What are the teacher’s responsibilities for students with disabilities who use accommodations?
Page 10: Evaluating Effectiveness
Once a teacher begins to implement an accommodation, he or she should monitor whether it is having the desired impact on the student’s performance. Doing so can help determine whether to continue, alter, or discontinue that accommodation. To determine whether an accommodation is effective, teachers need objective, as opposed to subjective, data on which to base their instructional decisions. Teachers can evaluate students’ performance by following the steps outlined below.
Step 1. Determine how to measure the expected outcome. The type of data the teacher needs to collect will vary, depending on what aspect of the student’s performance they want to measure. To provide the most accurate picture of the changes in student performance they expect to see, the teacher can measure one of the following:
- Speed or rate: The number of times the behavior occurs within a given timeframe (e.g., the number of problems completed correctly in ten minutes)
- Accuracy: The number of problems or percent of the work that a student completes correctly (e.g., the percent of questions answered correctly on a test)
- Frequency: The number of times a behavior occurs within a consistent period of time (e.g., the number of times the student initiates a conversation during recess)
- Duration: The amount of time a student engages in a specific behavior (e.g., time on-task during independent classwork)
- Latency: The time between when a direction is given and when the student complies (e.g., how much time passes between when an instruction is provided and the behavior begins)
Step 2. Collect data on the student’s current performance (i.e., baseline data). The teacher should first collect baseline data on the aspect of student’s performance she wishes to change. It is important to collect these data before the accommodation is implemented so the teacher can compare the student’s performance before and after the accommodation is used. To collect these data, the teacher must use a data-collection form. These forms will vary depending on what aspect of the student’s performance is being measured. Click below to view examples of duration and frequency data-collection forms.
- Sample Accuracy Recording Form
- Sample Duration Recording Form
- Sample Frequency Recording Form
- Sample Latency Recording Form
- Sample Speed or Rate Recording Form
Step 3. Collect data during implementation of the accommodation. While implementing the accommodation, the teacher should collect data on the student’s performance using the same method used to collect the baseline data. Once the accommodation has been implemented, a good rule of thumb is to collect four to six data points before evaluating its effectiveness.
Step 4. Evaluate the effect of the accommodation. The teacher can compare the implementation data to the baseline data to evaluate whether an accommodation has had the desired effect on a student’s performance. Often, the best way to do this comparison is to graph the data to create a visual representation of how the student has responded to the accommodation.
Each day, Liam’s science teacher devotes the first portion of the period to independently reading a section of the textbook before discussing it with the class as a group. Recall that Liam has difficulty finishing science reading assignments in class in the allotted time due to his difficulty reading standard print materials. Follow along as the teacher evaluates the effectiveness of the selected accommodation, a digital textbook that allows him to enlarge its text.
Step 1 – Determine how to measure the expected outcome. Liam will record the number of pages he reads in the allotted time each day and the number of pages assigned.
Step 2 – Collect baseline data. Before providing a digital textbook of the science text, Liam records the number of pages of the assignment he reads each day over the course of five days. (See the data-collection form and graph below.)
Step 3 – Collect implementation data. After introducing the accommodation, Liam records the number of pages of the assignment he completes for five days. (See the data-collection form and graph below.)
Step 4 – Compare implementation data to the baseline data. To determine whether the accommodation was effective, the teacher and Liam graph the data. When they compare Liam’s baseline and implementation data, the teacher determines that the accommodation has had a positive effect on Liam’s performance. (See the data-collection form and graph below.)
|Date||Number of Pages Read||Percent of Text Read|
|Date||Number of Pages Read||Percent of Text Read|
For Your Information
In addition to collecting data, when they evaluate the effectiveness of accommodations teachers should also consider the following:
- Did the student use the accommodation consistently?
- Did the accommodation allow the student to access or demonstrate learning as well as his or her peers?
- Did the accommodation allow the student to feel like a member of the class?
- Did the student like using the accommodation?
If the answer to any of these questions is “no,” the student might refuse to use the accommodation, regardless of how effective it may be. It is also possible that the accommodation might be isolating the student from her classmates. To address such issues, the teacher may wish to consider changes to the accommodation or to the manner in which it is implemented. In the event that changes to the accommodation need to be made, the IEP team should meet to document the changes on the student’s IEP form. Accommodations are reviewed annually during the IEP meeting, or more often if needed.
Roberto, a 4th-grade student diagnosed with an emotional and behavioral disorder (EBD), struggles with staying on-task (i.e., attending to the teacher, taking notes, remaining in his seat) during whole-group instruction, which occurs for the first 20-minutes of class. To address this barrier, the teacher implements an accommodation—preferential seating at the front of the classroom. By doing so, the teacher expects that Roberto’s undesired behaviors will decrease and his time on-task will increase.
To evaluate the effectiveness of the accommodation, Roberto’s teacher collects data on how long Roberto engages in on-task behavior during whole-group instruction both before and after the accommodation is implemented. Using a stopwatch, she keeps track of how much time he is on-task during the 20 minutes of whole-group instruction. The data she collected is recorded on the forms below. Now, it’s time to practice.
- Calculate the average duration of Roberto’s behavior before and after his accommodation was implemented and type your answer into the provided text boxes.
- Plot Roberto’s progress on the graph by entering each of the duration data points from both the baseline data and implementation data boxes above.
- Was the accommodation effective for Roberto?