Sunday, December 4, 2011

Parent Transition Survey

The Parent Transition Survey is a great tool to discover parental expectations and start dialogue that leads to a successful transition plan. The survey collects data on current needs and post secondary expectations in the areas of Living, Learning and Working. In addition to asking about post secondary expectations, the assessment asks the parents what adult services will be necessary for the post secondary expectations. The survey concludes by assessing parental awareness of adult services. I suggest copying the spreadsheet and editing the adult services to match the actual names of adult services in your area.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Revised AIR Self Determination Skills Assessments

Recently, I went to use the AIR SelfDetermination Skills Assessments and discovered that it could be improved to make the data more user friendly. I added a second sheet labeled Results that provides a quick calculation of the categories. I also converted all scores to percentages to allow for comparison across categories. Presenting the data in percentages is a change to the way the original scores were reported. I still have not discovered how to eliminate the need to copy formulas. In the results section, copy the formulas in the preceding row to the next row. Please let me know of ways I can make the assessments more user friendly by contacting me at

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to Copy a Google Doc Assessment from my Transition Site

Step 1: Get a google account

Step 3: Select a link under Data on any of the pages. When it opens it will look like a spreadsheet. For example: click on Numeric Parents of Teenagers Checklist Data

Step 4: On the top left corner of the spreadsheet you will see a File Menu. Click File and select “Make a copy....”

Step 5: A box will open asking you to make a new name for the document. I suggest placing the initials for High School or your name in front of the existing name. For example “KB Numeric Parents of Teenagers Checklist.”

Step 6: Now go to your Documents from the iGoogle page and you will find the Google Doc. Click on the Google Doc to see the spreadsheet.

Step 7: You can send the form to recipients or produce a link on a website. To send the form: Click on form above the spreadsheet. Select send form. A box appears that allows you to enter the emails of the people you wish to send the form. If you have google mail and have the people saved in contacts you can select choose from contacts. To add a link to a website of the form: Click on form and select edit form. Now highlight and copy (Command +C) the url located at the lower right corner of the form. Use this to hyperlink to your own website. Users of your site will only be able to enter data.

Please let me know if the above steps do not work and/or can be improved. You can contact me at Thanks.

Friday, November 18, 2011

21st Century Skills Assessment – New and Improved

After using the assessments and receiving feedback from others, I have divided the assessments into parts to make them more user friendly. I also changed the scoring of each part to a percentage range of zero to one hundred for each assessment. I start by giving the assessment that matches the student's age range. For instance, if I assess a student who is currently in tenth grade I start with 21st Century Skills: Employability Skills Part 4. If the student's total score is less than 70%, I give the student the Employability Part 3 Assessment and continue the process until the student scores above 70%. Using the assessment in which the student scores over 70%, I list the essential skills the student scores above 70% as the skills the student can perform and list the essential skills below 70% as areas in which the student needs instruction. The use of 70% is based on the 0-3 (Disagree-Agree) scale I use on all the assessments. The elements of the essential skills are based on expected desired levels. Does someone want to norm the 21st Century Assessments? Norming would bring great attention to the areas of Living and Working. My assumption is that many students with disabilities would perform above typical peers. While the data for students scoring significantly below peers can be used to guide special education services. Please take a look at the new and improved 21stCentury Skills Assessments.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

A student/future teacher introduced me to The future teacher discovered it while looking for a more efficient and effective way to study for a biology test. The future teacher is motivated by the task of learning (see Daniel Pink's book, Drive) more than the grade. In the past this future teacher has been my “lab rat” when I wanted to test out new technology. This time I am the “lab rat” and I could not be happier.
The future teacher is teaching both students and teachers about and I am building my first project. I use Flocabulary to teach vocabulary to my reading class. Using, I am in the process of building stacks of vocabulary cards. The stacks can be used in the traditional way of flash cards, practice tests and assessments. If you want to check out my project, join for free and look for the Broeg tag.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

