We assess learning objectives through types of data on the performance of candidates in the program: Objective Tests, Application Assignments, Portfolios (from practica and student teaching), and Observations of teaching. In addition, we collect, analyze, and use student evaluations of the program.
- Objective Tests: Measure students' acquisition of factual knowledge and rudimentary application of concepts and skills. Examples of objective tests include multiple choice and short answer tests, fluency timings, and lesson segments for teaching specific content. All course syllabi provide a matrix of how the CEC Preparation Standards (subset of specialty standards) are incorporated and assessed within each course.
- Application Assignments: Class assignments in which students perform a specific task that is required in professional settings. The task may be simulated in class such as teaching role plays, or may require conducting the actual task in their practica, e.g., eligibility assessment (CEC Preparation Standard 4), mathematics curriculum based assessment (CEC Preparation Standard 4 and 5), behavior change project (CEC Preparation Standard 2), or functional behavior analysis project (CEC Preparation Standard 2). Application Assignments are practiced in coursework with support and feedback and then completed again more independently in student teaching and documented by the student teaching portfolio.
- Practicum Portfolios: Practicum portfolios are semester long projects in which students demonstrate competence in individual areas as well as integration across areas. For example, in the Mild/Moderate Math Notebook/Portfolio, students demonstrate competence in the individual areas of standardized assessment, curriculum-based assessment, writing IEP goals, writing daily lesson plans, and analyzing data based on pupil performance. Assignments are aligned with CEC Initial Preparation Standards.
- Student Teaching Portfolio: The Student Teaching Portfolio is comprised of six areas that align with CEC/INTASC National Standards:
- Philosophy of Education,
- Comprehensive Educational Assessment (Administration of a Standardized Test, Administration of Curriculum-Based Assessment, Behavioral Observation, IEP Development),
- Instructional Planning,
- Functional Behavior Assessment, (includes behavior change recommendations),
- Professional Interactions (Training of Professional or Other Staff, Consulting/Collaboration with Teachers, and Consulting with Parents) and
- Assistive Technology.
- Observation Data: Data collected on the performance of candidates as they teach special education students in two practica (semester-long teaching experiences including approximately 5 hours per week delivering instruction) and student teaching (semester-long full day teaching experience). The student's University Supervisor and Cooperating Teacher each provide observation data in these experiences. These data are compiled using objective observation forms that evaluate the student's performance related to the CEC Preparation Standards.
- Student Evaluations of the Program: After completing all requirements, program graduates complete a comprehensive evaluation of the program.