Goals, Preferences and Skills (GPS) in Unique Learning System® is a data collection center designed to identify individual student goals, preferences and skills within educational learning tasks. All areas of assessment within GPS have been created to accommodate students with complex learning needs. Assessment results are stored on the n2y secure website to allow for growth measures to be monitored over the years.
A student's goals, preferences and skills are the most important factors contributing to educational success. Yet, each student's goals, preferences and skills are unique. The educational team must continually measure, monitor and adjust instruction to assure that the individual student is optimally participating and making adequate progress within the educational program.
Students with significant disabilities have the most diverse goals, preferences and skills. They are also the most challenging population from which to obtain appropriate measures of their educational progress. The GPS has been specifically designed to obtain these measures from students with significant needs.
The GPS has designed an array of assessment tools. These can be administered to effectively identify and monitor a student's goals, preferences and abilities in relation to the instructional practices within the Unique Learning System curriculum framework.
- Skill Tracking allows a teacher to identify skills that should be tracked on individual students that directly correlate to an IEP goal and/or track subsets of students on a determined skill. Skills that are tracked within Unique Learning System give a complete summary of all the n2y resources that are related to a particular skill, including lessons, standards, the present level of performance and related assessments.
- The Profile serves as an indicator of a student’s current abilities in the Preschool, K-12 Learning or Transition areas. Each profile provides suggested levels and strategies for differentiating instruction.
- Monthly Checkpoints provide pre- and post-assessment measures of monthly unit content and skill learning.
- Benchmarks enable teachers to gather baseline data and monitor progress in selected areas of reading, writing and math.
- Core Rubrics address transition readiness skills in the areas of employability, communication, self-advocacy, daily living and social strategies.
- Transition Planning is designed as a future planning tool for Middle School, High School and Transition-aged students.
Get Started with GPS
The GPS is designed for the educational team to make decisions on which assessments and instructional strategies will be most useful for each student. In order to access the assessments in GPS, each student must have a completed Profile.
Step 1 - Add Students
- Click the My Students tab in the left menu.
- Click the Add a Student button in the upper right-hand corner.
- Search to see if the student already exists in the Add Available Student section.
- Enter a student’s name or student ID number and click search, or Click the Show All Available Students button.
- If the student exists and is available to add click the plus sign to add the student.
- If the student does not exist, they can be created by filling out the required information in the Create New Student section and clicking the Create Student button.
n2y highly recommends the use of a student ID number to prevent duplicate students and keep data clean. If planning to enable student login for the created student, adding a photograph of the student and a password is recommended during this step.
Step 2 – Create a Profile for Each Student
- If completing as a team, provide copies of the Profile beforehand, so that each team member has had the opportunity to consider the skills being assessed. The Profile Administrator Guide is located next to the profile in the GPS.
- Complete the Profile online by adding the team members who contributed to the observation profile and selecting the appropriate indicator for each skill.
- Print a hard copy of the completed Profile for each team member.
Step 3 – Track Skills for Each Student
- After completing the online Profile, select the skills that should be tracked for each student by checking the box next to Track Skill. Skills that are tracked for each student are most likely those identified by the team from the student’s Individual Education Plan (IEP).
- Each skill has the option to be tracked individually or in a group (subset).
Step 4 – Plan Assessments for Each Student
- Download the Student Planning Guide to assist in assessment selection for each student
- Tracked Skills provides a summary of assessments that should be taken to monitor performance on each identified skill
- The Suggested Monthly Plan incorporates pre- and post-assessments into a routine, monthly schedule
Navigating the GPS
Toggle Between Students
To toggle between students at any area of the GPS, simply expand the Student list and select a student. This is a quick and simple way to access reports and run assessments without completely navigating back out of the website.
Each student has a dashboard containing relevant information for running reports and administering tests.
- Introducing Me allows a teacher to edit and view student information including information about the student's family, living situation and personal preferences.
- Observational Profiles allows teachers to evaluate student skills in areas such as transition readiness, self-help skills and learning. Select “Create New Profile” or view the PDF guide for more information on the available Observational Profiles.
- Student Summary Report gives an overview of a student’s assessments within Unique Learning System GPS for the current year. The report gives a bird’s-eye view of a student’s current scores in the assessment areas of Profiles, Benchmark Assessments, Core Rubrics and Monthly Checkpoints.
- Individual Tracked Skills is used to track skills that can be used for completing an IEP and monitoring individual performance. Skills will be added to Individual Tracked Skills as you complete profiles and select skills to track. For a complete overview of tracking skills, visit our knowledge base article.
