Interpreting Data and Making Decisions

This module was developed with the following framework:

  1. Interpretation of CBM data making decision when instructional change is recommended.
  2. Using CBM/progress monitoring data to develop IEP goals and objectives.

Progress monitoring is a PROCESS. Now that the administration and scoring are completed, what do we do with the data?

  • Make data part of instructional improvement! Too often, we collect data and stop. The effectiveness of progress monitoring on student achievement is contingent on how we use the data.
  • Communicating and interpreting student scores is done most easily through graphing student progress.
  • Interpret data and develop hypothesis about how to improve student learning
  • Modify instruction to test hypothesis and increase student learning
  • Use progress-monitoring data to develop IEPs and monitor progress toward documented goals.

The process of progress monitoring involves both assessment (collecting information about the student) and evaluation (judging the student’s performance against some standard). The process of assessing and evaluating can be delineated in the following manner:


  • Observing/ recording
  • Quantifying the perceived difference
  • What are the alternative hypotheses (Maybe if we tried…?)
  • Monitoring fidelity of intervention and data collection (CBM)
  • Re-quantifying the differences.


  • Does the problem exist?
  • Is the problem important?
  • What is the best solution?
  • Is the solution attempt progressing as planned?
  • Is the original problem being solved through the attempted solution?