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What Is A Trial?

While providing Datability Web training to school districts, I often get asked about trials; What are they? When do you use them? How are they scored? The simple answer is, a trial is one instance of the skill you are trying to teach. For example, if you were trying to teach someone to button their shirt, you could count one button as a trial. Assuming a shirt has 5 buttons, a student buttoning 1 button would be 1/5 trials and could be scored as 20%. But what if the student has mastered buttoning 5 buttons? Now you could count a whole shirt as 1 trial. So essentially, a trial is anything you want it to be as long as it’s defined in the goal. How are you scoring your goals? Leave your comments below and don’t forget to visit www.DatabilityWeb.com.

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Writing Measurable Goals

I travel to a lot of districts to teach educators how to use Datability Web and, even though my goal is to teach features, I inevitably get asked the question, “How do I write a good goal for (fill in the blank)?. Truth be told, it’s something I struggle with as well. As special educators, we usually understand what our children need but it’s often hard to put it into a measurable bite-sized nugget. Personally, I subscribe to the S.M.A.R.T methodology, which stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. A quick google search will bring up many videos on this methodology. I think the key is to get granular with what you’re trying to teach and figure out the real issues that you’re trying to correct. For example, is your student’s inability to do algebra really because they are unable to solve for x or is it because they don’t have the time management skills necessary to study. And don’t even get me started on essay writing….  As professionals, there’s really no way we should ever have a “Student will write an essay” goal on an IEP. What can’t they do? Is it the planning or is it pulling information? Break down the skill of writing an essay into a task analysis (look up the term) and score each part. Anyway, rant over. I’d love to hear your ideas so feel free to comment and definitely check out www.databilityweb.com and sign up for our free trial.