Problem Analysis:
Diagnostic Assessment
What do we know and need to know about the
problem?
What are some of the possible causes for the
problem and what are some predictions about
solutions?
What data are needed to confirm or disconfirm
possible causes?
What intervention or instruction matches the
identified needs
Structure of PS Model
Problem
Identification
Evaluating
Outcome
Problem
Validation
Student Success
Plan
Development
Problem Analysis
Why Analyze Problems?
Placement does not result in problem
solutions.
Disability labels lack any utility within
problem analysis.
Need to know alterable variables for
intervention before change can occur
What is Problem Analysis?
Process of determining alterable
variables in order to solve a problem.
Instruction
Curriculum
Environment
Link between a quality operational
definition (Problem Identification) and a
problem solution
Process to collect, summarize, and
use diagnostic data and information
to test, reject, or verify hypotheses
(why the problem is occurring) to
develop problem solutions (e.g.
interventions). (Christ, 2009).
 Christ, Theodore J. (2008). Best practices in Problem Analysis.
In A. Thomas and J. Grimes (Eds.), Best Practices in school
psychology V (pp. 159-176). Silver Spring, MD: National
Association of School Psychologists.
Matching everything known about
the problem, with our “best guess”
for a solution
Remember, same process for
CSIP, SINA, Iowa Prof. Dev.
Model, PDSA, etc.
Is what is causing the problem alterable?
 Causal Variables
 Maintaining Variables
 Focus on solutions in the present, don’t admire
the problems past and draw inefficient attention
to unalterable conditions of the past
 Non-alterable variable are only important to
discuss if they currently significantly impact
current variables.
Generating Hypothesis: Why is the
Problem Occurring?
 Low Inference
Preferred method of problem analysis
If you can observe it or teach it
Skills
Passes the stranger test
 High Inference
Less preferred method of problem analysis.
Labels, less alterable
Low-inference approach
Low-inference
High-inference
Johnny hits other kids during
recess…
because he lacks social skills
such as negotiating conflict.
because he has an oppositional
personality.
Caroline is unable to read at
grade level…
because she doesn’t know
vowel sounds and doesn’t
efficiently blend sounds when
decoding.
because she has deficits in
rapid automatic naming, which
indicates deficits in recall of
verbal information.
ICEL/RIOT
Best practice and approaches of
ICEL/RIOT are used to determine the
validity of a hypothesis for the purpose
of problem analysis
Multi method, multi domain and multi
source approach
ICEL
Instruction is how new behaviors or skills
are taught.
Curriculum is what behaviors or skills are
taught.
Environment is where the behaviors or
skills are taught.
Learner is to whom the behavior or skills
are taught.
Instruction
 selection and use of materials
 placement of students in materials
 Progress monitoring
 Clarity of instructions
 Communication of expectation & criteria for
success
 Direct instruction with explanation and cues
 Sequencing of lesson designs to promote
success
 Variety of practice activities
 Pace of presentation of new content
Curriculum/Content
 Long range direction for instruction
 Instructional philosophy/approaches
 Instructional materials
 Intent
 Stated outcomes for the course of study
 Arrangement of the content/instruction
 General learner criteria as identified in the
school improvement plan, LEA curriculum,
benchmarks, and Iowa Core
Environment









Physical arrangement of the room
Furniture/equipment
Rules
Management plans
Routines
Expectations
Peer context
Peer and family influence
Task pressure (e.g. Timed tests, Results posted, High
stakes testing, SLP-student with selective mutism)
Learner
Within the Student
Curriculum and instruction are appropriate
Positive environment
Student performance data
Academic
Social/Behavioral
Medical
RIOT
Review information already available.
Interviews are conducted with key
individuals who can determine the problem
and the relationships between task and
settings.
Observe in natural settings where problem
is most likely to be observed.
Test are a form of observation with rules to
evaluate correctness and or quality.
ASSESSMENT PROCEDURES/DATA SOURCES
DOMAINS
I
Instruction
C
Curriculum
E
R (Review)
I (Interview)
O (Observe)
Permanent products
e.g., written pieces, tests,
worksheets, projects
Teachers (about their
use of effective teaching
practices, e.g. checklists)
Effective teaching
practices
Teacher exp Student
performance
The discrepancy between
setting demands and
student performance
ectations
Antecedents, conditions,
consequences
Permanent products
e.g., books, worksheets,
materials, curriculum
guides, scope and
sequences.
District Standards and
Benchmarks
Teachers
Relevant LEA
personnel (regarding
philosophy, district
implementation and
expectations)
School Rules
Relevant LEA
personnel
Parents
Behavior management
plans e.g., class rules,
contingencies, class
routines
Interaction patterns
Environmental analysis
District Records
Health Records
Error analysis of
permanent products
Cum. Records
(educational history,
onset and duration of the
concern, teacher
perception of concern,
Relevant LEA
personnel
Parents
Students (What do they
think they are supposed
to do; how do they
perceive the concern?)
Target behaviors
Dimensions and nature of
the concern
Environment
L
Learner
T (Test)
Readability of texts
Student performance
The discrepancy
between setting
demands and student
performance
Activity 1: Review and Generate
Diagnostic Questions
Learning Targets
Know (awareness level) appropriate diagnostic
questions for literacy, mathematics, behavior,
motor, speech/language
Create a comprehensive list of diagnostic
questions in all areas
 Select an area in which you have
knowledge/interest.
 Participants will receive and review
diagnostic questions for each content
area (except EA/EC).
 They will generate additional diagnostic
questions on chart paper.
 Groups will rotate starting with 8 minutes,
7, 6, 5, 4, 3.
Activity 2: Explore Diagnostic
Assessment Tools
Learning Targets
Know what diagnostic tools are available
(R,I,O,T) to answer diagnostic questions
Provide information re: what assessment tools
are used, and at what level they are used
Learn about new assessment tools
Part 1: Review Assessment Tools
 Look at assessment tools presented in
each content area
 Teams will pick tools they have used and
have a discussion regarding what areas
they used it for.
 Write the assessment on the data sheet
 Tally the # of people in your group whom use
that tool
Part 2: Matching Questions & Tools
Think about/discuss the diagnostic
questions you just reviewed and how they
link to the assessments.
 Discussion may focus on how you used
the assessment to answer the diagnostic
question.
Stages of Concern Survey
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Problem Analysis