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The Transition Assessment and Goal Generator. Jim Martin & Amber McConnell University of Oklahoma Zarrow Center. Thanks to IES and National Center for Special Education Research. TAGG Developed with a Grant from the National Center for Special Education Research and OU Zarrow Center Funds.

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the transition assessment and goal generator

The Transition Assessment and Goal Generator

Jim Martin & Amber McConnell

University of Oklahoma

Zarrow Center

thanks to ies and national center for special education research
Thanks to IES and National Center for Special Education Research

TAGG Developed with a Grant from the National Center for Special Education Research and OU Zarrow Center Funds

quality transition education produces greater outcomes
Quality Transition Education ProducesGreater Outcomes

Transition Education Begins With Transition Assessment

the tagg will assist student to answer this question
The TAGG Will Assist Student To Answer This Question
  • What do I need to learn now
    • To do the job I want after graduating from high school?
    • To learn where I want to further my education after graduating from high school?
  • Results will facilitate writing I-13 compliant IEP and transition planning discussions
tagg overview
TAGG Overview
  • Purpose
    • Assess non-academic skills associated with post-school employment and further education
    • To provide lists of student strengths, needs, a written summary, and annual transition goals matched to common core standards to facilitate writing I-13 compliant IEPs
  • Designed to Assess
    • Secondary-aged students with mild to moderate disabilities who plan to be competitively employed and/or enrolled in higher education after graduation, their educators, and parents
overview continued
Overview Continued
  • Versions
    • 3 versions: student, family, and professional
  • Format
    • On-line written English
      • May be printed and taken by hand, but item scores must be entered into website to produce results
      • In next few months TAGG versions in Spanish, Mandarin, and other languages will be added
      • Users may choose to listen to audio or watch ASL videos for each instruction and item
overview continued1
Overview Continued

Reading Levels

Professional 10.4

Family 5.7

Student 4.8

tagg results profile
TAGG Results Profile
  • The TAGG Will Provide Results to Copy and Paste Into IEP and To Use for Transition Planning Discussions
    • Graphic results profile by constructs
    • Written summary
    • Listing of strengths
    • Listing of needs
    • Annual transition goals matched to Common Core Standards
development of tagg items
Development of TAGG Items
  • TAGG items derived from research studies that identified behaviors of former high school students with disabilities engaged in post-high school employment and/or further education
  • The research team initially used the research studies to develop
    • 10 construct definitions
    • Items developed from constructs
  • 15 or so iterative TAGG versions were created before testing began
initial structure ten initial constructs
Initial Structure: Ten Initial Constructs

Knowledge of strengths and limitations

Actions related to strengths and limitations

Disability awareness


Goal setting and attainment


Proactive involvement



Utilization of resources

first effort to establish tagg structure
First Effort to Establish TAGG Structure
  • Users from multiple states completed the initial test-version TAGG
    • 349 high school students with disabilities
    • 271 family members
    • 39 professionals
  • Applied various factor analyses statistics
  • Went from 10 constructs to 8
  • Went from 75 items to 34
  • Construct structure confirmed by two more year-long studies
professional and family constructs after fa
Professional and Family Constructs After FA


Strengths and Limitation

Disability Awareness


Interacting with Others

Goal Setting and Attainment


Student Involvement in IEP

Support Community


Actions Related to Strengths and Limitation

Utilization of Resources

TAGG-P: (c2=1043.62, df=499, RMSEA=.058, CFI=.92, TLI=.91, RMSR=.0597)

