Considerations for Remote Assessment and Progress Monitoring
Monitoring a student’s progress toward meeting his or her IEP goals is critical to determining whether the services and supports outlined in the IEP are providing the student with educational benefit. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires IEP teams to document how student progress will be measured. Regardless of what method educators select to measure student progress, progress monitoring must take place. Student progress should be monitored in a frequent, ongoing manner so educators can respond quickly if the student is not making adequate progress or is making more progress than anticipated. When administering assessments, such as progress monitoring assessments in virtual environments and distance learning, a one-size-fits-all approach does not work; rather, a few key issues need to be considered.
Academic Progress Monitoring
Standardized assessments that were designed and normed in a face-to-face format will likely not be valid or reliable measures of a student’s performance when administered under different conditions. Please check to see if the publisher of the assessment has provided any guidance regarding adaptations in administration of assessment, scoring, and interpretation procedures. Any temporary guidelines offered by developers/publishers would not apply once assessments would be able to be conducted as intended in face-to-face format. Data from non-standardized administration should not be aggregated and used for high-stakes decisions.
Informal assessments (e.g., rubrics, checklists, writing samples, task analyses of completed math work, etc.) can also be helpful in measuring student progress toward goals.
Behavioral Progress Monitoring
It is very difficult to complete direct observation of students in virtual learning environments, and the current situation is not reflective of their typical learning environment. For behavioral progress monitoring, consider if the behavior to be monitored is related to an expectation/behavior that was defined and taught, and that it is relevant for the remote learning environment. It should be observable by the teacher during remote learning sessions. If the behavior is not observable in the current learning circumstances, it probably wouldn’t be appropriate to progress monitor that behavior. The student’s IEP goals may need to be adjusted to represent how the behavior of concern is manifesting itself in the remote learning environment.
Behavioral progress monitoring could involve the use of informal progress monitoring methods such as measuring the frequency, duration, latency, and/or intensity of the behavior of concern.
Progress Monitoring in Virtual Settings - Guidance from Publishers Updated 4/28/20
Please see a list below of commonly used assessment systems by PA educators and advisement that is provided by the vendor. If the assessment tool you are using is not listed below, please do not hesitate to contact your system directly for virtual assessment guidance.
Open Source/Free Resources
Direct Behavior Ratings (DBR)
Publisher/ Fee-Based Resources
Examples of Virtual Assessment Resources