Posts Tagged ‘assessment’

Filling the QA Gaps: Get Started in Minneapolis

Update: The deadline for hotel reservations and discounted registration has been extended to July 25

As educators, we are taught to look for and then try to help “fix” any need or gap we might find in our students or institutions. That same attention can be found within our organization, where as a member of the AACTE Committee on Professional Preparation and Accountability, I know we have worked hard to ask fellow AACTE members about the gaps and needs you are experiencing in your departments and institutions.

We have heard – and keep hearing – that you want more information and training around all things associated with quality assurance and assessment, from rubrics to planning, analyzing data, and even how to help fellow faculty members recognize the need for change. In response, we have helped AACTE develop and provide programs where you can connect and learn from one another. Our committee has held annual preconference workshops on validity and reliability, which many of you have experienced. We’ve also given guidance and assistance with the development of the Association’s online professional seminars, and now we are deeply involved in planning and facilitating the regional Quality Support Workshops. With each of these, our goal has been to help fill you those gaps.

The Wisdom of Crowds: Collaborative Student Teaching Instrument Development

This report highlights the use of an AACTE State Chapter Support Grant by the Ohio Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (OACTE). The views expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect the views of AACTE.

Educator preparation providers (EPPs) in Ohio have a longstanding history of collaboration. The 51 public and private institutions embrace the philosophy of the “wisdom of crowds,” that is, the power of decisions made by groups through collective sharing of information and resources (see this 2005 book by James Surowiecki). One of our ongoing collaborative efforts is the “VARI-EPP” (Valid and Reliable Instruments for Educator Preparation Programs) project, which aims to develop assessment instruments for use by any EPP in the nation to empower them with valid, reliable, and comparable data that may be used for program improvement. These types of instruments also address the Council for the Accreditation of Educator Preparation (CAEP) call for accreditation evidence collected from instruments that have been analyzed for validity and reliability.

Learn to Use Data for Improvement in Online Course Starting July 17

Data, data everywhere – so now what do you do? When you are awash in student test scores, survey responses, or research results, how do you determine what they mean – and what actions to take as a result?

For a concise and engaging introduction to data sources, uses, and improvement processes, try AACTE’s online professional seminar Using Data to Improve Student Outcomes, opening July 17 for a 3-week run on the FutureLearn social-learning platform. It requires only 3 hours per week and costs nothing! (Or you may choose to upgrade your enrollment, for a fee, to participate in tests, obtain a completion certificate, and gain unlimited access to course materials in the future. A completion certificate is required if you plan to become an AACTE consultant.)

Arts Education Event Highlights Successful Programs, NAEP Results

Earlier this spring, I had the privilege of attending an event at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington, DC, for the release of results from last year’s National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) in music and visual arts (Nation’s Report Card – 2016 Arts). Speakers from around the country discussed results from the assessment, shared videos from various programs that incorporate art into academic study, and led a question and answer session on topics such as art’s impact on their students, skills teachers use to integrate art in other subjects, and community involvement.

The program opened with a video overview of the arts assessment, which is founded on the belief that the arts are essential to every child’s complete development, fostering growth and creativity, providing a strong foundation for a holistic education, and equipping students to navigate through work and life challenges. Overseen by the National Assessment Governing Board and based on an arts framework developed by a committee of artists, educators, and other experts, the NAEP Arts Assessment has been conducted just four times to date: in 1972 (music only) and 1975 (visual arts only), then together in 1997, 2008, and 2016. Rather than reporting on individual students’ performance, NAEP tracks performance by group – such as region, gender, race, and other categories.

AACTE Workshop Brings Quality Support to Texas

Last week, AACTE’s inaugural Quality Support Workshop drew dozens of faculty, administrators, assessment and accreditation coordinators, and other educators to Fort Worth, Texas, April 24-26 for interactive sessions and hands-on collaboration.

The event – the first in AACTE’s new series of regional workshops – opened Monday afternoon with a facilitated discussion of the topic “Quality Assurance in Education: What Should a Profession Expect?” AACTE’s Mark LaCelle-Peterson and Linda McKee led participants in considering what evidence they need to evaluate their students and programs, how they obtain this evidence, and how different measures combine to build a framework for quality assurance as well as continuous improvement.

