Translating IEP Goals into fastIEP's Goal Constrictor

Why do I need two different criteria when defining my goals? What is the difference? Why are they important?

The two criteria are two different things, and it is best to have both.

  • The first defines the "performance threshold per observation period". What does it take to succeed during one observation?
  • The second defines the "total observation periods". What period of time do I give the student to meet the performance threshold, and how many times do I re-test to make sure she consistently performs?

Let's take an analogy. Let's move out of the classroom. Let's say we are determining if someone has mastered the game of pool (billiards).

If we only ask, "can she get the ball in the pocket 80% of the time?", she could try all year and usually perform at only 10% but on one fine day, she luckily lands 80% of the shots during some stretch of time. (Then goes back to 10%.) Has she mastered the game of pool?

In fact, if I really want to be cheeky I could wait for her to get any shot in a pocket and say that for that observation she performed at 100%. Goal complete!! 🙂

That is what happens if we only define the performance threshold and not the observation periods.

In contrast, let's say that I don't define the performance threshold, but only the observation periods. That would be something like "She will get a ball in a pocket during 4 out 5 games."

Therefore, she only has to complete a single shot during the course of a game (which can be any length), in 4 of 5 games.

Do we know if she has mastered the game of pool?


Therefore, we need to define both the "Performance Threshold" and also the "Observation Periods".

Thus our goal would be, "The player will get the ball in the pocket on 80% of shots, during 4 out of 5 games of pool."

Stepping back into the classroom, this works for most types of IEP goals. You can use 80% or 4 out of 5 for the performance threshold - it doesn't matter. But you ALSO usually should define the observation periods (e.g. "4 out 5 weeks" or "3 consecutive quizzes" or whatever you like).

If you're unsure of how to adjust your goals to have both criteria, send us an email! Our team is happy to help.

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