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Preconference Workshop Hones Educators’ Skills, Understanding of Rubrics

On March 1, approximately 45 educators participated in an AACTE preconference workshop (in advance of the 69th Annual Meeting in Tampa) designed to help them gain knowledge and skills related to accountability, continuous improvement, and quality assurance in their educator programs. Back by popular demand from the 2016 Annual Meeting, the session, “Rubrics, and Validity, and Reliability: Oh My!” was organized and led by members of AACTE’s Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability.

Over the course of 4 hours, participants reflected on how they are meeting expectations regarding the assessment of teacher candidate performance, compared and contrasted their assessment approaches with participants from other institutions, and considered the impact their candidates are having on PK-12 student learning. In small groups, attendees engaged in hands-on activities introducing them to the rationale for using rubrics, developing and implementing strong holistic and analytical rubrics, ensuring that rubrics provide for the collection of reliable and valid information related to targeted tasks, and increasing understanding about the importance of this work in the context of accountability.

While some of the participants were fairly new to the use of rubrics to measure important tasks and constructs, others brought a wealth of experience as a function of their roles as assessment coordinators or accreditation specialists. This heterogeneity of experience added much texture to the table conversations and activities.

The preconference workshop offered some of the same interactive format and responsive guidance found in AACTE’s Quality Support Center programming supported by our committee. To help advance professional consensus and build institutional capacity around standards, assessment, and practice in educator preparation, we advise on the design and implementation of technical assistance in various formats, including the preconference workshop as well as –

  • Quality Support Workshops: These regional events inform and support local efforts around quality assurance needs in educator preparation. This year, AACTE will bring these workshops to Texas in April, Minnesota in August, and Washington State in November. Learn more here.
  • Online Professional Seminars: These 3- to 4-week-long, free online courses offered on the social-learning platform FutureLearn introduce participants to assessment, accreditation, and continuous improvement of programs. Learn more here.
  • Quality Support Consultants: Through the online courses and other customized training, AACTE is cultivating consultants for the field to call upon to support their work around assessment, accreditation, and program evaluation. More information on the consultant program is coming soon!

Want to join our committee or another AACTE standing committee? The annual AACTE call for volunteers is open now through May 8.

Members of the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability who led the preconference workshop in Tampa are Mark Meyers (chair), Xavier University (OH); George Drake, Millersville University of Pennsylvania; Pat Hoffman-Miller, Prairie View A&M University (TX); Debbie Rickey, Grand Canyon University (AZ); and Jill Shedd, Indiana University.

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