What Type of Data Is Collected for an IEP?


Angela Bailey

What Type of Data Is Collected for an IEP?

An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legally binding document that outlines the specialized education and related services that are provided to students with disabilities. To create an effective IEP, it is crucial to gather and analyze relevant data about the student’s abilities, strengths, weaknesses, and educational needs. This article will discuss the different types of data that are typically collected for an IEP.

Evaluations and Assessments


  • Psychological evaluations: These assessments provide insights into the student’s cognitive abilities, emotional well-being, and social functioning.
  • Academic evaluations: These assessments measure the student’s academic skills in areas such as reading, writing, mathematics, and language.
  • Speech and language evaluations: These assessments evaluate the student’s communication skills, including speech clarity, language comprehension, and expressive language abilities.
  • Occupational therapy evaluations: These assessments assess the student’s fine motor skills, sensory processing abilities, visual-motor integration, and self-help skills.


  • Classroom observations: Observations by teachers or specialists help gather information about the student’s behavior in different educational settings.
  • Curriculum-based assessments: These assessments focus on measuring a student’s progress in relation to specific academic goals outlined in the curriculum.
  • Standardized tests: These tests provide standardized measures of a student’s academic achievement or ability level compared to their peers.

Data Collection Methods

Direct Methods:

  • Work samples: Collecting samples of the student’s work helps assess their performance and progress in various subjects.
  • Checklists: Teachers may use checklists to track specific skills or behaviors, such as following directions or completing assignments independently.
  • Behavior logs: These records document the frequency, duration, and intensity of specific behaviors that may impact the student’s educational experience.

Indirect Methods:

  • Interviews: Speaking with parents, teachers, and other professionals involved with the student provides valuable insights into their strengths, challenges, and progress.
  • Surveys and questionnaires: These tools help gather information about the student’s interests, preferences, and perceptions of their educational experience.

Data Analysis and Decision-Making

Data Analysis:

  • Comparative analysis: Comparing assessment results over time helps identify patterns of progress or areas that require further intervention.
  • Trend analysis: Analyzing data trends can reveal the effectiveness of instructional strategies or interventions implemented for the student.


  • Determining eligibility: The collected data is used to determine if a student meets the criteria for special education services under federal or state regulations.
  • Developing goals and objectives: Data analysis guides the selection of appropriate goals and objectives that address the student’s individual needs.
  • Making instructional decisions: The data helps inform teaching strategies, accommodations, modifications, and supports required to promote academic growth and success.

In conclusion, gathering accurate data is essential for developing an effective IEP. Various evaluations, assessments, and data collection methods provide valuable information about the student’s abilities and needs. Analyzing this data assists in making informed decisions and developing appropriate goals and strategies to support the student’s educational journey.

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