21st Century Skills Assessments

“Right below what a student cannot do is what they can do”. The preceding was stated by Barbara Guy, Transition Specialist with the Iowa Department of Education, at the 2011 Summer Iowa Transition Conference. I had just finished reading Sir Kenneth Robinson's The Element and had begun investigating the 21st century skills outlined in the Iowa Core Curriculum. I typed in my macbook “21st Century Skills Assessment”. Ms. Guy was talking about the importance of balancing the reporting of students weaknesses with their strengths in the Individual Education Plan. Robinson challenged me to find how students are intelligence and challenge the linearity of education. I have often told my students that their disability depended on environment and many have proven this correct by being more employable than their typical peers. The 21st century skills provide a new playing field. Whether we like or not we are always comparing students in special education with their typical peers. Ms. Guy's statement motivated me to take the essential skills of all five areas (Civil Literacy, Employability, Financial Literacy, Health Literacy, and Technology Literacy) and turn them into assessments that with collaboration will lead to these skills being both addressed and elevated to the status of the traditional academic areas.
The assessments involved over one thousand items and I learned all about size limits and other technical issues with google docs. I made the decision to present the areas over the entire continuum ( except for Employability which at 422 items exceeded the size limit) as I wanted to find what students “can do” and I wanted to resist the traditional thought that education is linear. The Iowa Core indicates desired levels of performance which finally allows for a comparison of a student with typical peers in the areas of Living and Working.
The assessments are not without errors. I tried to find and fix as many as possible but I have decided to open the assessments up to collaboration. Please let me know of errors and suggestions and I will make corrections. To view and copy the forms, see examples of written summaries, resources and graphs, visit the 21st Century Skills Assessments page. Come back often as I plan to make revisions including shorter assessments by level.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Life Centered Career Education Assessment

The Life Centered Career Education Assessment was developed based on a paper I wrote advocating for the use of LCCE-M as standards and benchmarks for a life skills program. If you would like to read the paper please see Life Skills Assessment Sequence on the resource page of my google site. This assessment was created based on criteria from the Life Centered Career Education – Modified Curriculum (LCCE-M) developed by the University of Missouri and an Individual Responsibility Rubric developed by me. This assessment is not intended to replace the batteries available through (LCCE-M). It is intended as an informal tool to enhance dialogue amongst all IEP team members and as a tool to communicate with adult service providers. When you copy the spreadsheet, the form and chart will be attached. Formulas will need to be copied with each new student. Please share your edits with me and I will share the improvements on the google site.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Arc's Self-Determination Scale

The purpose of converting this assessment is to increase use through efficiency. Michael L. Wehmeyer, PhD, from the University of Kansas granted permission to convert the assessment to a Google Doc Format. The Arc's Self-Determination Procedural Guideline by Wehmeyer is a must read for all who believe that self determination is as important if not more important than the traditional “core” academic disciplines such as reading. The guide not only describes how the scale should be used, it provides evidence that all people can be self-determined and stresses the importance of self determination for both productivity and happiness.
The scale was developed following a comprehensive evaluation of the self- determination of more than 400 adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The scale is measure of self-determination designed for use by adolescents with disabilities, particularly students with mild intellectual and learning disabilities, therefore, it was designed to empower students to become more self- determined by providing a vehicle by which they can self-report with appropriate supports and accommodations. It is extremely important that their answers not be influenced and/or judged by the administrator of the assessment.
While the assessment produces a scores in comparison to a normed sample which is attractive for reporting in Individual Education Plans and justifying and/or guiding services, Dr. Wehmeyer emphasizes that “no assumption about a “normal” or “expected” amount of self- determination” should be made based on the results of the assessment. Wehmeyer touches on a theme that I have discussed in previous blogs that often the process of the assessment is as important as the results of the assessment. In the procedural guide he writes “students could work collaboratively with the teacher to score the assessment (because of the need to make the assessment usable as a research tool, its scoring is most likely too complex for self-scoring) and discuss the outcomes, both in comparison with data from the Scale norms and looking at individual student strengths and areas of need.”

You must make a copy of the following spreadsheets (the associated forms will follow) as you will need to be able to copy the formulas to the next row after the results for each student are entered.

The following steps should be followed in using the assessment:

Step 2: Administer the Arc Self-Determination Scale. The guide states that depending on needed accommodations and supports it can be administered to up to fifteen students at one time. However, the flexibility of the google form will allow it to be delivered more frequently under more environments.

Step 3: Open the data associated with the Arc Self-Determination Scale and complete Scoring Steps 1-2 and Interpretation. You will need to copy and paste the formulas to the next row for each new student.

Step 4: Open the data associated with Scoring Steps 1-2 and Interpretation and complete ARC Scoring Steps 3-5. You will need to copy and paste the formulas to the next row for each new student.

Step 5: Download ARC Scoring Steps 3-5 data as a spreadsheet and create graphs for Norm Sample and Positive Scores. It appears that you can create graphs in google docs but I experienced difficulty and found it easier to download and create graphs in Open Office. Update 6/20/2011 - Using Google Chrome I was able to produce graphs that are attached to ARC Scoring Steps 3-5 .  The graphs will update as you add students.

