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The Process of Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

Step 6: Monitoring Outcomes

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Indirect Measurement

In addition to direct measurement, a number of informal data collection strategies exist that allow a child’s team to monitor his/her progress. Though they typically are not as precise as direct measurement, the following strategies are often useful in helping a child’s team monitor outcomes. In many instances, these strategies are easier to use and can be implemented throughout the day even by the busiest of individuals (e.g., teachers).

Below are some indirect ways to measure the child’s behavior or use of the skill. These forms provide a mechanism for recording the child’s behavior or use of a skill with less accuracy than direct measurement. However, they are time efficient and easy for teachers to use and provide some data that are meaningful and interpretable.


Daily Log

Although there is a wide variety, daily logs are general estimates of the child’s performance over a large period of time (e.g., the morning, the entire day). Often used by teachers, daily logs may note that whether the child had a "good day" or might rate a child’s performance along a 5-point scale using smiley faces.

Incident Record

Incident records are descriptions of specific events, such as when a child engages in an incident of challenging behavior (e.g., biting another child, having a tantrum). While incident records describe the challenging behavior, (e.g., when it occurred, how intense it was, and what happened as a result), they do not describe anything other than the specific event.

Permanent Product

Permanent products are samples of a child’s work, such as artwork, a worksheet, or something the child creates. When collected together, permanent products allow a support team to observe a child’s progress toward developing particular skills such as those specified in a curriculum.

Portfolio Assessment

Portfolios are collections of permanent products that provide a detailed description of a child’s progress toward achieving specific skills. Examples of portfolios include photographs of their completed block designs, samples of artwork, photographs of dramatic play schemes, videotapes of play or instructional engagement, and audiotapes of language samples.

Task Analytic Recording

This is used when measuring a child’s accuracy for each step of a fixed skill sequence (e.g., brushing teeth, getting dressed, putting toys away, completing an academic task). The measurement process begins by constructing a task analysis or listing the individual behaviors that constitute the entire skill sequence.

Below is such a list for washing hands.

  1. Approach sink
  2. Turn on water
  3. Place hands in water
  4. Pump soap onto hands
  5. Rub hands together
  6. Rinse hands
  7. Turn off water
  8. Dry hands on towel

The data collection form that is used is based on the task analysis and includes all of the steps of the behavior and spaces for recording the child’s performance. Scores are expressed as the percentage of steps completed successfully.

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