Data Collection 101: Accurately Measuring Occupational Performance

presented by Gretchen Scheibel

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How can you demonstrate the progress you see your students make? Occupational therapists often struggle with translating the magic of what happens in occupational therapy sessions into cold, hard data. This course will provide practitioners with a detailed explanation of how to prepare objectives or goals that accurately measure occupational performance, outline procedures for collecting data, and discuss the use of visual analysis of data. This knowledge will be applied using case examples to explore strategies for designing data collection systems to address handwriting, adaptive functioning, and classroom performance goals, as well as how to measure subjective observations, such as sensory processing and energy regulation. Strong and clear data collection allows occupational therapists to advocate effectively for their clients and the profession by objectively demonstrating the progress made by their clients.

Meet Your Instructor

  • Gretchen Scheibel, MS, OTR/L, BCBA

    Gretchen Scheibel, MS, OTR/L, BCBA, is a behavior consultant working in midcoast and central Maine. She specializes in designing educational programs based on the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports framework and the principals of Applied Behavior Analysis. Dually certified as a Behavior Analyst and an Occupational Therapist, she possesses a unique understanding of special education and the necessary supports to promote student success. Her practice focuses on using an evidence-based approach to promoting positive behavior and improving functional performance in the education environment. Ms. Scheibel presents nationally on the topic of building interdisciplinary collaboration and demonstrating the value of occupational therapy in complex practice environments. Additionally, she provides programmatic consultation on interdisciplinary collaboration and evidence-based practice implementation.

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Chapters & Learning Objectives

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  1. Preparing Occupational Performance Goals

    1. Preparing Occupational Performance Goals

    This chapter will explore the use of an operational definition of occupational performance when writing occupational performance goals, including content distinguishing objective vs. subjective language. Examples of occupational performance goals will be presented, using handwriting, adaptive functioning, classroom performance, and sensory processing.

  2. Procedures for Collecting Data

    2. Procedures for Collecting Data

    This chapter will review five types of data collection: permanent product recording, event recording, interval recording, duration, and latency recording. This content will explore how to determine which type of data collection type to use for each goal and a review of data collection sheet formats to facilitate data collection.

  3. Visual Analysis of Data Collection

    3. Visual Analysis of Data Collection

    This chapter will explore the importance of visually analyzing data collected to determine client progress, as well as the mechanics of graphing: how to transfer data to a graph, cumulative graphing vs. bar graphs, and self-graphing data sheets.