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GGG News & Updates (last revised 7.2.12)

Frequently Asked Questions

General | Individual Growth and Development Indicators | Administration & Scoring | Using the Website Tools | Registration & Log in | Privacy & Security


Is there a brochure that school folks could read to help them easily understand the assessment system?

See the Get It! section on background information about IGDIs and the Go! section main page for information about interpreting results.

For up-to-date content and brochures on commercially available products and services, please visit myIGDIs.com. 

Do I have to pay to use the tools and services available through this web site?

No, there is no fee for using any of the tools or services available through this web site. However, please note that there will be little further development and improvement of this website; for future developments and improvements, please contact our commercial partner, Early Learning Labs, Inc.

Where can I order color laminated IGDI cards and how much do they cost?

Early Learning Labs, our commercial partner, provides professionally printed and packaged materials through their website at myIGDIs.com. The cost is $175 per kit.

Are there Spanish IGDI cards?

If you are interested in learning more about Spanish IGDIs, please contact Alisha Wackerle-Hollman at the University of Minnesota at wacke020@umn.edu.

Is there a screening tool for math?

For information on a progress monitoring tool for early numeracy, please email Robin Hojnoski of Lehigh University at roh206@lehigh.edu.

Why can't I access all areas of the site?

Certain features can only be accessed by registered users who have a valid ID and Password. To register, click "Register" at the top of the screen.

Where can I find a general overview of this web site, telling me what I will find as I explore the site?

View the sitemap.

What should I do if I get an error message saying "The page cannot be found?"

From the View menu in your Web browser, choose Refresh (or Reload). This may fix the problem.

Where do I get the Adobe Acrobat Reader?

Get your free copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader at http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep.html.

Whom can I contact if I have questions and I can't find answers on this web site?

If you cannot find the answer to your question in this Frequently Asked Questions section, contact us at ggg@umn.edu.

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Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs)

What are Individual Growth and Development Indicators?

Individual Growth and Development Indicators (or IGDIs) are quick, efficient, and repeatable measures of components of developmental performance. IGDIs sample child performance in major developmental domains (i.e., language, social, cognitive, motor, and adaptive), with a special emphasis on assessment related to long-term developmental outcomes that are common across the early childhood years, are functional, and are related to later competence in home, school, and community settings. These indicators let you measure young children's growth over time toward important developmental outcomes rather than just their skill level at one point in time.

How are IGDIs different from other measures of early literacy?

IGDIs are different from other assessment systems in early childhood because they: Identify children at risk (e.g., tell us when to do something), evaluate the effectiveness of intervention (e.g., tell us if a child is making progress during an intervention), and can be used repeatedly over short periods of time.

What is the difference between DIBELS and IGDIs?

DIBELS and IGDIs are similar in many respects. They are both tools to monitor the progress of beginning reading development. However, one difference is that DIBELS are for older children as they are intended to be used with children in kindergarten and older grades, while IGDIs were designed to be used with preschoolers, ages three to five years old. In addition, another difference is the specific nature of the tasks. However, conceptually and functionally they are very similar.

Are there IGDIs related to motor skills?

Yes. IGDIs for gross motor development for infants/toddlers and preschoolers have been developed. Visit the Movement IGDIs project page for more information and/or contact Carol Leitschuh at the University of Minnesota, Department of Kinesiology, at leitschu@umn.edu.

How many states in the United States are using IGDIs to promote and record developmental growth of preschoolers?

Many Early Reading First programs across the country are utilizing the Get It, Got It, Go! web site. New Mexico, Ohio, and Minneapolis Public Schools have used IGDIs as part of their screening and progress monitoring since 2001 and each year reach over 3000 entering kindergarten.

Where can I learn more about general outcome measurement and progress monitoring of young children's developmental growth across time?

Go to the What's here? page to find links to technical reports, manuscripts, and presentations.

How can I obtain a copy of the IGDI early language and literacy assessments that are not on the site (e.g., letter naming, others)?

We do not have a letter naming IGDI developed as part of our measurement tools. We are not familiar with any other IGDIs for three- to five-year-olds that are available for dissemination, meaning having adequate psychometric properties.

Can you direct me to publications and/or send me information as to how the GGG program has been used across the country?

We are in the process of compiling this information. As of 5/12/08 there are:

13,587 registered users
101,825 individual students for whom data is recorded
This includes data collected on every child in every state of the US, representing 4,363 different school districts.

