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Rubrics, Criteria, and Appropriate Features of Assessments

The role of assessments in ensuring sound implementation of the standards cannot be overestimated.  Clearly, universities need to use the new standards in a variety of ways to ensure that candidates are meeting all of them through the nature of coursework, practica, internships, and other special experiences that constitute a university program of study. Assessment approaches by necessity will be varied and multiple. Minimally the joint workgroup that developed the standandards suggests that all programs using the standards ask candidates to do a self-assessment of standards completion at the end of the program, and a portfolio that provides documentation of specific competencies developed. In addition, it is important that programs using the new standards emphasize annual faculty reviews and input from school districts who employ program graduates as well.

  1. Assessment at the program level in gifted education. The joint standards developed by CEC and NAGC are the basis for the program reports submitted by universities and for the reviews of the programs by the three-person review teams appointed by the professional societies. In terms of reports generated for NCATE-affiliated professional societies like CEC and NAGC, the assessment component of the program report focuses on the six to eight key assessments selected or developed to assess teacher candidate knowledge and skills. Because reviewers for professional societies will rate each standard as Met or Not Met, the key assessments should cover all standards. It is not necessary to have a key assessment for each standard; complex tasks and sophisticated rubrics can address more than one standard. Download a chart providing seven types of key assessments. Some assessments are commercially available, others can be found in the research literature in gifted education, and others are examples developed by preparation programs at specific institutions of higher education.
  2. Key features of exemplary assessment systems. The assessment systems designed for gifted education teacher preparation programs should incorporate several key features. These features include: alignment with the unit conceptual framework; state and professional society standards; assessments at admission, continuation, and completion points in the candidates' program; a timeline for collection, summary and analysis of the assessment data; a system for data management, storage, and display; evidence of assessment used for program improvement; and the selection of assessments that are fair, accurate, consistent, and free of bias. More specifically, an assessment system does not rely on a single faculty member. The development of an assessment plan is best accomplished collaboratively among faculty and across disciplines as well as specifically within the discipline. The collaboration could be around a common task.

The assessment plan should include assessments at admission, continuation, and completion points in a candidates' program. For example, admission assessments might be grade point averages, a valid teaching license, or an interview with faculty. The continuation assessments could be work samples associated with specific courses, such as the case analysis, the differentiated curriculum unit, a classroom observation, or an assessment spanning several courses, such as an interim grade point average or an interim portfolio. The completion assessments might include comprehensive examinations, a candidate portfolio, or an exit survey.

In addition to assessments spanning the progress of a candidate through the program, an assessment system also requires data management, storage, and reporting. To accomplish multiple years of data collection and analysis, the assessment system will be electronic and have the capacity to aggregate data and produce reports of candidate performance.


Download Types of Key Assessments

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