TAGG-F:(c2=862.74, df=499, RMSEA=.057, CFI=.91, TLI=.90, RMSR=.058)

student version constructs after fa
Student Version Constructs After FA

After FA Constructs

Strengths and Limitations & Support Community

Disability Awareness


Student Involvement in IEP

Interacting with Others

Goal Setting and Attainment


Dropped Constructs

Actions Related to Strengths and Limitation

Utilization of Resources

Combined Constructs

Strengths and Limitations

Support Community

TAGG-S: (c2=819.00, df=505, RMSEA=.047, CFI=.89, TLI=.88, RMSR=.064)

final tagg constructs
Final TAGG Constructs

Eight Constructs Defined: See TAGG Fact Sheet

strengths and limitations
Strengths and Limitations
  • Express personal strengths
  • Describe personal limitations
  • Explain academic situations where assistance is needed
  • Describe academic situations where success is experienced
disability awareness
Disability Awareness
  • Report accurate information regarding one’s own disability
  • Express types of accommodations needed for success
  • View a disability as only one aspect of life
  • Explain the special education services that one receives to others
  • Understand the importance of putting forth continued effort in school
  • Work toward a goal until it is accomplished
  • Utilize multiple strategies to stay on task
  • Continue to work toward a goal after facing adversity
interacting with others
Interacting with Others
  • Maintain at least one good friend
  • Successfully participate in small groups to complete projects
  • Successfully participate in community organizations such as sport clubs and social groups
  • Successfully interact with peers, teachers, and other adults
goal setting and attainment
Goal Setting and Attainment
  • Participate in the systematic learning of goal setting and attainment
  • Understand of the importance of setting and striving for goals
  • Set post-school goals that match skills and interests
  • Attain at least one transition goal
  • Express the desire for a job that matches career interests
  • Demonstrate job readiness skills, such as being on time, completing work as assigned, and working cooperatively
  • Successfully participate in a career technology or job-training program
  • Obtain a paid job
student involvement in the iep
Student Involvement in the IEP
  • Identify effective and ineffective accommodations
  • Request additional accommodations when encountered with one that is ineffective
  • Discuss post-school goals with the IEP team
  • Actively lead one’s IEP meeting
support community
Support Community
  • Recognize the difference between individuals who provide a positive source of support from those who do not
  • Identify situations when positive support people are needed
  • Use help from positive support people only when needed and necessary
  • Maintain a support network by showing appreciation or reciprocity
summary of psychometric findings
Summary of Psychometric Findings

See TAGG Technical Manual Available at OU’s Zarrow Center TAGG web site for more information and updates as more validity evidence becomes available.

internal reliability
Internal Reliability
  • Generally a score between .7 and .8 is considered “good”
    • Each TAGG version has great overall internal consistency and satisfactory subscale consistency (ranging from α =. 89 to α =. 95)
  • TAGG Internal Reliability Measures are . . .
test retest reliability
Test-Retest Reliability
  • Scores of .7 or higher represent good or satisfactory test-retest reliability
    • 14 weeks after the first TAGG was completed, same users completed the TAGG again.
    • A large correlation was found between the first and the second administration
      • .80 for professional TAGG
      • .70 for family TAGG
      • .70 for student TAGG
  • The TAGG has what type of test-retest reliability . . . . .
measurement invariance
Measurement Invariance
  • The three TAGG versions are appropriate for students regardless of:
    • Students’ time in general education classes
    • Number of transition education classes completed
    • High School grade level
    • Disability category
  • This means
    • TAGG results do not need to be adjusted for the above factors
    • TAGG users believe TAGG items are of equal value
fairness validity evidence gender
Fairness Validity Evidence: Gender
  • Do differences exist by gender?
    • No overall difference by gender on TAGG-P, TAGG- F, or TAGG-S
    • Some construct differences exist across all versions. For Instance:
      • On TAGG-S, females rated themselves higher on student involvement than males
fairness validity evidence disability category
Fairness Validity Evidence: Disability Category
  • Do differences exist by disability category?
    • No overall significance difference by disability category
      • Due to sample size, only students with Emotional Disturbance, Intellectual Disabilities, Autism, Specific Learning Disabilities, and Other Health Impairments were included in this analysis.
    • In general, students with ED and Autism scored lower on the three TAGG versions than students who had SLD or OHI disability categories.
      • In general, students who had SLD scored the highest on the vast majority of constructs on all three TAGG versions.
fairness validity evidence ses effect
Fairness Validity Evidence: SES Effect
  • Free/reduced lunch eligibility
      • No significant differences for construct scores on TAGG-P or TAGG-S. Only small differences for TAGG-F scores.
  • Family employment
      • No significant differences for construct scores
  • Family education
      • Significant differences due to family education were found on the TAGG-F scores.
      • Almost all of the differences occurred between students whose family member was at the highest level of education (Master’s/Ph.D./other professional degree) and those at the lowest level of education (less than HS).
how close are students professionals and family tagg scores
How Close Are Students, Professionals, and Family TAGG Scores?
  • How closely do the different TAGG versions assess the same student?
    • Medium correlations across Parent, Educator, and Student versions when assessing the same student.
    • This is considered excellent for this type of assessment
concurrent validity studies
Concurrent Validity Studies
  • How Close Do the TAGG and AIR Self-Determination Assessment Match?
    • Medium Correlation
  • This implies the TAGG addresses some self-determination skills and assesses other skills, too.
    • What we would want in a concurrent validity study.
scoring using irt
Scoring Using IRT

