Need to collect data on your students or clients behaviors ? Tired of filling out forms and tallying the data?
Is there an app for that? (Of course…)
Touch Autism website as well as their Autism Apps app lists at least two dozen apps available for data collection in a wide range of costs and measures. Yet, finding a data collection app that is easy to use, customizable and fits your assessment needs can be tricky. Important features that support data collection may include:
- Ability to enter one or multiple ratings in a day
- Provide different scales or ratings suited to the skill or behavior being assessed
- Allow anecdotal note taking
- Easy entry of data
- Ability to gather and enter data over different time periods
- Summarize totals, averages, ranges of skills or behaviors over a select period of time
- Allow the ability to transfer the data to other sources for sharing, compiling or archiving
- Have a method of security to protect sensitive or private data
Autism Tracker Pro is one app chosen to perform data tracking for specific students behaviors due to the features provided to collect data as desire by the above list. Made by the developer of Track & Share, it is available in a Lite version for iPad and iPod touch and the Pro version ($9.99). It has taken some work to learn and to utilize but has provided a method of data gathering of behavioral information helpful in determining when interventions might be necessary or if they are working. Staff has been positive with using it given time and assistance with setting the app up for specific student needs.
Here are some of the features of Autism Tracker Pro app:
The main screen shows the menu tools of Categories, Graphing, Tracking, Sharing and More.
The app allows you to create your own categories (Mood) for a user and items within a category (Mood, Stress, Activity Level, Weather). The calendar (right) provides a quick access to daily tracking and entry of assessment data on each of the items listed.
The app also allows you to define your own objectives or items you want rated and you can also create your own pictures or icons use want used to help define the measures used. Although this is app is primarily set up for behaviors, I entered some skill goals used for assessment gathering of OT objectives and created my own rubric or assessment to gather the data. Anecdotal notes can be entered with each entry as needed.
Data entered over time can be displayed in a daily, weekly or monthly mode and can include categories or items. Graph information can be displayed in a variety of ways pending preference and data gathered. Daily data minimums, maximums, average or last can be displayed in the graphs.
The app also provides a method of sharing the data in an html or CSV (comma separated value) exported as a spreadsheet. Column, bar or line graphs can then be made in software such as Excel following email options of the data.
Other options are provided in the More menu such as the ability to customize the rating tools, password protect the app, purchase additional user capabilities (1 is provided in the Pro version, up to 3 for an in app purchase of $5., unlimited users for an additional $10.), help menus, clearing the data or editing category information on a user.
Autism Tracker Pro took some time to learn and customize for specific student data collecting. It has proven to be a valuable tool for data collection and believe that it can be used to collect information on skill development along with behavior. One of things that it does not do is provide duration information with a start and stop timer within the app, or provide the graph information over time through a day. There are ways however that time information or items could be entered within a category.
A specific use for this app could be for gathering self regulation, sensory processing levels. Are they high or low during the day? What would a student rate themselves? Tracking alert levels during the day by a para professional working with a specific student could also be performed electronically given a specific set up and numbers of rating times through the day. Although this app does not provide suggested strategies or solutions within the app, it would provide the data to help to determine when interventions might be needed.
This app has been helpful with data collection given time to modify and adapting for specific student use.
Here is a link to a video from the University of Nebraska with a review of the app : http://mediahub.unl.edu/media/2816
Here is a handout created of directions for using Autism Tracker Pro: Autism Tracker Pro training handout if interested.
Are you interested in using Autism Tracker Pro? For those who have endured through the end of this post here is a free promo code from the developer (if you redeem this please just comment that you redeemed it- it will save a lot of frustration for others) :
What do you use for data collecting? Share any suggested data collection apps or methods you might be using!
Thank you to Uwe Heiss, Founder of The Track & Share Movement.