There is a bibliography of current publications.

As of yet, no articles have been published on GGG but a recent chapter by McConnell and Missal discusses its use:

McConnell, S.R., & Missal, K.N. (in press). Best practices in monitoring progress for preschool children. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (Vol. 2). Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists.

How do I reference IGDIs in citation format?

Early Childhood Research Institute on Measuring Growth and Development (1998). Research and development of individual growth and development indicators for children between birth and age eight (Tech. Rep. No. 4), Minneapolis, MN: Center for Early Education and Development, University of Minnesota.

How do I reference the Get It Got It Go! web site?

Get It, Got It, Go! web site (n.d.). Retrieved [insert date] from http://ggg.umn.edu.

Who can administer IGDIs?

Data collection and management can be conducted by psychologists or others with advanced training in child assessment, teachers, paraprofessionals, volunteers, or others.

With which children can I use Individual Growth and Development Indicators (IGDIs)?

Preschool IGDIs are intended for children between the chronological ages of 30 months and 6 years of age

Early elementary IGDIs are intended for children between the ages of 5 and 8 years, or roughly from prior to kindergarten entry through the end of second grade.

IGDIs should be used in instances where psychologists, teachers, and other program staff want to measure, record, and act on information about young children’s rate of growth and development toward long-term, developmentally important goals. This assessment may be completed to monitor children not receiving specialized intervention, to identify children who might benefit from such intervention, and to monitor the effects of such intervention. IGDIs can be employed in regular early childhood programs with a stable cadre of enrolled students, or in community-based programs where children are seen more periodically by educational or other child service professionals.

Is there an age cut-off for using IGDIs?

There is not a specific cut-off for the IGDIs; children up to 72 months of age are in the dataset and functionally the tasks will work with older kids. If the preschooler is developing typically, you may find that scores do not grow much. If, on the other hand, the child is receiving special intervention, the measures may still be appropriate.

Are there benchmarks/norms to use for the IGDIs?

There are not national norms per se for the IGDIs. Some districts/programs compute their own local norms, others use norms that are from other large districts.

Minneapolis Public Schools, for example, has found that the average score for children entering kindergarten (i.e., five- to six-year-olds) for rhyming is 7, for picture naming is 25, and for alliteration is 5. Depending on your population, you could use the Minneapolis numbers as benchmarks or you can compute your own. The Minneapolis information includes a total group norm as well as breakouts by ethnic groups, including Spanish.

Are there norms available with which to compare our students? The students we have access to are special education or at risk students - we won't know typical performance for non-handicapped preschool children.

Once child data is entered into the system, our online tools do generate graphical reports that plot the child's trend line* for a given test and an aim line that is based on a study group of typically developing children. In this way, you can visualize how well a child is progressing compared to typically developing children. Because the assessments are sensitive to monitoring the growth of individual children over time, you should choose goals according to the individual needs of a child. This lets you adapt interventions to the individual child based on your knowledge of environmental and other factors.
*A student must have at least three data points to create a graphical report.

How were pictures chosen for the Rhyming, Picture Naming, and Alliteration test?

Procedurally, measures were selected based on analyses of general outcomes measurement, past research on general and/or cross-age measures of development, clinical judgment, and a focused series of hypothesis-generating and testing efforts (i.e., define a measure, apply the measure on a select number of cases, examine distributions and reliability coefficients, revise and/or expand test).

On some occasions children point at the correct answer but then call it something else (e.g., child points to hen [correct answer - rhymes with pen] and says "chicken"). Technically the child answered correctly but by naming the item differently, it leads us to believe that their answer was a lucky guess and that they do not necessarily understand the task. How should we score this?

We advise that if a child either gives the incorrect word while pointing to the correct respond or points at an incorrect picture but says the correct response that you prompt him/her to respond again.

So if the child said "hen" but pointed to "pig" which was next to it, you would say "Which one rhymes with 'pen'"? Hopefully this will alert the child to the fact that he had pointed to the wrong picture. If not and he points again to pig and says "hen," give him the point as one correct because he is hearing the phoneme correctly. His error in pointing may be motoric or due to the fact the he does not actually know what a hen looks like, even though he can recognize that hen and pen sound the same. The images are simply meant to be visual cues representing the sounds of the words they represent. The test is looking at the ability to recognize phonemes, not images.

Is there a criteria of placing students in intensive or strategic for progress monitoring?

