Easy Ways to Use Google Forms
to Track Data Digitally

digital data

Data. It makes our special education world go around, but it’s a headache (and a half). Who else has a love/hate relationship with data?

But however hard data collection is, we also have a common phrase in Special Ed – “data or it didn’t happen.”

Now, a common question I see come up in the various Facebook groups and other online teacher communities I’m in is, “How do you organize your data? What system do you use?”

Ways to Track Data

Personally, I have tried it all.

First, there’s the sticky note method. You keep sticky notes on hand at all times, so you can record data wherever you are. This data will eventually need to be transferred to a paper or a data-based collection system, which is my hangup.

Next, there are paper data sheets – again – add this to the endless amount of paper we have to sort through, analyze, and then upload to keep track of student progress.

And then there’s the world of digital data. This is my favorite system, and I’ll tell you why.

What Is Digital Data Collection?

I use technology to gather info about how well my students are doing. This includes things like test scores, observations, and assessments.

With digital tools, I can see what my students excel in and where they might need more help. This info helps me make smart choices about how to support them and keep track of how they’re doing over time.

There are different tools available online that can help you with your data collection. Some districts are lucky to have access to some sort of data system that keeps everything organized.

I’ve never had that, so I created my own system!

Using Google Forms to Track IEP Data Digitally

Managing your students’ IEP data doesn’t have to be complicated. Thanks to technology, we now have simple ways to track this info digitally or online.

What’s more, if all your data sheets are online, they will never get lost. They can be shared across multiple staff (all they need is the link) and you can set up systems so it is analyzed for you instead of needing to break out the calculator.

I find Google super easy for collecting data. You can get Google apps on your phone, whether it’s an iPhone or Android. This way, when I’m out and about, I can easily open the app, access my data sheet, and enter the information.

What I personally use is Google Forms, which is the simplest and most popular. Let me share with you the easy ways to use Google Forms for your student data collection!

IEP Goals

When you’re using Google Forms for IEP goals, you just need to fill in some information like the date, staff involved, and what kind of goal it is. You can include sections for different aspects like reading, functional math, or independent living skills.

In each part of the form, you can set up little targets or goals with specific details. After that, the form can automatically take you to the relevant section based on the selected goal type.

One Form Per Student

You can create one Google Form per student. This allows you to keep data separate without cluttering up your form.

Pull up your student’s IEP goals and use each objective as a question. 

An easy way to organize these forms is to name the form with your student’s name. Then, if your classroom is color-coded, match the color of your form with your student’s assigned color. This makes it easier for you to know whose form you’re working with at a glance!

Daily Data Sheet

You can also do a “daily data sheet” and break it up into sections by goal area. I like this method better, but if I have a student with a really complex goal, I might make one Google Form just for that goal to keep it separate.

If you need an example of a Daily Data Sheet, you can check out this resource. The IEP Goal Tracker & Google Data Form contains a Google Form template that you can use as a guide for your own caseload. Just copy and paste it for each student!

You can make these data sheets simple or complicated, depending on what suits you, your team, and your student’s IEP goals. For example, I’ve worked at schools where we just record this way:

  • + if the student does the step correctly and independently
  • =P if the student does the step correctly and needs only one prompt
  • – if the student required more than one prompt or did the step incorrectly

Of course, Google Forms are very easy to edit, so you can see what works for you, and go from there! 

Then – Google forms will actually give you a summary of the progress the student makes!

Data Analyzation

Did you know that Google Forms can automatically analyze the data for you? It will actually give you a summary of the progress your student makes!

You can link the Form to your Google Data Sheet and use this sheet so your staff can also keep track of when they take data. Check out this resource again so you can see the steps!

QR Codes

Use Google or Canva to generate free QR codes for your Google Forms.

QR codes can add an extra layer of privacy to your Google Forms, allowing your students to access the form’s link without showing any private info.

QR codes are also handy, especially when you’re going around different places in school or when you’re out in the community for your CBI. You can make them small, like on a key ring! This way, you and your students can access the QR code in locations like the lunchroom, providing quick and easy data collection.

Find a Way that Works for You!

Yes, using Google Forms for your student data collection is very easy, especially if you’re more on the digital side. But the key to tracking your students IEP data successfully is to find a method that works for you.

So whether it’s using Google Forms or using the classic paper collection technique, do what suits you best.

Exploring what to teach your transition students, and overwhelmed by the endless ideas?

Remember that your units of focus will depend on your students’ needs; you can build your own curriculum map for the year by using this guide in conjunction with your students’ IEP goals. 

Use the free Transition Roadmap Scope & Sequence here!