New Survey Gauges Attitudes About Ethics in Educator Preparation

To understand more about attitudes toward professional ethics in preservice educator preparation, AACTE is collaborating with the National Council for the Advancement of Educator Ethics (NCAEE) to conduct a brief survey this spring. We invite you and your colleagues in both PK-12 and higher education to complete the survey by May 15, 2017.

This survey is intended to gather information regarding teacher educators’ beliefs about professional ethics as well as practices in educator ethics preparation across the nation. Responses will inform the future work of NCAEE, which was created following the 2015 release of the Model Code of Ethics for Educators (MCEE) by the National Association of State Directors of Teacher Education and Certification.

AACTE Kicks Off Regional Workshop Series for Quality Assurance Work

(April 24, 2017, Washington D.C.) – Today, the American Association of Colleges for Teacher Education (AACTE) launches its inaugural Quality Support Workshop in Fort Worth, Texas. The workshop, which runs through Wednesday, is the first in a new series of regional events focused on supporting teacher preparation providers to improve program quality. By providing a forum for educators to share experiences about program innovation and construct solutions to shared problems of practice, the Quality Support Workshops aim to meet the present-day needs of teacher educators.

Offered through the Association’s Quality Support Center, these workshops deliver professional development for assessment, accreditation, and documenting quality assurance in convenient sites around the country. Each event connects participants with specialists in facilitated, hands-on sessions where faculty can share strategies and develop customized, actionable plans for use in their home institutions.

Webinars Offer Overview, Resources for Integrating CKT in Elementary Teacher Prep

A pair of webinars last month offered an overview of how and why content knowledge for teaching (CKT) can be embedded in education course work, looking particularly at the preparation of elementary teachers in English/language arts (ELA) and mathematics. Recordings and slides from the webinars, which were presented by experts from TeachingWorks (University of Michigan) and the ETS® Educator Series (Educational Testing Service), are now available in the AACTE Resource Library: Click here for the ELA presentation and here for math.

Nicole Garcia and Sarah Scott Frank of TeachingWorks joined with Geoffrey Phelps and Heather Howell of ETS to present strategies to engage preservice teachers in real-life content problems they are likely to encounter in elementary classrooms. Rather than looking deeply at the teacher education curriculum or specific designs of programs or field experiences, the webinars sought to ease teacher educators into the concept of CKT and high-level considerations for preparation programs.

Nicole Garcia
Sarah Scott Frank
Geoffrey Phelps
Heather Howell


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.

Free Webinars This Month on Incorporating CKT in Elementary Teacher Prep

This month, AACTE will host free webinars on incorporating content knowledge for teaching (CKT) into education course work, presented by experts from TeachingWorks (University of Michigan) and ETS® Educator Series (Educational Testing Service). Please join us March 29 for a focus on elementary English/language arts CKT and/or March 30 for elementary mathematics.

In each hourlong event, you’ll hear about and discuss approaches that can be used to engage preservice teachers with the kinds of content problems they are likely to encounter during their work as a teacher, such as in –

Dive Into Assessment Data, Accreditation Standards, More at AACTE Workshop

Are you preparing for a CAEP accreditation visit? Wondering how to apply evidence from your candidates’ performance assessments to make sure your program prepares them for key practices? Or perhaps you’re looking for new ideas for recruiting and supporting a more diverse candidate pool? Find the guidance you need at an AACTE Quality Support Workshop!

In just over 6 weeks, AACTE will bring expert facilitators and a selection of workshop sessions to Fort Worth, Texas, April 24-26. We’ve just posted a detailed schedule with descriptions of session choices to help you plan your time effectively (download the PDF here).

JTE Author Interview: Fives and Barnes on Teaching Assessment Construction

Have you seen the JTE Insider blog managed by the Journal of Teacher Education (JTE) editorial team? Check out the latest author interview below.

This interview features insights from the JTE article, “Informed and Uninformed Naïve Assessment Constructors’ Strategies for Item Selection,” written by Helenrose Fives and Nicole Barnes of Montclair State University (NJ). The article is featured in the January/February 2017 issue of JTE; you can read the article by going to this link (and AACTE members have free access through this login link).


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