I'm constantly trying to re-evaluate how to be more efficient with my paperwork. I've gone through a number of "systems," but I feel like Google Forms might be my favorite. I've been trialing it for a few months now, and I am excited to share it with you!
Here is a quick overview tutorial of how I set up my data sheets. I've also included a written description with screenshots below.
I store each student's form in a folder, based on which day(s) I see them. The "Multi" folder is for students that I see multiple days a week. You could also sort by teacher or grade or just keep all students in one folder!
I keep track of when I saw the student and the type of session. (I use "Other" to document a missed session due to student absence, a school activity, meetings, etc.)
I also enter any data taken during the session. If I didn't target a specific goal, then I just leave it blank. I also like having space to enter any notes and make note of anything specific I want to do next week.
The data then gets stored in a Google Sheet. (When you click on the data tab when you are looking at your form, you have the option to create a spreadsheet.)
And you can set it up to make beautiful graphs! (Parents, students, teachers, and administrators love this part.) This example includes percentages, but I especially love using rating scales to monitor progress. Schoolhouse Talk has an amazing product to help get you started. Check it out here.
- My notes are more detailed and take less time, because I can type much faster than I write. (I also have a few more productivity hacks to make narrative data even easier, but those are for another blog post.)
- Everything is stored in one place. No more lugging around data binders!
- It is easy to involve my students in the data taking process. They can easily enter their progress in the form. I made QR codes so that we can scan the code and pull up their form, which they love!
- It is easy to review student progress. I set up the Google Sheets to create graphs using the data. These visuals are great to share with parents and students. I'm hoping they'll make progress reports a breeze.
- The Google Forms could be great for collaboration. I haven't done this yet, but I could share the form with a teacher or a therapist.
- You can easily customize each student's form. Makes for easy and efficient progress monitoring!
- It helps reduce clutter in my speech room. I still have a lot of papers in my room, but this really cuts down on the amount of papers I have floating around throughout the day.
- Glitches. There haven't been many, but they do come up from time to time. They could all be fixed by re-opening the browser.
- There is some initial setup time. It took me a few hours to set up all the forms, enter students' goals, set up the graphs, etc.
- Some people are worried about confidentiality. I use my school Google account and set up the best possible security settings. I only use initials in the forms and never include any identifiable information.
- Internet connectivity. If the internet is down, then you're out of luck!
I would love to hear what you think! Do you take data electronically? What is your favorite "system?"
Update: I was loving many features of Google Drive for data (especially the graphs!), but I had a lot of shuffling in my caseload. I'm the only SLP in my district who uses Google Drive, so it was creating a little bit too much work for me. I decided to go back to paper and pencil, but I am using the Forms to enter data every few weeks. I'll tell you more about what that looks like soon!