If you find any errors or have suggestions for improvement please contact me at

Monday, May 16, 2011

Numeric Parents of Teenagers Survival Checklist

The Numeric Parents of Teenagers Survival Checklist produces an average score out of four in the following areas: prepare cooked meals, comparison shopping, geography, math, reading, home maintenance, appliances, health, personal grooming, sexuality, communication, and employment. The Parents of Teenagers Survival Checklist assesses the student in environments outside of school and is a great way to get the parent involved in the discussion on transition. The numeric version allows for comparison of scores over time and the ability to summarize for an area such as stating that a student with an average score of 2 performs, on average, the skills in the area some of the time. When an area has a low average score, the report on the IEP can list the specific skills that need to be addressed. To make a copy of the numeric version go to my google site and follow the directions. The formulas will need to be copied as new students are added.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Forced-Choice Reinforcement Menu

While using the Forced-Choice Reinforcement Menu to determine what rewards to offer my students for desired behavior I stumbled upon data which I felt was useful in assessing motivation. I have never been a fan of using external rewards and after reading Daniel Pink's book, Drive, I became convinced the the most effective motivation is the task itself. The students who were completing a higher percentage of homework and exhibiting more mature behavior had higher scores in task oriented reinforcements compared to students that scored high in external reinforcements. The Forced-Choice Reinforcement Menu produces scores for Adult Approval, Competitive Approval, Peer approval, Independent Rewards, and Consumable Rewards. The students that scored higher in Independent Rewards than Consumable Rewards also exhibit a higher positive discrepancy in performance versus ability. I am not sure how I will use and/or present this data in IEPs but I do plan to compare each individuals score across time to see if motivation is shifting more towards task and away from external rewards. If you would like to make a copy, visit my google site. After each entry, the formulas will need to be copied to the next row.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quality of Life Assessment

Deana Colbert, English Valley High School (North English IA) Resource & Alternative Programs, shared the Quality of Life Assessment that was shared with her in a Drake University graduate class taught by Kim Davis, Principal of Walnut Creek Alternative School. In addition to providing data for the IEP, Deana states the assessment is great vehicle to promote discussion with outside service providers on a student's future past high school. The associated spreadsheet produces scores in seven categories (Location, Education, Medical Services, Professional Supports, Leisure, Career, and Family& Social) when the formulas from the example student are copied to the next row. For instructions on how to copy the assessment go to Broeg Google Doc Transition Assessments.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

AIR Self-Determination Scale

The AIR Self-Determination Scale was developed by the American Institutes for Research (AIR), in collaboration with Teachers College, Columbia University, with funding from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). Discussion of how to use the scales, validity, reliability, and factor analysis can be found in the guide. All four scales, calculate the level of self determination. The authors of the scale argue that the scales can be used to promote discussion and measure progress over time. Three of the scales, Educator, Student, and Parent, can be found on my google site with the associated spreadsheets. I have entered formulas to calculate all of the scores as instructed in the guide. To use the scales, you need to make a copy of the spreadsheet (data file). After each entry, the formulas will need to be copied from the example student row to the new student.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Student Directed IEPrezi

After joining a forum on student directed IEPs, I was a greatly humbled to find that I was not doing near enough to encourage the self determination of my students. I found out that other teachers were having students run their IEPs. While I knew this was “best practice”, I had settled into thinking I was being successful if I could get the student to attend the meeting. The positive peer pressure forced me to change the way I approach the planning of the IEP. Over the last few years I have included students in the assessments, but when they attended the meeting, students were reluctant spectators. Based on Daniel Pink's theory that the most effective motivation is found in the task, I decided to have a student create a Prezi to guide their IEP. Based on the six critical elements I provided the student a template and a draft of their IEP. As the student went through their IEP, they asked me questions which facilitated discussions that probably would not have occurred. I was curious to see the Prezi but I waited till the meeting as the point of the Prezi was to give more control to the student. I will definitely use the Student Directed IEPrezi for both an assessment and scaffolding for student directed IEPs. Please view Kris's Directed IEP. I believe Kris has more ownership of his future and in case you are wondering, Kris will be in choir next year. The Prezi fostered a healthy discussion among all team members and a solution was found in which Kris could take both choir and more electives.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Wisconsin Transition Health Care Checklist

