Speech and Language Pathology is a science. And like other sciences we must contend with data, lots and lots of data. If you are in a school system, you are not only tracking the data but reporting on it, as often as every 5 weeks. If you have 60 students on your caseload and each student has 3 objectives, then you are tracking data on 180 total objectives. This data should be what drives the next IEP, by showing student progress toward goals and highlighting potential need for goal modification. Many SLPs have created their own way to track data – from paper documents to creating Excel sheets. These can become a nightmare to organize. Not to mention that at the end of the month, quarter, or year we must compile the information up and shoot out an average with a note to mom and dad to let them know how their student is doing.
This is part 1 of a 3-part series looking at and comparing 3 different data collection apps. In the interest of disclosure, I am not receiving any compensation from these companies for the reviews. I reached out to the maker of the Super Duper Data Tracker and the Super Duper Data Tracker Pro and the maker of IEPPal. In both instances, each company provided me with the technical information for their apps.
Super Duper Data Tracker ($1.99)
The first data application to be reviewed is also the least expensive. The Super Duper Data tracker was last updated on September 17, 2013 (version 2.0.4). It will take up 6.5 MB and requires iOS 4.3 or later. It is compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.
The Super Duper Data Tracker has an easy screen to follow upon opening. There are 6 buttons (Start New Session, Continue Last Session, Manage Players, Manage Groups, View Sessions, and More) to navigate around the application.
Creating a new student or adding a goal is easy and feels like adding a phone number to your iPhone. Within the application, you can create groups for easy data collection in sessions with multiple clients. In these groups, you can add a student temporarily if needed.
Once inside the session data screen, you collect data based on 4 preset factors that you can choose from (tally, correct/incorrect, approximation, or cued). You can not create your own factors or prompts to track. If you do not like the way a goal is being tracked, you can change it on the fly and the effects begin right away. In the session data for each student you can write notes as well.
Ending a session is a bit cumbersome as you must return to the main menu and click on the “End Current Session” button.
Lastly, you can email yourself the data and include in it a percentage or summary chart.
· Create multiple goals for each student.
· Choose from various response types — Tally, Correct/Incorrect, Approximated, and Cued.
· “Undo” the last recorded response to correct an error.
· Store data for an unlimited number of sessions.
· Add students to multiple groups.
· Add students temporarily to a group to make up missed sessions.
· Write notes for each student in a session.
· Email results for individual students or all students in a group.
· Graph results for each goal
· Store data locally on the device
Pros: Price. Changing goals on the fly is great if you forget to update a student's IEP goals. The emailed data collection is great. The app calculates the overall percentage for a goal.
Cons: The app is out of date. Upon opening it on my iPad I was informed that the manufacturer must update it or it will cause the iPad to run slow. The application feels and looks unprofessional; it labels students as "players" and has similar graphics to a deck of Super Duper Cards. You cannot add in previous data information unless you alter with the internal iPad clock. All data will be added with the day/date you start the session. There is no goal bank to create or share from.
The app is easy to use and collects data. For the price point, not sure what else we can expect from it.
Next Week: We review the Data Tracker Pro from Super Duper.