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.

  • Students will be able to design and implement effective instruction in the P-12 classroom to provide a positive impact on student learning
  • Students will be able to evaluate effective professional practice in special education
  • Students will be able to apply professional ethics to their instructional practices in special education
  • Students will be able to create and modify instructional and behavioral plans for a variety of learning needs
  • Students will be able to create innovative strategies and incorporate technology in a P-12 setting

 

Education Program Assessments - MAED/Special Education

Candidate Assessments

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.

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