In an RTI system, students in interventions have their progress monitored frequently, every week or two for elementary students. This provides data that allows team members to gauge the student’s response to the intervention and to adjust or intensify the intervention as needed.
Features of Progress Monitoring Tools
In an RTI system, students in interventions have their progress monitored frequently, every week or two for elementary students. This provides data that allows team members to gauge the student’s response to the intervention and to adjust or intensify the intervention as needed. Typically the same measures used for universal screening are used for progress monitoring.
Similar to universal screeners, progress-monitoring measures are:
- Brief and easy to administer
- Given multiple times a year (weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly)
- Available in multiple equivalent forms
- Sensitive to growth
- Reliable and valid indicators of academic risk
Benefits of Progress Monitoring
Progress Monitoring has the following benefits when implemented correctly:
- Students learn more quickly and make greater achievement gains because they are receiving more appropriate instruction
- Teachers make more informed instructional decisions
- Documentation of student progress is available for accountability purposes
- Communication improves between families and professionals about student progress
- Teachers have higher expectations for their students; and, in many cases
- There is a decrease in special education referrals.
Instructional Match & Appropriate Frequency
In order to be used effectively, progress-monitoring data should be graphed, and progress towards an ambitious but attainable student goal should be evaluated using pre-determined decision rules created at the school district level. Progress-monitoring measures must also be appropriately matched to the instructional skills being taught in the interventions and given at an appropriate frequency.
- For specific information on what evidence-based progress monitoring measures are available, visit the National Center of Intensive Intervention
- RTI Action Network: Progress Monitoring
- National Center on Student Progress Monitoring online trainings and webinars
Appropriate Instructional Match
Interventions for struggling students are targeted to the specific skills. For example in the area of reading, interventions are often targeted at one or more of the 5 Big Ideas of Reading (Phonological Awareness, Phonics, Oral Reading Fluency and Accuracy, Vocabulary, & Reading Comprehension). Progress monitoring measures help us evaluate if students are increasing their skills in the area(s) in which we are intervening, and if they are able to apply those skills to become more proficient readers. In order to do this, we must ensure a match between the progress monitoring measure used and the skill(s) being taught. We also want to ensure that we use a general outcome measure that samples a wide range of subskills, such as an oral reading fluency or phoneme segmenting measure, rather than a more narrowly focused progress monitoring measure.
Use the following guidelines for how frequently students should be progress monitored:
- High Risk Students (Tier 3) – Monitor progress ideally once per week but at least twice per month
- Some Risk Students (Tier 2) – Monitor progress at least 1-2 times per month
The following suggestions can help ensure efficient and frequent progress monitoring:
- Determine who will be responsible for progress monitoring (may be multiple people) and create a progress monitoring schedule
- Rather than progress monitoring all students on a particular day, you could monitor 1-2 students each day, possibly during an independent activity during your intervention group
- Ensure staff administering progress monitoring assessments have appropriate training and understand the purpose of the assessments