Capturing and Analyzing Data to Serve Students with Disabilities

As part of the BUZzzz Initiative, Implementation Teams also are learning how to review and analyze classroom data more effectively, so they can select and implement interventions for students with disabilities.

Using the TAP-IT* process, teams tap into data to plan an intervention for a student, implement the intervention, and then track its impact.  The teams follow specific protocols across each of the five stages of TAP-IT:  Team, Analyze, Plan, Implement, and Track and use a unique Digital Portfolio (DP) platform, developed at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Technology in Education, to:

  • collect and share data, documents, and multimedia resources;
  • analyze data, including root cause analysis;
  • select interventions based on data and relevant findings;
  • track interventions monitoring their efficacy; and
  • provide coaching support from school or district-level team members.

Coaching is distinct feature of the TAP-IT process, and the DP offers a robust feature that promotes system coaching, allowing district and school level personnel to offer immediate feedback on data-informed decisions. School districts identify reviewers that assist the school TAP-IT Implementation Team in supporting teachers to implement the chosen intervention(s) with fidelity .  A portfolio manager provides oversight to both the school TAP-IT Implementation Teams and district reviewers through real-time recommendations to ensure the fidelity of the TAP-IT process

History of the JHU Digital Portfolio

The Johns Hopkins University School of Education has been a national leader in the development and use of portfolios for pre-service teachers for over 20years Beginning in the early 1990s, the University’s Master of Arts in Teaching (MAT) program required its pre-service teachers to develop a portfolio in lieu of a master’s thesis. In 2001, the portfolios became digital allowing teacher candidates to seamlessly integrate multi-media and other digital evidence of their performance and to receive feedback to improve their practice.

The portfolio model has been widely used nationally over the past decade by students, graduates and professionals to document personal growth and development.

In 2016, the BUZzzz Program incorporated the TAP-IT Data-Informed Decision Making Process into the Digital Portfolio to increase efficiency and organization for TAP-IT Implementation Teams.

What’s Next

Due to the success of the DP, CTE is creating new features and enhancements so that the tool can serve multiple audiences.  Examples include:

  • Transitioning youth with disabilities as a vehicle to showcase employability skills, as a repository of documents for post-secondary education and as a tool for supporting self-sufficiency through digital reminders and prompts. A statewide initiative is currently underway in MD as a joint venture between the MD Division of Special Education and Early Intervention Services and JHU CTE.
  • Data Teams at the school, district, or state levels to collect information in one central location for ease of sharing, analysis and feedback

* (The Boundless Learning program at Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Technology in Education developed the TAP-IT Data-Informed Decision-Making Process to improve results for students with disabilities who are struggling (Mainzer & Stein, 2013). )