LETTER TO ALL EDUTOOLS USERS
At Edutools we are committed to give you flexible tools and provide with accurate information. As part of this commitment we are excited to inform you that our progress monitoring graph just got better! Progress Monitoring graphs now include a goal statement, growth calculations, attainment calculations and an overall statement of evaluation to help educators focus on effective instruction and intervention rather than spending time with complex and sometimes tedious calculations. Edutools is here to analyze your data to help you make the best decisions about students. Find out more details by clicking here progress monitoring features.
Progress Monitoring Features
Progress Monitoring is the cornerstone of our tools. We are always looking for better ways to help educators understand they data they collect. Sometimes this means making small changes to our displays, while other times this means major enhancements to our analytics.
In our original design the legend was placed within the graph area. While this is a traditional placement, depending on your data this can interfere with visual analysis; so we moved it below the graph.
A new Help
section has been added to the system. This section covers major topics about progress monitoring, as well as how to complete data entry for our tools. You can see the system at http://www.edutools.us/help
. Our team has been working to make sure that all of the analysis of the data is done by our servers, so that you can quickly and accurately assess progress. To this end we have added a textual analysis below your graph. Below is a quick summary of the some of the newest features.
We have provided you with a goal statement that takes the information from your schedule and writes out a short form of your goal in the format:
- In [Number] weeks, [Student Name] will obtain [goal] [units].
- Example: “In 36 weeks, Michael will obtain 55 correct words read correctly”
Growth is measured in the units that you have selected per week. It is calculated as the best fit line from using the week number as the predictor and the recorded score as the outcome. A separate slope is recorded for the overall data, and for each intervention phase. The examination of growth is one way we can determine if all of the effort we are putting into intervention is helping the student accelerate toward benchmark goals.
- Baseline Slope
- Baseline slope is calculated to provide you an estimate of the direction of performance without intervention. In data collection we often want to see a relatively flat slope during baseline so that we can compare it to growth that occurs after baseline.
- Overall Slope
- The overall slope is calculated using all of the data that was collected giving you the clearest look at how the student's performance changed during the time in which progress was monitored. This slope provides the most complete information about the student’s progress as it considers all of the data in establishing the trend line. However, this slope can conceal differential impact across phases.
- Intervention slopes
- When interventions are not having the effect that we want them to have we should change what we are doing, and make a note in the intervention change in our graphs. Edutools will calculate a separate slope for each intervention phase that is recorded. In this way you can look to see if one intervention phase has been associated with more or less growth than other intervention phases.
Sometimes we are more interested in the level of performance than we are interested in growth. We hear people talking about closing the gap and this makes sense in terms of whether or not there is sufficient educational need. As a measurement, the "Gap" is a bit counterintuitive. While the "Gap" is focused on how much is left to get from where we are to where we want to be, percent attained focuses on how far we have come. Mathematically when the percentage attained is added to the "Gap" the result is the criterion (i.e., the goal or the normative comparison group). Simply speaking the percent attained refers to the difference in performance our student has demonstrated when compared to criteria. Percentage attained is divided into three sections:
- The Percent of the Goal Attained
- The percent of goal attained section answers the question; What is the percent of the goal has been met? The percent of goal attained maintains a focus on the goal that was set as a comparison, and because of this simple addition and subtraction of percentages can tell you the degree to which meaningful growth is being observed.
- This percentage is calculated in at the beginning and end of the baseline phase to provide an estimate of performance at the beginning of the schedule (initial performance)
- The percent of goal attained is also calculated based on the best fit line on the last week of data collected.
- The Percent of the Goal Attained by the end of the (nth) Intervention
- As with growth, changes in intervention are expected to have different outcomes. Edutools will calculate a separate percentage of goal attained for each intervention phase that is recorded. In this way you can look to see if one intervention phase has been associated with closing the gap more or less than others.
Note. As a point of clarification, 100% minus the percentage attained is equal to the "Gap"
The evaluation component of Edutools is the keystone separating our evaluation from everyone else. Edutools does not make guesses about what might happen at some point in the future, or count individual data points, instead Edutools calculates a confidence interval around the fitted regression line to estimate the variability of the data in relation to the goal at the point of data collection, and provides an easy to understand evaluative statement, either the data indicates the trend is significantly below the aimline, below the aimline but not significantly, above the aimline but not significantly, or significantly above the aimline.
Here the term significant refers to statistical significance set to the level of confidence selected by the end user. When the aim line is within the confidence band, results are not significantly different from the expectation, however when the aimline is outside of the confidence region, you can be confident that the results you are seeing are not simply due to chance.
For a more advanced look at the data, Edutools will also calculate a curve to fit your data and provide an evaluative statement based on the confidence within the curvilinear structure of the data. This clear cut approach allows educators to spend more time teaching and less time attempting to interpret complex data.
Edutools.us is here to make analytics easy for educators. To this end a suite of small tools will soon be added to our system. These tools will help educators to quickly calculate goals, the change in the performance gap between a student and peers, or current performance and expected performance, or to estimate how long, and the current rate of progress, it will take for a student to close the gap. Additional tools are also under development. At Edutools we are committed to give you flexible tools and provide with accurate information about your data to help you make the best decisions.If you have any questions about how our system works feel free to contact our staff.