Thought Leadership

Goalbook Significantly Improves Instructional Planning, Research Shows

Professors discover that using Goalbook helps teachers provide access to rigorous curriculum

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Steve Saul by
October 1, 2015

PALO ALTO, CALIFORNIA (Feb. 25, 2014) – When special education teachers write learning goals for their students, measurable details are important, but often hard to identi fy. According to a recent study by San Francisco State University (SFSU), Goalbook helps ensure a student’s Individualized Education Plan (IEP) is aligned to standards and differentiated according to the student’s unique needs.

Dr. Susan J. Courey, professor of special education at SFSU, along with faculty member Dr. Phyllis M.Tappe, conducted the study to help their student teachers develop more personalized learning goals for their students.

“Adopting Common Core standards is uniquely challenging for special education teachers. Our job is to identify learning objectives that meet each student’s needs while maintaining academic rigor,” said Courey. “A clearly defined IEP is so important to students with special needs, and actionable goals are a vital part of that plan.”

The professors developed a research-based rubric and evaluated the goals written by their students, assigning each a score on a 20-point scale. The goals developed using Goalbook as a resource scored an average of 17.5, compared to an average score of 5.0 for goals developed without Goalbook. In other words, goals written with the support of Goalbook contained two and a half times more information for planning and measuring an individual student’s success.

We thought Goalbook would have a positive effect, but the results were phenomenal. Providing teachers with supports that suggest ideas for dealing with ability gaps helped our student teachers to significantly improve their ability to differentiate instruction for all students

“We thought Goalbook would have a positive effect, but the results were phenomenal. Providing teachers with supports that suggest ideas for dealing with ability gaps helped our student teachers to significantly improve their ability to differentiate
instruction for all students” said Tappe. “The quality of resources, ease-of-use, and relation to state standards are the keys to Goalbook’s success.”

Goalbook’s online platform helps teachers design learning objectives aligned to research-based frameworks, including Universal Design for Learning, and provides a repertoire of instructional strategies aimed at providing all students access to the general curriculum.

“Research has proven over the decades that teachers are the most important school-based factor that impacts student learning,” said Daniel Jhin Yoo, co-founder and CEO of Goalbook. “However, the attrition rate for special education teachers
in our schools outpaces that of any other teaching professional. Goalbook is designed to empower special educators by supporting their critical work in designing personalized learning goals and scaffolding instruction so that all students can reach their full potential.”

“Goalbook is a unique resource,” affirms Courey. “It provides a rich collection of resources for teachers, assuring that all students have access to the general education curriculum, which will better equip them with the skills they need to succeed in college and their careers.”