Assessment of Candidate Learning
The central mission of the MAED/Special Education program is to ensure candidates (i.e., students) graduate prepared to become effective special education teachers. To that end, candidates’ knowledge, skills, and dispositions are assessed at multiple points throughout the course of the program to determine how well they are meeting program, state and national standards. The assessment results provide both formative and summative feedback to candidates, faculty, and College of Education (COE) staff in order to inform continuous quality improvement.
MAED/Special Education Candidate Learning Outcomes
At the core of the MAED/Special Education program is a set of candidate learning outcomes. The outcomes listed below, which are aligned to standards of the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC), represent the essential knowledge, skills, and dispositions that successful candidates must demonstrate before completing the MAED/Special Education program and receiving a recommendation for licensure.
- Candidates will be able to demonstrate knowledge of multi-discipline content and content-related pedagogy.
- Candidates will be able to demonstrate an understanding of the learning process as well as the effect of cognitive, behavioral, communication, sensory, and physical characteristics on student learning.
- Candidates will be able to design instructional activities that are appropriate for groups and individual students, and that reflect individual learning styles and processing abilities.
- Candidates will be able to use a variety of formal and informal strategies and tools to assess student needs and progress.
- Candidates will be able to effectively organize and manage tasks for individuals and groups.
- Candidates will be able to establish a learning community that is safe, accessible, warm, and caring.
- Candidates will be able to design instructional activities that accurately represent desired instructional outcomes.
- Candidates will be able to modify lessons, instruction, assessments, and teaching style to accommodate the needs of diverse learners.
- Candidates will be able to demonstrate professionalism and effective communication skills in the classroom, with colleagues, and with parents and community members.
- Candidates will be able to reflect on their own practice and the effectiveness of instructional and assessment techniques.
- Candidates will be able to understand social, ethical, legal, and human issues in education and applies those principles in practice.
Education Program Assessments - MAED/Special Education
The Master of Arts in Education/Special Education program assesses candidate learning outcomes using multiple methods of direct assessments including comprehensive assignments in capstone courses, a culminating field experience (student teaching), and core benchmark assignments that align to specific candidate learning outcomes. Below is a brief description of some of the key activities used to assess candidate learning.
These are standardized course-embedded assignments that assess specific candidate learning outcomes at various points in the curriculum. MAED/Special Education faculty evaluate the assignments using a 4-point standardized rubric. Student performance is categorized as Unsatisfactory (1), Basic (2), Proficient (3), or Advanced (4).
The Teacher Work Sample is completed during student teaching. It is a standardized five-part capstone performance assessment that requires candidates to: (1) analyze the teaching setting, (2) plan instruction and assessment accordingly, (3) implement instruction, (4) make necessary adjustments based on formative and summative assessment data, (5) and reflect on K-12 student learning and their own teaching. MAED/Special Education faculty evaluate the assignments using a 3-point standardized rubric. Student performance is categorized as Unsatisfactory (1), Basic (2), or Proficient (3).
Candidates are evaluated by their mentor and university supervisor at the mid-point and end of their student teaching placement. The evaluation corresponds to specific program outcomes and is standardized within the program and across campuses/states. MAED/Special Education faculty evaluate the candidates using a 5-point standardized rubric. Student performance is categorized as No Chance to Observe (0), Unsatisfactory (1), Developing (2), Proficient (3), or Advanced (4).
Candidate Learning Outcomes Results
Each assessment measures candidate performance on a number of criteria that are graded using a standardized rubric. Each performance criterion aligns to a learning outcome(s). Aggregated results across the aligned criteria for a given rubric provide a high-level summary of student performance that can be organized by learning outcome. Summative results for the MAED/Special Education program are in the MAED/Special Education Learning Outcomes graph. Specifically, the graph depicts the percentage of candidates that met proficiency (proficient or higher) on each learning outcome for each of three measures.
MAED/Special Education Outcomes
Each assessment measures candidate performance on a number of criteria that are graded using a standardized rubric.