Measuring Behaviors - Taking Baseline Data
Baseline data is a measurement of the behavior taken before interventions are started. Baseline data is important because it allows the team to compare the behavior before and after implementation of the behavior plan to determine if the interventions are working.
There are many different methods for measuring behavior. For example, if a student is exhibiting 'tantrums' at school, we could measure...
- how many times the student tantrums each day
- how long the tantrums last
- how long it takes for the tantrum to start after the trigger is presented
- percentage of time the student spends tantruming each day
- how intense the tantrums are
Each of these pieces of data require different forms of measurement. In the attached documents, you will find comparisons of some common data collection methods to help you select the appropriate method. Although not exhaustive, there are also useful data collection forms attached to get you started.
Once data is collected, graphing organizes the data in a way that is easy to interpret. Graphs provide visual summaries that allow teams to notice patterns and evaluate the results of new strategies.
There are many ways to graph data, including line graphs, bar graphs, pie charts, or scatterplots. Line graphs are the most common type, as they focus on trends in the behavior over time.
Links to graphing resources: