Either working in a clinic or in a school, Speech and Language Pathologist track a lot of data. In the schools, your 50 students could have 3 objectives each, totaling 150 data points per week. Reporting on this data every 5 weeks can infringe on your ability to massage, read, understand, and utilize the data.
This is part 3 in a series looking at data collection systems aimed to help ease the burden of data collection on SLPs. In the interest of full 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 (SDDT) and the Super Duper Data Tracker Pro (SDDT Pro) and the maker of IEPPal. In both instances, each company provided me with the technical information for their apps.The first one I looked at was the Super Duper Data tracker and part 2 looked at the Super Duper Data Tracker Pro. Today we look at IEPpal.
IEPPAL ($29 Annually)
IEPPAL was developed by a father watching his daughter’s speech and language pathologist write notes on her lesson plan. His plan was to create a streamlined data collection service for all therapists and school personnel, not just speech and language pathologists.
When comparing the SDDT or the SDDT Pro, the IEPPAL is the easiest to build your caseload as it is done online. Once you purchase a subscription, you are given your landing page (My Profile) online.
To build your caseload you have 3 ways to start, you can pick “Schools”, “My Students”, or “Setup”. Under schools, you can put in the information for your school such as address. This makes it easy to help look at only the students available in a certain school building.
When you are under the “My Students” tab, you first pick your school. After picking your school, you can select “Add New Individual”. Here you can put the students’ name, grade, birthdate, image, and ID number.
Once that is done, you can click on the “View IEP” button. Here is where you will put in your IEP collection data. Since it is on the computer, you can easily copy and paste between the IEP and the IEPPAL.
Under the “Set Up” tab, you can edit the techniques you use during therapy, the types of prompts, pragmatic observations, locations (in class vs library vs cafeteria, etc), create quick notes, build your groups, create goal banks, and goal categories. This part of the set-up is the most difficult as it takes time to really set it up for the individuality you would need during your therapy day. The more time you spend on this step, the easier it will be when you use it.
Once you are done with building your caseload into the program, you can collect data in 2 different ways. If you like to have your data on you, you can use the application on the tablet. It does require internet access to sync your caseload to your device before your day and at the end of your day. The longer in between sync, the longer it takes to upload/download as the information is passed between tablet and database. The other way to collect data is via the computer. This is a nice feature that if your device is left at home or not charged you have a way to input data quickly.
Once you are in session, you can choose individual or group. If you choose group, you will have all of your students at the top of the window with their goals/objectives beneath them. You can input data either by clicking on the “+” and “-“ buttons or you can input a grand total. You have the option to input the type of prompt provided and the technique being used. In the top right of the screen are the pragmatic buttons you are tracking as well as a spot for quick notes. The session can also have a running clock to track minutes as well.
The report collection is fantastic. You can select based on performance, location, or summary session data. The location data is great if you are tracking a student in two locations and would like to compare how the students does in each setting. Under each student, you can also track for certain date ranges. The report data that is given shows the amount of sessions versus valid sessions (you can tell the software not to count a session towards data collection), the average of the first 3 sessions, the overall average of all sessions, the average of the last 3 sessions, the best average, and the worst average. You can also create charts from all the data.
Lastly, this program can also be bought for the entire district. If the district package is purchased, individual therapists can trade student data as they move from grade to grade or building to building. In the district package, individual teachers can also be assigned to track for the students. This would allow data collection to be stream lined between teachers and therapists.
§ Optional Dynamic Prompt/Cue Setup and Tracking
§ Optional Dynamic Pragmatic Observation Setup and Tracking
§ Audio Recording/Logging by Student/Patient
§ Session Timers/Reports
§ Offline Session Logging (no internet needed during sessions)
§ Notes by Individual During Sessions
§ Prior Session Scores shown during active sessions
§ Location Based Reports (track progress in different settings)
§ Shared Student/Patient Data Amongst Colleagues/Supervisors
§ Important Student/IEP Upcoming Dates Tickler System
§ Free Training/Support Mon-Sat
Pros: Able to set up the caseload online, able to tack data on a computer or on a tablet, easy to read and understand reporting, complete flexibility in tracking, pragmatic tracker, and free training.
Cons: Price ($29 annually is not too much but it is annual), a bit cumbersome to set up if you are in a time crunch.
This application is the best I have used. Between the trainings and the online videos, the set up of the caseload is manageable. This can track data in anyway you want to, which makes it easy to use the data in report writing. The only negative was the annual price. Originally the software cost over 100 per year. Now at $29 dollars a year this is a steal. The paying of an annual fee allows the developers to continue to put money into the system and provide training/support as needed.