Data Collection Simplified!

One of the biggest parts of behaviour support is teaching new, replacement skills. As every behaviour a person engages in is trying to tell us something, we want to figure out what they're trying to tell us, and then help them learn a new, safer, more appropriate way, to get their needs met.

One way we can help monitor how a skill is being taught, is by taking accurate data. We can record when it happens or doesn't happen, how many times it happened, how many prompts the person needed - and any other number of features.

Back of man who is looking at a sheet of paper with colourful graphs and charts on it, sitting in front of computer.

As a behaviour analyst, it is our job to look at the data frequently, to help us make decisions about how the skill is going. Is the teaching working? Is our client able to demonstrate this skill reliably and independently? Or are they not quite getting it? If that's the case, then it's back to the drawing board, to figure out what else we can do (*hint* we look at motivation, schedules of reinforcement, steps involved, levels of prompting, training of the implementer/data recorder... there are so many variables we can account!)

We use an online data collection method at GSBS, that's not super fancy, but

gets the job done! Using the Google suite of products, we are able to create data collection forms that many different people, working in different organisations, who are all supporting our client, are able to fill in and provide us with information.

Black and white google sheet graph charting physical aggression with a slight upwards trend

Recently, we have fine tuned this process even further, and now have been able to have all of the information we require, entered into the one form - with graphs! So everyone who has access to the data, will immediately be able to not only access it when an entry is made, but visually inspect the data, to see how the skills are going!

We're hoping this recent change will be rolled out with all our current clients by the end of Feb 2020, as it is going to make data collection easier for implementers, and provide more clarity around progression of skills.

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