- Benchmarks in the GPS are modified performance tools that provide data on selected skill areas. Teachers may select the areas of assessments that are appropriate for an individual student. Baseline data is generated from each assessment that can be compared to monitor growth over a period of time.
- Monthly Checkpoints are designed as a pre- and post-assessment of skills presented in each monthly unit.
- Core Rubrics in Unique Learning System® address the transition readiness skill areas of employability, communication, self-advocacy and social strategies.
- Transition Planning is designed as a data collection center for Middle School, High School and Transition students.
- Configure Student View will allow teachers to set certain elements of the Student View to allow students to have a personalized experience.
Student Planning Guide
- When the assessments should be administered throughout the school year
- Which assessments will be administered
- Any goals and objectives that are related specifically to the student.
The Student Planning Guide is located inside each student's GPS area and is available to download in a PDF format.
GPS Assessment Design
Unique Learning System has developed an array of observational tools and formative and summative assessments to identify and monitor a student’s goals, preferences and abilities in relation to the instructional practices within the Unique Learning System curriculum framework. The educational team can continually measure, monitor and adjust instruction to assure the individual student is optimally participating and making adequate progress within the educational program.
The assessments in GPS are specifically designed for students with disabilities. They have been modified in order to accurately capture present level skills and guide improvement areas for instruction. Each assessment is designed to meet a specified skill, standard, and present level of the student. This design promotes the inclusion of ALL students in a standards-based curriculum that is supported by the appropriate assessments to measure student progress and success.
After completion of a Profile, each student is assigned a suggested differentiated level. This assignment helps guide the student’s instruction with the monthly unit materials and selection of assessments in the GPS. The assessments in GPS include those that meet the needs for the differentiated levels of students. The Monthly Checkpoints, for example, contain several assessments for Level 2 &3 students and one combined assessment for Level 1 students. The Early Emerging Rubrics and Benchmarking Assessments are also specifically designed for Level 1 students.
Each assessment in the GPS is supported by an administration guide that gives rationale and instruction for administering the assessment, the population of students the assessment serves, scoring of the assessment and a hard copy for assessing the student in an offline format if it serves the student’s needs. It is encouraged that the educational team read each of these guides to help drive the assessment of each individual student with a manner of fidelity.
In order to include all students in instructional activities and assessments, Unique Learning System encourages the use of recording active communication responses and specified levels of prompting to those who require this level of support. Typically, students who require the maximum level of support, or level 1 students, are guided by these best practices.
- Minimal Prompts: Student responds to natural cues during the story reading activity with only periodic direct verbal, physical or gestural prompts to demonstrate engagement or interaction.
- Moderate Prompts: Student responds to some natural cues with verbal, physical or gestural prompts required for active responses approximately 50 – 75% of the time.
- Full Prompting: Student demonstrates only minimal active responses during story reading without direct verbal, physical or gestural prompts for interaction.
- No Response: Student does not show any response or student refuses to respond, even with natural cues and/or physical, verbal or gestural prompts during a story-reading activity.
Active Communication Responses
The Early Emerging Rubrics are based on observational information when the student is engaged in identified learning tasks. Teachers should engage the student in the related activity and carefully observe and interpret the mode of expression used to respond. The results of the rubrics provide interpretative information on the level of active participation. This may include visual focus, motor action and/or direct vocalization.
Additional information on eliciting a recognizable response can be found in the Active Participation Guidelines that are located in the Teacher Reference Materials section of Unique Learning System.
- Visual focus: Does the student visually look at, glance at or make some type of eye contact with the partner or activity materials? Are these visual behaviors that can be increased with extended activities? Does the student show visual attention when you direct him or her to a picture or object (e.g., “Look at the picture of the elephant. That’s a big animal”)?
- Motor action: Is there movement of the head, the body or limbs that show a direct correlation to the activity? Does the student make motor movement on cues, such as, “Let’s turn the page and see what happens next”? Are there body reactions related to the context of the activity? Can these motor movements be recognized in other situations? Is this motor movement a response mode that can be trained for consistency? A smile is also considered a controlled motor movement.
- Direct vocalization: Does the student make non-verbal vocalizations that are directed toward the activity? Does the student make non-verbal vocalizations that are in response to the interaction with the partner during the activity? Are the vocalizations differentiated for different intents (e.g., pleasure, displeasure)? Can this vocalization be reinforced as a recognizable response in other situations?