interactions. We want honest feedback so that we can refine our approach as need be, helping to ensure a productive experience with clear deliverables.

Collecting, analyzing, and using meaningful evidence in special education

Data Boot Camp

This is a one-day workshop focused on the role of evidence in special education. It is a hard core work out for your mind, a chance to learn about critical methods in data collection, analysis and application to  interventions.  It is a chance to meet other colleagues in special education who will share their experiences, including struggles and successes, while being guided and supported by Dr. Marc Hauser.  Marc is a DESE certified PD provider who has worked with dozens of schools and hundreds of students in special education.  Much of his work has focused on helping teachers, counselors, therapists, paraprofessionals and administrator develop data collection systems, reliable sampling methodologies, techniques for assessing growth, and strategies for building interventions that can yield meaningful and interpretable results.

You will receive 8 PDPs for attending this workshop, with an opportunity for 2 PDPs in follow-ups.


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Participant evaluation of Data Boot Camp

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