We have informal standards at this point--usually, the "aim line" calculated from observed growth of children without known risks. A more focused, and validated, basis for placing students into tiers of service (within an RtI model) is the direct focus of our work right now on a new IES-funded project, the Center for Response to Intervention in Early Childhood. We hope to have these new and improved criteria in place by Spring 2009.

How can I find out about ways to serve a child (or children) better in my classroom if a child's developmental progress over time, as measured by the IGDIs, does not meet expectations?

IGDIs can be used for a variety of purposes in child-serving programs:
1. Screening and other normative comparisons of children in the general population, or those served in a program or classroom;
2. Identification of need for intervention (or change in intervention), and/or selection of individual children for intervention;
3. Evaluation of effects of intervention; and
4. Program evaluation efforts.

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Using the Website Tools

How do I delete students?

Manually delete students by clicking on "View my Students<' select the student, and choose Delete.

I cannot run a report for a specific date range. I just want the child's most recent score. It says that I have to have two scores.

In order for the graphs to work, you need to have at least two data points. With less than two data points, a line cannot be drawn.

I accidentally entered picture naming scores in the alliteration score boxes and can't get back to a window where I can delete the incorrect scores and replace them with correct scores. All I get is the error message that only one score per day can be entered and that the original score must be deleted first.

Choose to View/Manage your groups.
For the group you incorrectly added scores for, choose List in the action column.
There is no process to delete scores by group, thus for each student you will need to choose "View."
Choose to delete the score for the date that you entered the information incorrectly. (You will need to do this for each student.)
Then add the scores to the group for the correct test.

What is the purpose of upbatch?

The idea is to allow a teacher or program to add a set of scores (for instance, the November assessments for a full class) into the dataset. The site program can provide an Excel spreadsheet that is already formatted for data entry, and then that spreadsheet is uploaded.

I am trying to do a batch upload of all of our students and all of their test dates are over the past three years. How do I add more than one date to the batch upload?

You should be able to upload numerous data points per student. Just use a separate row per administration date for each student.

How do I change the classroom location within our center for a student?

To do this, transfer the student to another group (different class), which is done in the View/Manage My Groups tab.

I am an administrator and would like to look at the data from all the early childhood classes. Is there a way my teachers can give me administrative rights so that I may access all the preschool data in my district?

Teachers cannot give administrative access. However, they can send you their user names and passwords and you can look at their data individually.

Is there a way to transfer the data when a student changes to a new class so the new teacher can still access previous data?

Click on "Transfer Student" from the main menu.  You will see a place to enter the new teacher's user name. The new teacher will need to be registered in the system.

Administration & Scoring

How do you recommend that teams become proficient in using this assessment system if there is no training available? Do we just practice?

We assume that all individuals using measures from this Web site will have basic familiarity and skill in administering standardized tests to young children. At a minimum, you should review WHY STANDARDIZED ADMINISTRATIONS MATTER on this website.

If necessary, you might ask a school psychologist, speech and language therapist, or other individual experienced in testing young children to talk with you about establishing rapport, setting limits, following standardized instructions (and timing rules), and providing feedback that doesn't communicate "right" and "wrong."

For each assessment, we provide administration instructions and an administration checklist that should be reviewed before practicing. Working in teams: one person acts as the administrator; another person (or an actual child) takes the role of the assessed; and another person observes and then provides feedback using the administration checklist as a guide.

It is important that people administering the assessments are familiar and comfortable with the procedures, AND know the correct responses. Correct responses are not indicated on the stimulus materials.

How often should I administer IGDIs?

In general, frequency of assessment will be determined by the sensitivity of the measure.

So what is the sensitivity? The sensitivity varies as a function of the measure, the age of kids, and the conditions of assessment. We know, for instance, that children's scores on picture naming grows about a half a picture a month for typically developing kids ages 3 to 5. We have run analyses for three- and four-year-olds in an Early Reading First classroom and observed rates of growth over 6 months were closer to .9 pictures per month (almost twice the "typical" rate of growth but starting from lower levels.

In short, if you have lower-performing kids who are receiving a rather intensive intervention that is related to the outcome measure, it is possible that large groups (>20) can be measured monthly and smaller groups or individuals every 6 to 8 weeks, or perhaps monthly.

