Center for Educational Transformation

Improving Individualized Implementation Using Data-Based Individualization

Allison Bruhn

Allison Bruhn

RESEARCHER: Allison Bruhn, Associate Professor, University of Iowa



ABSTRACT: Schools across the country, including in the state of Iowa, are being called to account for student progress in social-behavioral skills as well as academic skills. For students with or at risk for disabilities who are receiving interventions, monitoring progress on a frequent-ongoing basis is imperative to determining their response and making accurate decisions accordingly.

In the behavioral domain, the data-based decision-making process can be cumbersome and complicated because most educators are not trained in it (Wayman, 2005), professional development on data use is often inadequate or non-existent (Massell, 2001), and there are no behavioral standards with accompanying decision rules like in academic progress monitoring. For teachers who are not trained in using data to make individualized decisions, data mentors or coaches with expert-level knowledge have been recommended (Nichols & Singer, 2000).

This project will address the critical need for data-based decision making support for teachers intervening with students who have challenging behavior. This will be done with an empirically-supported, technology-based intervention, SCORE IT, which will be used to improve students' self-regulatory behavior. We will provide a series of high-quality professional development sessions related to implementing intervention, analyzing behavioral progress monitoring data, and making decisions on an ongoing basis. Teachers will then implement strategies learned from the PD with participating students. Then, student outcomes will be measured, as will teacher perceptions of training, implementation, and outcomes.


Dr. Bruhn is also quoted in this April 21, 2016 article in Slate: "Can an App Prevent Students From Getting Distracted?"