What is Progress Monitoring and How to Use It Effectively

Tuesday, August 23, 2022

For a long time in the history of education, students have been learning the same standardized curriculum and were expected to learn at the same pace, but it was just not realistic. Was it because of the students’ incapability to keep up or was it the teachers who were incapable of teaching? The answer is much more complex than a simple yes or no. But what is progress monitoring?

Progress monitoring was built to intervene with a student’s academic performance or to intervene when a student displays adverse behavior. Oftentimes, they’re meant to monitor special education students. Progress monitoring is the process of observing what progress a student makes on a regular basis. Beforehand, an IEP is agreed upon amongst an IEP team, which includes the parents, the teacher, the special education teacher, a school psychologist, and any other specialist involved with the student’s education. 

Benefits of Progress Monitoring

Improved Academic Performances

The major reason for progress monitoring is to either catch up a student to the standard instructions or to help improve their overall academics and achieve goals that were made. Progress monitoring has helped an abundant amount of students work up their grades and excel in their class subjects. The monitoring helps students set themselves up for future success and can oftentimes lead them to no longer needing the extensive assistance.

Positive Impact on Student’s Behavior

As a student goes through the process of their progress being monitored, not only do they become more independent with their education, they now have a more positive experience with education. They often are left with a newfound confidence in their academics and become motivated to do their best. These positive effects towards their behavior comes from receiving tremendous support along the way. Therefore letting them know they are seen and acknowledged for their efforts and achievements, while also being given empathy when things don’t turn out pleasantly.

Improved Teaching Instruction

Through progress monitoring we understand that ultimately students will benefit from the process. But fortunately, teachers also benefit. After closely monitoring, they not only find what methods can improve students in learning, but they also find how to better improve and cater their teaching instruction. 

How to Ensure the Effectiveness of Progress Monitoring

Create Measurable Goals

As teachers, we’re all rooting for students to progress in their education. But how do we know if they are successful and whether or not progress monitoring is effective? One of the first steps is to create goals, and ones that you can measure success for. Give your students reasonable goals and know exactly what it is you want them to succeed. Reward them during the process to encourage motivation to keep improving with their academics or their behavior.

Communication & Touchpoints with IEP Team

A great way to ensure effectiveness is to stay in communication with all the roles that play in the student’s progress monitoring and IEP. It’s important to be transparent and inform all the stages of the student’s progress. Getting feedback from other roles will also better assist you and keep you informed in how to approach the student with your methods. Make sure not to steer off their IEP and to check in with the team on any setbacks or any ideas of suggestion before deciding to incorporate your own ideas.

Evaluate Data Frequently

When you made measurable goals, you made it so that you will have results to look at. The data from these results will inform you of the status of the student’s academics or behavior. Be sure to check frequently, so that you are aware of any changes that should be made and recommended to your team. From there, the IEP team will be able to access what works and what doesn’t and make any necessary adjustments to their plans. 

Progress monitoring has brought many students to success. And it’s all done in a team effort. The process is incredibly beneficial for both students and educators. These students deserve to receive the best support, so it’s up to you as their teacher to ensure that they receive nothing less.

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