I have converted an extensive health assessment, Wisconsin Transition Health Care Checklist, that includes 18 areas and 168 skills. The assessment, originally a checklist, has been converted to indicate whether the skill is developed or needs to be developed. A description and rationale for the assessment can be found in Transition Health Care Checklist: Preparing for Life as an Adult. The authors of the assessment suggest annual assessment to denote progress and plan instruction. Given its length, you may want to consider breaking the assessment into multiple parts. To make your own version, copy Wisconsin Transition Health Care Checklist for Student Name Data and edit. Note if you have a google account within a domain you may not be able to copy. The quickest solution to this issue is to create a google account outside of the domain.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Assistive Technology and Self Determination Assessments

Julie Freed, Grant Wood AEA Assistive Technology Consultant, shared Wisconsin Assistive Technology Protocol for Transition Planning and Wisconsin Assistive Technology Initiative - Student Information Guide for Self Determination and Assistive Technology Management assessments during a workshop. I came away from the workshop with an expanded knowledge of Assistive Technology. Prior to the workshop I thought of assistive technology as equipment, after the workshop my view expanded to include instruction that is needed for students to use free or readily available technology. The exponential growth of free or low cost technology shifts the focus from equipment to training for independence and increases the number of individuals that can benefit from assistive technology. The assessments also measure self determination which is a necessary skill as it is not enough for the individual to know how to use the technology. In order for the individual to use the technology as an independent adult they must learn responsibility and advocacy. If you would like to copy either of the assessments please go to Broeg Google Doc Transition Assessments and follow the instructions.

Monday, February 21, 2011


When indicating preferences on a student's IEP I have always asked the student how they prefer to learn and often times I have felt that I prompted them to respond the way I assumed they preferred to learn. Do people actually know automatically how they prefer to learn or does it take some digging? The Learning Style #1 assessment found in the Quick Book of Transition Assessments is a valuable tool to start a discussion of learning preferences. Before taking the assessment I assumed that I preferred to learn via lecture rather than out of a book but the data said just the opposite. According to the CITE Learning Styles, for language “I learn well from seeing words in books, on the chalkboard, or in workbooks. I remember and use information if I have read it.” When dealing with mathematical problems, “I have to see numbers on the board, in a book, or on paper to work with them. I am more likely to understand math facts if I have seen them.”
The contrary results caused me to reflect on how I actually learn best rather than relying on my initial assumption. Upon further reflection, the data are correct, I learn best from data I can see rather than just hear. For other people the results from the Learning Style #1 assessment may be incorrect but the important thing is that the process encourages reflection. I have set up the spreadsheet so all that needs to be done to get the results is to copy the formulas to the next row. I plan to use the tool to promote self advocacy as well as to assess.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Transition Assessment: The Process Can Be As Important As the Results

In preparation for an IEP, one of my ninth grade students was completing the Student/Parent Questionnaire while a 10th grade student was working independently. The student completing the questionnaire asked me to clarify the following question: Are you presently in contact with any agencies that will or maybe involved with you after graduation? The student's request started a dialogue between the three of us that included VITAL, Career Connections, Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services and “learning centers” at institutions of post-secondary education. Both students expressed interests in these services and I explained to them the importance of making connections during their 11th grade year. The dialogue continued to include how these agencies could assist them in their future goals. I came away from the discussion with the feeling that the perspective of the students' changed from the short term of “getting the assignment due finished” to the long term of how that assignment fit into their future. Without the process of the student completing the assessment, any discussion of the agencies would have probably been a one sided lecture rather than a dialogue initiated by the student. To make it easier for everyone to use the assessments I have created an easy to remember shortcut to the assessment site: I am currently working on converting the assessments found in the Quick Book of Transition Assessments.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Transfer Functional Skills

I have completed all of the assessments in the Transfer Functional Skills section of the Quick Book of Transition Assessments. These assessments can be used to measure the discrepancy between the required skills and the current skills of the student's post secondary expectations. The section contains four different types of post secondary expectations (Supported Employment, Vocational Training, Four Year College and Competitive Employment). The majority of the skills are contained in all four assessments, so if the team decides the current expectation is not realistic, the data can be applied to a more appropriate expectation. The section also contains a Vocational Evaluation and a Functional Skills Inventory. The Vocational Evaluation produces a score that could be used for goal setting as it would be easy to graph. However, the evaluation contains fifty behaviors so it would be better to focus on the deficient behaviors. To see these assessments go to the Quick Book of Transition Assessments page on the Broeg Google Doc Transition Assessments website.