To some extent, and depending on your analyses, you probably cannot measure "too often." If, for instance, you are providing intervention over several months and assessing progress monthly but the overall growth rate is less than one picture per month, you should still see growth over the full assessment period of several months. Of course, assessment is a burden, so you would want to make sure that you only assess as much as necessary.

Is there a recommended "best time" during a school year to administer IGDIs to preschool-aged children?

There is no recommended best time. Primarily, IGDIs were developed to show growth in a skill over time. So it really does not matter WHEN you administer them, only that you administer them frequently (at least one time per month) over time (5 to 6 months).

I downloaded the stimulus pictures but seem to have overlooked the record form or protocol.

Registered users can generate recording forms for individual children or for groups. Upon registration, you have access to our free online management tools, including recording forms. Make sure that you log into the site to have access to the whole menu of choices. After logging in, one of the choices in the purple menu bar includes "Recording Forms" and the choices of generating individual or group recording forms.

How do I know if I should administer an assessment?

The assessments can be used repeatedly over short periods of time to Identify children at risk and to evaluate the effectiveness of interventions. In other words the assessments tell us when to do something (identify risk) and if a child is making progress (evaluate effectiveness).

In what order should tests be administered?

It is best practice to administer Picture Naming before Rhyming or Alliteration (Picture Naming is easiest, Rhyming is next easiest, and Alliteration most difficult).

Explain shuffling the cards and the timing.

Picture naming is a 1-minute timed test and alliteration and rhyming are 2 minutes each. The score is the number of cards named correctly in that time period. There will be cards left over--no child should get through the whole stack. Cards should be shuffled each time before administering to ensure that the cards are presented in a random order each time. You might also consider recording the number of incorrect responses as it can sometimes be useful to know if a child is fast and inaccurate vs. slow and accurate in their responses.

What do I do if a child asks me to help him or her during the test administration?

Remind the child to try his or her best and continue as fast as s/he can. If a child continues to ask for help, give some words of general encouragement and repeat that you cannot provide any assistance

How should the reinforcing statements be delivered during the test administration?

During the test administration, provide periodic positive reinforcement for effort and attention. For example, "You are really listening well!" or "Wow, you are doing a good job."

Do I include the sample cards in the test administration?

No, do not include any of the sample cards during the test administration.

What should I do to keep the child motivated in the task at hand?

During the test administration, provide periodic positive reinforcement for effort and attention.

If a child gets none correct (score of zero) on Picture Naming, should I administer additional tests?

No, stop administration and do not continue to Rhyming or Alliteration.

If a child gets none correct (score of zero) on Alliteration or Rhyming, should I administer additional tests?

Each Assessment has sample items and specific criteria for whether you should proceed to the test administration. See the administration instructions for the individual test.

What can I do to make sense of children's scores after I've downloaded IGDIs and administered them to these children?

IGDIs are intended to describe children’s growth and development over time, and thus to indicate when this progression is on-track toward some desired outcome, or when different or more intensive intervention is needed.

For more information on interpreting results, see the Go! page section called "What do the test scores mean?"

Is there a way to run district wide reports?

No there is not.

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Registration & Log in

What can I do if I forget my password?

We will e-mail you a new password if you answer your secret question correctly. Click here to get a new password. If you do not receive an emailed response, chances are that you incorrectly typed in your email address when you registered or the email address in your profile is different than your current email. If this is the case, please contact us at ggg@umn.edu and ask us to check on this and correct it for you.

Why isn't the user name I chose during registration acceptable?

The username you chose has already been taken.

Are there any guidelines for creating a password?

The most secure passwords have at least seven characters and contain at least one number and one letter. Do not use spaces or quotation marks.

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Privacy & Security

What do you do with the information that I give you?

Secondary Uses of Data are restricted to activities designed to improve G3 resources and services, or research activities conducted by the Developers or their designees, as reviewed and approved by appropriate Institutional Review Board(s). User and Child Profiles and Child Data for these secondary use will be available only to Developers or approved researchers, and no further distribution of these data will be permitted. All secondary use data will be kept private, and no individual will be identifiable in any report or publication resulting from these secondary uses. Whenever possible, secondary uses of G3 data will not include information that allows for individual identification.

Is my data safe?

User and Child Data will be maintained on secure servers at the University of Minnesota. Access to User Profiles and Child profiles and data will be password-protected, and restricted to those individuals identified by the User. No individual Profiles or Child Data will be released without the express request and/or permission of the User, except as required by law.

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