Improving Systems, Practices and Outcomes

Outcomes Measurement: Topical COS Professional Development Activities

Background and Purpose

The DaSy/ECTA Child Outcomes Summary (COS) Process Online Module is designed to prepare early intervention (EI) and early childhood special education (ECSE) staff to use the COS process to describe how children are doing on the three child outcomes. We have created a collection of materials to supplement the information in the online module through additional topical activities and resources. The activities focus on aspects of the COS process with which providers most often need additional training and support.

Considerations

It is important to note that these materials are not stand-alone training activities. It is imperative that PD staff ensure those who participate in these training activities first complete the COS Process Online Module. ECTA staff are available to provide technical assistance to help PD staff consider how to use the materials presented on this page and determine strategies for individualizing training for specific audiences and formats. For assistance, please email ectacenter@unc.edu. Prior to selecting any activity, PD staff should ensure that the content is consistent with their state's COS policies and procedures and adapt, if necessary (e.g., add information about the state's COS policies and procedures).

Organization of the Materials

The materials on this page are organized into COS process topical sections. Each section includes activities (with instructions, handouts, and supplemental resources) that can be used to enhance EI and ECSE practitioners' understanding of a particular aspect of the COS process addressed in the online module. The activities in each section are classified for either an EI or ECSE audience, or both, but any activity may be adapted to present to both audiences together.

The following topics are included in the collection of training activities:

  • General COS Activities. Provides background information for those new to child outcomes measurement and/or the COS process.
  • Assessing Functional Skills. Focuses on how to gather and consider information about a child's functional skills in everyday settings and across daily activities/routines.
  • Age Anchoring. Addresses the process by which the COS team compares the child's functioning to age-expected development.
  • Using the 7-Point Scale. Reinforces an understanding of the criteria for each point on the COS 7-point rating scale.

General COS Activities

Activity Title Learning Objective EI, ECSE or Both Instructions, Handouts, & Supplemental Resources
Why Collect Child Outcomes Data? Participants will identify the various purposes and uses of child outcomes measurement. Both For trainer: For participants:
Understanding the Three Child Outcomes Participants will:
  • identify the content of the three child outcomes.
  • identify the difference between functional outcomes and discrete (or isolated) skills.
Both For trainer: For participants:
Assessing the Three Child Outcomes Participants will:
  • identify the differences between the evaluation process for eligibility purposes and functional assessment of the three outcome areas for program planning and accountability purposes.
  • identify how formal assessment instruments can be used in the context of assessing child outcomes.
Both For trainer: For participants:

Assessing Functional Skills

Activity Title Learning Objective EI, ECSE or Both Instructions, Handouts, & Supplemental Resources
Using Assessment Data in the COS Process: Jack's Narrative

Participants will demonstrate their ability to apply information from assessment of skills to the COS process, including identifying assessment information that is valuable to the process and information that is still needed about the child's functioning in an outcome area.

Activity time: 30 minutes
EI For trainer: For participants:
What are Functional Skills and Behaviors?

Participants will identify the difference between isolated (discrete) skills and functional skills to better understand and assess children's every day functioning.

Activity time: 30 minutes
Both For trainer: For participants:
Child Outcomes Instrument Crosswalks

Participants will review assessment tools and extract meaningful information from them for each of the three outcomes.

Activity time: 30 minutes
Both For trainer: For participants:
Authentic Assessment: Table Talk

Participants will examine their program's current practices related to authentic assessment.

Activity time: 30 minutes
Both For trainer: For participants:

Age Anchoring

Activity Title Learning Objective EI, ECSE or Both Instructions, Handouts, & Supplemental Resources
Age Anchoring Guidance for Determining Child Outcomes Summary (COS) Ratings

Participants will obtain answers to commonly asked questions about age anchoring children’s functional skills for the COS process and have access to examples of how the guidance applies in practice.

Both
Understanding Age-Expected Skills and Behaviors

Participants will age anchor skills and behaviors for a 30-month old using an age-expected child development resource/tool.

Activity time: 30 minutes
EI For trainer: For participants:
Age Anchoring Tyler's Skills and Behaviors (13 months)

Participants will demonstrate the ability to age anchor a 13-month-old child's skills and behaviors in the three outcome areas using video observations and age anchoring tools and resources.

Activity time: 20 minutes
EI For trainer: For participants:
Age Anchoring Nolan's Skills and Behaviors (36 months)

Participants will demonstrate the ability to age anchor a 36-month-old child's skills and behaviors in the three outcome areas using video observations and age anchoring tools and resources.

Activity time: 25 minutes
ECSE For trainer: For participants:

Using the 7-Point COS Scale

Activity Title Learning Objective EI, ECSE or Both Instructions, Handouts, & Supplemental Resources
Who Wants to be a 7-Point Rating Scale Millionaire?

Participants will demonstrate understanding of the criteria for ratings on the COS 7-point rating scale, including the definitions of age-expected, immediate foundational and foundational skills.

Activity time: 30 minutes
Both For trainer: For participants (optional):
7-point Rating Scale Jeopardy!

Participants will demonstrate understanding of the criteria for ratings on the COS 7-point rating scale.

Activity time: 15 minutes
Both For trainer: For participants (optional):
7-Point Rating Scale Face-Off

Participants will identify the rating on the COS 7-point rating scale that describe written examples of children's functioning.

Activity time: 30 minutes
EI For trainer: For participants:
Small Group COS Process Practice Activity (or Make Your Own COS Case Study)

Participants will practice team rating discussions based on information about actual children provided by other participants.

Both Handouts: Resource:
  • Individual State COSF form (if appropriate)

Frequently Used Resources

  • IDEAs that Work: Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

The ECTA Center is a program of the FPG Child Development Institute of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, funded through cooperative agreement number H326P170001 from the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. Opinions expressed herein do not necessarily represent the Department of Education's position or policy.

Project Officer: Julia Martin Eile     © 2012-2018 ECTA Center

  • UNC Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute