Data Collection - Masking Tape

Masking tape can be placed on the leg for an on-the-move solution to taking data.

When to use: 

  • Use to track student behaviors or skills. 
  • Use for behaviors that happen throughout the day. 
  • Best for taking data on how often a behavior happens (known as frequency data). 

How to use: 

  1. Identify a target behavior and place a strip of masking tape on a clipboard or your thigh. For marking, use a pen or a felt tip marker. 
  2. Each time you observe the student engaging in the behavior, draw one tally on your masking tape. 
  3. At the end of the observation, count the total number of marks on your tape, and write that number on the data collection sheet of your choosing, or simply peel the tape off and place it on the data collection sheet for the time being. 


  • Use more than one strip of tape and label each with student initials when data is being taken on a single behavior for more than one student at a time. For example, you might track how often each of your students initiates a conversation with a peer during a social skills group. 
  • Multiple strips of tape can also be used to track multiple behaviors for a single student during an observation period. Some examples of this are a.) tracking both positive and unwanted behaviors at the same time or b.) tracking both shouting and hand flapping.