WestEd Studies How Goalbook Helps Related Service Providers Collaborate More Effectively

Student with hearing device

Related service providers, including speech therapists, psychologists, occupational and physical therapists, and other specialists, often face barriers around collaborating with other educators on a school campus, including general education and special education teachers.

For that reason, our product team partnered with WestEd to design a qualitative research study that looks at how Goalbook’s resources can impact collaboration and instructional practice for related service providers.

Study Design

Our study focused on the collaborative relationship between Deaf and Hard of Hearing (DHH) Specialists and their general education counterparts. Eleven educators in total located across California participated in the study: five DHH specialists and six general education teachers. They worked in pairs and one DHH specialist worked with two general education teachers.

The study lasted four weeks and data was gathered using surveys from Goalbook’s usage logs. A pre-survey gathered background information on the participants and insights into the existing collaborative relationship between DHH specialists and general education teachers. This survey asked questions to evaluate the effectiveness of their collaboration and working relationship. A later post-survey asked the same questions to measure changes over the course of the study.

Resources Used During the Study

The team at Goalbook had recently published 300 new instructional content pages to support educators working with students who receive related services, including:

  • 69 Deaf/Hard of Hearing Toolkit Content Pages
  • 102 Adapted Physical Education Toolkit Content Pages
  • 94 Blind/Visual Impairment Toolkit Content Pages
  • 35 Teaching Strategy Pages

The participants of this study had access to these resources as well as all of the resources in Goalbook Toolkit, including content for Pre-K to Grade 12 in Reading, Writing, Math, Speech, Behavior and Social Emotional Learning, Autism, Occupational Therapy, Alternate Academic and Life Skills, and Transition.

Ensuring that Goalbook’s Resources Improve How Educators Collaborate and Teach

WestEd’s study focused on observing how Goalbook Toolkit could be used at scale by teachers in an authentic educational context and have a positive impact in classrooms. In a short period of time, Goalbook was able to help related service providers and teachers collaborate more effectively, translating into positive outcomes for students.

WestEd identified five guiding research questions that were centered around collaboration, instructional impact, and real-world usability.

  1. What is the nature and frequency of collaboration using Goalbook Toolkit?
  2. What is the quality of this collaboration?
  3. In what ways does the use of the Goalbook resources change user attitudes toward working with specialists or general education teachers when working with shared special education students?
  4. Are there any barriers to implementing Goalbook Toolkit and resources in the classroom?
  5. What additional support materials and guides can be provided to teachers and specialists to help them facilitate the use of Goalbook in the classroom?

In a short period of time, Goalbook was able to help related service providers and teachers collaborate more effectively, translating into positive outcomes for students. Below are excerpts of the data and results from the study.

Impact on Collaboration

“On site, if I’ve got a moment I can just walk down to a classroom (to share resources or best practices), but off site I have to get a sub, and I have to schedule time away. In that regard, being able to use the resources on Goalbook and send them across, that’s definitely where the benefit is.”
“I think it made my teaching more streamlined. It made it more accessible to actually all my students. So every time [my specialist and I] work together, the next day I would try out the lesson and every single time I’m like, wow, they all got it, you know. So it just, it was very helpful. Even though we had our time set each week where we’d sit together for an hour, that hour was definitely well worth our time.”
“As a general ed teacher, I even think that being able to look at those goals and identify, ‘Oh, I think that they’re struggling with this in class,’ I think that that would be helpful too, so that I could have a deeper conversation with the DHH specialist in saying, ‘Oh, I see this happening, or I didn’t even realize that I should be aware of this here.’”

Impact on Instruction

“There were objectives and strategies that I had never thought of in the way presented. The examples were wonderful since many times I am presenting hypothetical scenarios to my students when working on self-advocacy skills. I was able to incorporate strategies into my planning to begin next week.
“Goalbook was easy to use and was a great resource. It can be used by general education teachers to help support many students, including but not limited to students who are deaf or hard of hearing.”
“I felt that it was not just specific to [DHH students]. At least what I looked at when I was looking at the academic part of it, that it would help [DHH students] of course, but that it was significant for a lot of my kids. That I could use that for a lot of my students, so it wasn’t just for them.”

Read the WestEd Feasibility Study to learn more about the impact Goalbook Toolkit had on facilitating authentic instructional and collaborative settings for related services.

Read more research studies that prove Goalbook’s effectiveness in our publication Innovating Instruction:

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