Shared Progress Monitoring

Shared Progress Monitoring is when the student and teacher work together to assess and reflect on the progress toward mastery of an academic or behavioral goal. First, the student and teacher use baseline data to identify a goal. Then, they develop an action plan for how to achieve the goal and what type of data to collect and how. Together, the student and teacher analyze the collected data, celebrate progress, and adjust goals as needed. This strategy differs from traditional, teacher-centered progress monitoring models in that students identify and articulate their own areas of strength and growth, and teachers use this information to focus their instruction to support each individual student.

Implementation Tips

Classroom Culture and Buy-In
When first implementing Shared Progress Monitoring, start with a goal that the student can easily achieve. If students observe growth when they reflect on their progress, they are more likely to be motivated by this approach in the future. Model positive and constructive thinking when establishing a classroom culture of data analysis and growth. The focus should be on making progress and celebrating incremental growth, not solely on the outcome.
Discuss the Impact of Behavior on Academics
Take time to discuss and brainstorm with students the ways that classroom behavior and habits (e.g., homework completion, participation) can have a direct effect on performance on assessments and overall learning. By taking the time to link behavior to tangible results, students will understand the connection between their efforts and grades as well as reinforce a growth mindset.
Qualitative Goals
When developing qualitative goals (i.e., goals that cannot be measured with numeric data), provide students with self-assessments that have clear criteria for success and offer opportunities for the student to reflect (e.g., rubrics, journals, reflection worksheets, and exit tickets). Examples of qualitative goals include how satisfied a student feels with their participation in an activity, being a kinder person, or being more organized.
Quantitative Goals
Quantitative goals (i.e., goals that can be measured with numeric data) should be developed using curriculum-based or mastery-based assessments to establish and monitor criteria for academic success (e.g., DIBELS, Dolch sight-word list, early numeracy probes). Avoid using unit assessments as they do not track the same skills over time and the data would not be consistent or comparable. Examples of quantitative goals might include getting a 90% on the next math test, decreasing tardies by 50%, or getting at least 8 hours of sleep.
Data Analysis
Measure data frequently to establish an understanding of how effort leads to progress. This may mean collecting data daily, hourly, or even in smaller time increments. The student and teacher should decided upon the frequency of data collection based on what is most appropriate for the student's current level of achievement. Make data graphing, analysis, and reflection a routine part of class structure. Frequent graphing of progress increases recognition of the connection between effort and results, encourages the development of intrinsic rewards, and provides a motivation for growth.
Maintain Anonymity
When developing and tracking whole-class goals, keep data anonymous and avoid singling out individual students. If a teacher is using a data wall to reflect on a whole-class academic goal and 2-3 students are not making adequate progress compared to the remainder of the class, the students may feel discouraged and lose motivation to achieve or catch-up with the remainder of the class. Rather, choose to measure the goal in such a way that no single student's data can be identified from another's. Examples include a class-wide thermometer measuring achievement or awarding a single sticker for the entire class to mark progress. Additionally, due to privacy and legal reasons, names or student ID numbers/codes should not be used when displaying data on boards.
Avoid Negative Consequences
Receiving negative consequences will most likely decrease a student’s motivation and self-esteem. For example, rather than giving students a consequence (e.g., time-outs or detentions) when they do not achieve a goal, praise the student when they make progress, even if it is incremental. By choosing to reinforce positive behaviors, students are more likely to remain motivated and engaged.
Celebrate Success
Take time to develop reinforcers/rewards for achieving goals and to celebrate the success of making progress toward goals as well as achieving them.


Academic Goals
Shared Progress Monitoring can be used to track progress toward academic goals using curriculum based or mastery based assessments. For example, elementary students can track their individual progress on memorizing words from a Dolch sight word list. After a pre-test, the teacher and student meet to review results and develop the goal, “I will learn 10 new words from the Dolch site word list by the end of each week this quarter.” Then they create the action plan to practice flashcards everyday with friends and play a Dolch sight word computer game. As each week passes, the student reviews data and records their progress using a bar graph. After the data is recorded, the teacher and student review the progress (using student-teacher conferences or reflection sheets) and determine if the action plan needs to be changed. Intervention Central has a collection of free Curriculum-Based Measurement resources.
Behavior Goals
Shared Progress Monitoring can be used to track individual behavior goals in a classroom by using a qualitative approach (e.g., rubrics, journals). A student who struggles with participating in class develops goals related to participation with the assistance of the teacher. The student and teacher establish clear criteria and expectations for success with a rubric that tracks attendance, preparedness for class, volunteering in class, and asking relevant questions. After reviewing these expectations with the student, a plan is developed that includes daily monitoring using the collaboratively designed rubric. The student is given time to evaluate the data from the rubric using journals and reflection worksheets. The student and teacher adjust the action plan together if necessary.
Whole Class Goals
Shared Progress Monitoring can be used to track whole class goals and interventions. For example, a classroom goal could be to reduce the number of absences and tardies. During a class meeting (e.g., community circle) the teacher and students discuss issues with attendance and review the amount of absences and tardies. With guidance, the class develops a goal (e.g., 35 out of 35 students will be in class and on time everyday this week) and an action plan to achieve it. Reinforcers/Rewards for making progress toward the goal are discussed and decided upon during the meeting. Data can be displayed on the board for whole-class monitoring and analysis. Reflection (e.g., whole class discussion, reflection sheets) can focus on trends in behaviors and incentives for improving attendance and reducing tardiness. As progress is made toward the goal, the students and teacher take time to celebrate success with the identified rewards/reinforcers.

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