Item Response Theory

advantages to u sing irt
Advantages to Using IRT
  • Advantages of IRT include
    • The ability to scale different item types
    • Provides a common metric for scales with different number of items
    • Weights items differentially by their validity for assessing the construct of interest
we used a four step irt algorithm
We Used a Four-Step IRT Algorithm

Placed each scale onto a common score metric

Projected item characteristics (e.g. item difficulty) onto the scale score metric

Conducted a within-student comparison of scale scores across constructs to determine relative strengths and weaknesses

Conducted a within-construct comparison of a student’s scale score to item responses (e.g. difficulty) to generate appropriate goals for identified weaknesses

stanine scores
Stanine Scores

The stanine transformation places scale scores into one of nine categories.

Each of the nine categories has a width corresponding to a half of a standard deviation on the normal curve, with the mean lying at the center of the stanine scores (i.e., score of 5)

scale score to stanine conversion for reporting purposes
Scale Score to Stanine Conversion for Reporting Purposes

Students placing in the green area are in the average range

overall score
Overall Score

The overall scale score is a weighted combination of all items

more to come
More To Come
  • Now Conducting a second round of follow-up studies of former high school students with disabilities who took the TAGG
  • We will determine the relations between their high school TAGG profile and post-school outcomes
    • This will predict constructs associated with positive employment or further education outcomes
  • Results will be included into the TAGG profile to prioritize importance to skills that once learned will be most likely associated with positive post-school outcomes
final tagg details
Final TAGG Details
  • Minimal Cost
    • $3 per set (Professional, Student, Family versions)
    • Pay with Purchase Order or Credit Card
    • All funds handled by the OU Office of Technology Development
  • TAGG profiles saved for 7 years
  • Data kept on OU high-speed secure cloud servers
  • Purchased credits may be transferred to other registered TAGG users
  • Unused credits refunded for one-year after purchase
tagg location
TAGG Location
  • The OU Zarrow Center’s Web Page

  • The TAGG Section of the ZC Web Page

sample tagg screen shots
Sample TAGG Screen Shots

The On-Line TAGG and Result Profile

summary statement for iep
Summary Statement for IEP

Chad Bailey’s skills were assessed using the TAGG, a norm-referenced assessment with research-based items known to be associated with post-school employment and education. Compared to similar students, Chad’s scores are average. Results indicate greatest strengths are in the areas of Goal Setting and Attainment. Chad’s relative strengths include Disability Awareness and Student Involvement in the IEP. Greatest needs are in the area of Strengths and Limitations, with Employment being a relative need.

suggested annual transition goals
Suggested Annual Transition Goals

To prepare for success in employment, the student will write an essay describing three situations where the student used his or her strengths with 90% grammar and context accuracy by the end of the essay writing unit.

contact us at
Contact Us At

Dr. Jim Martin

Dr. Amber McConnell

(405) 325-8951