3 Types of Data Collection Needed for Small Groups

Let's be real, data collection can be daunting. When I was in my graduate program I despised data collection, I did not like a single thing about it. It wasn't until I became a school counselor and I started collecting data to see the effectiveness of my small groups that I found it to be gratifying. I learned to love data collection and you can too!

Types of Data

Process Data: This data may seem like it is not as important as the others types because it is descriptive, but I assure you it is essential. The types of data that fall into this category is the number of students that participated in your group, when the group took place, and the frequency and duration of it.

Where can you get the information needed for this data?

  • Program Goals: Think about your program, what are the SMART goals for your counseling department and school? This part can be overwhelming but I am here to tell you that you do not have to set a goal for all the categories, social-emotional, careers, and academic. every year. You can focus on one or two categories if that is what your school needs! When creating goals don't make more than five. It will keep your program focused and intentional. Use all the data that you collect through the other two types to help direct your goals.

Perception Data: This type of data is important because this answers how and if the school counselor's intervention made a difference, this data is coming from the lens of others. This is determined by the parents, staff, and the students.

Where can you get the information needed for this data?

  • Students: Pre/Post tests, data tracking sheets, and exit tickets.

  • Staff: Needs assessments and follow-up questionnaires after the small group ended on the student in their class. Are they seeing any change?

  • Parents: Needs assessment, questionnaires, and counseling logs of parents perceived growth.

Outcome Data: This is your evidence, your results. This is showing if your interventions have worked to reach your program goals, help close the achievement gap, and where you showed growth.

Where can you get the information needed for this data?

  • Behavior Reports: Has the group members discipline logs decreased?

  • Grades: Have the grades of the group members improved?

  • Attendance: How was their attendance for the school year and for group?

  • Counseling Referrals: Has the referrals for the group members decreased?

For more help organizing your data and creating program goals, check out my electronic curriculum mapping.