The concept of "Mastery" is used when deciding which targets need to be worked on and in assessing progress. Mastery is when a student correctly performs a target action to the level specified in the student's IEP
. This is usually a percentage of correct responses (e.g. 80%) measured across a prescribed number of therapy sessions (e.g. 10) (Lovaas & Smith 1989, Calouri & Hamblen 1996). Once a target is mastered, the target can be practiced less often and frequently new targets are introduced.
DDtrac also includes the concept of "Mastery Goals." In academic settings where Curriculum Based Measurement
is used student progress is plotted on a chart that has a goal line that connects the student's average initial performance (initial number of targets mastered) to their end-of-year goal (number of targets that need to be mastered). This goal line can be used to determine what level the student should be performing at in order to make adequate progress toward their annual IEP goal (Stecker & Fuchs 2000, Safer & Fleischman 2005).Mastery Percent
, Mastery Criteria
and Mastery Sessions
are set for each objective but they are used to measure mastery for individual targets. The Mastery Goal
is then used to determine when the objective itself is mastered.
When doing Instructional Data
entry, DDtrac sorts all targets so that the targets that have not been mastered are shown first (in black) followed by targets that are mastered (in blue). This allows staff to easily identify which targets need the most work and which only need to be reviewed periodically.
Mastery of each target is computed automatically by the system based on the the following algorithm:
looks at the past # of sessions for mastery and computes the percent of trials for the target that meet the mastery criteria.
- If the percent meeting the mastery criteria meets or exceeds the % for mastery it
displays an alert indicating the target is now mastered.
- If it is less
than 95% of the mastery percent and the target was already mastered then
it will display an alert saying the target is no longer mastered.
- If the student has mastered the required number of targets (or more) for the objective, the objective's Mastered date is set.
This allows the student's progress towards objectives to be maintained by staff with limited intervention from the special education teacher.
DDtrac allows the following information to be set related to Mastery:
- % for Mastery: The percentage of correct responses the student must achieve during the measurement period to master an individual target associated with this objective (Mastery Percent).
- Criteria for Mastery: The level
of proficiency the student must demonstrate on a single response for it
to count positively towards mastery. By default the student must
receive a "correct" for the response to count but this can be set to
"correct with prompt" or to a specific prompt (for prompt data
collection types) (Mastery Criteria).
- # Sessions for Mastery: The number of sessions to look back at to determine if a student has mastered a target associated with this objective (Mastery Sessions).
- Mastery Goal: The number of targets that should be mastered by the end of a measurement period, usually 1 year (Mastery Goal). However the Mastery Chart can be generated for all of the targets defined for the student or any number of targets specified at the time the chart is generated.
All Mastery data is specified either when adding a new objective (see Create New Goals
) or when editing an existing objective (see Edit Existing Goals