Assessment System

The unit, and its professional community, has developed and is partially implementing an assessment system

The unit, and its professional community, has developed and is implementing an assessment system that reflects the conceptual framework and professional and state standards. A version of the present assessment system began fall 1990, was revised in 1992, and has since been improved through enhancement of performance assessments. The Assessment System is dynamic and can readily be altered.

Exhibit # 16.01 CIPP Assessment System 2002-2003 version

The unit’s assessment system is organized around four components: Context, Input, Process, and Product (CIPP), which are based on Stufflebeam’s evaluation model (1971). Each of the four components includes a comprehensive and integrated set of evaluation measures used to monitor candidates’ performance and manage and improve operations. The components are:

Context Evaluation

Examines "screens" (Standards from Professional Organizations such as NCATE, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools SACS, Alabama State Department of Education ALSDE) for relevance, feasibility adequacy, and fairness.

Input Evaluation

Examines the program design developed in response to the mission and goals of the unit and the capabilities of the unit to implement the program. Input evaluation examines:

  • Type and caliber of students
  • Faculty and Staff
  • Equipment and facilities needed to achieve program goals

Process Evaluation

Examines how the program is being implemented and if the program is progressing towards the specified outcomes; identifies problems that may derail the program. Process evaluation examines the curriculum’s delivery systems:

  • Teaching
  • Field Experiences
  • Advising
  • Tutoring

Product Evaluation

Examines the outcomes to determine their quality or quantity and to what extent the objectives of the program are achieved.

  • Follow-up studies of graduates
  • First-Year- Teacher Mentorship and assistance programs

The Assessment System was developed and is monitored by the Assessment Committee , one of the unit’s eight standing committees. The Committee represents all departments and teacher education programs within the Division of Education, as well as local P-12 schools and Tuskegee University’s liberal arts and sciences communities. The Committee reviews the unit’s assessment system and assessment policies and makes recommendations for revisions as needed.

A position for a Division of Education Assessment Coordinator is open and has been advertised. The position is funded through a Title III sub-grant written by the university Provost, Dean of Liberal Arts and Education, and faculty in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. This sub-grant also includes funds to improve the assessment system through workshops and materials for College of Liberal Arts and Education faculty and the Division of Education’s professional partners.

The present assessment system resulted from many meetings of the Assessment Committee, as well as other Division of Education committees, including the Professional Teacher Education Committee and the Field-Based Experiences Committee.

The Professional Teacher Education Committee interviews candidates who have applied for admission to Professional Teacher Education, and also monitors the instruments and assessment procedures used in this process. In 2001-2002, the Committee led a Division of Education effort to improve the procedures and processes associated with teacher education students’ admission to the Professional Teacher Education Program. The result of the Committee’s initiative was a comprehensive procedure that enables teacher education students and their advisors to better monitor students’ progress through the program.

The Professional Teacher Education Committee currently is revising rubrics used in the Professional Education interview, and updating interview questions.

During the fall 2001 semester, the Field-Based Committee met to review field-based procedures, instruments, and assessment of the conceptual framework in field assignments. As a result, on April 30, 2002, members of the Field-Based Committee, whose members represent the Tuskegee University College of Liberal Arts and Education and local schools, to review the NCATE accreditation process, assess the Constructivist Reflective Conceptual Framework for currency and relevance, and to evaluate their own use of the Framework in teaching Tuskegee University teacher education majors. The Committee members suggested ways to better document teacher education students’ knowledge of the Framework. The Committee also discussed how well our students teach in diverse environments, how we can improve our assessment of field-based experiences, and how we can better document our students’ teaching performance in field-based experiences.

The Assessment Committee in 2001-2002 collected and reviewed relevant standards from the Alabama State Department of Education ALSDE, International Society for Technology in Education ISTE, and the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education NCATE to determine how best to assess candidates using these new standards. This study resulted in an up-dated Program Checklist, Program Analysis Forms, a new Technology Plan, a revision of the unit’s Comprehensive Examination Parts I and II and revised course syllabi.

On November 20-22, 2002, the Division of Education sponsored a Curriculum Development and Assessment Workshop which was funded by a Tuskegee University Bush Foundation mini-grant. The workshop was attended by the College of Liberal Arts and Education faculty and students, and local P-12 principals and teachers. Aided by nationally recognized consultants, the group reviewed the NCATE accreditation standards, NCATE review protocol, and assessment and curriculum development in the in the Division of Education at Tuskegee University. The consultants also reviewed the "No Child Left Behind" federal legislation and ALSDE’s proposed model for compliance.

The assessment system is designed to systematically collect, summarize and use data to monitor and assess candidate’s performance and unit effectiveness in providing the necessary experiences for candidates to develop into effective teachers who are qualified to meet certification standards. Improvements in the CIPP Assessment System over the past two years include:

The unit continuously examines and makes modification on the validity and utility of the data produced through assessments.

In the Context Component of the assessment system utility of professional standards is evaluated according to each standard’s feasibility, adequacy, and fairness before it becomes a part of the assessment system.

The primary instruments used to assess candidates’ teaching performance are the Evaluation of Professional Field-Based Experiences Form, the Comprehensive Examination Part I: Performance Observation, and the Comprehensive Examination Part II: Portfolio Assessment. Each of these instruments is updated regularly to reflect current the latest research-based professional standards for teacher education.

All of these instruments have content validity, as measured by their correlation with current standards of excellence in teaching such as the INTASC standards, PRAXIS standards, and ALSDE standards. In addition, instruments used by the Division of Education to evaluate teaching performance include measures of candidates’ ability to reflect on their teaching and to teach using constructivist principles of teaching.

Decisions about candidate performance are based on multiple assessments made at multiple points before program completion.

Decisions about candidate performance are based on multiple assessments made at four "checkpoints": Checkpoint I - prior to admission into teacher education programs; Checkpoints II and III - at appropriate transition points; and Checkpoint IV - at program completion.

At Checkpoint I—the initial point of entry—freshmen, transfer students and "change of majors" are assessed for their program entry eligibility. Checkpoint I Data collected at this entry level include a high school diploma, a minimum high school grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale, and a minimum composite American College Test ACT test score of 17 or a minimum composite Scholastic Aptitude Test SAT score of 750. Transfer students must meet the minimum grade point average of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale in each of the following areas: overall grade point average, general studies, professional studies, and teaching field. Transfer students must also meet standardized test and other performance test score standards, if applicable. The same procedure is followed for "change of major" applicants.

For graduate students, Graduate Checkpoint I includes the following requirements: a four year college degree in a science field such as biology, chemistry, physics, or an equivalent number of course work in these areas; a Graduate Record Examination GRE general exam score; and a cumulative GPA of 2.70 on a 4.00 scale in all college level studies.

For undergraduates, checkpoints beyond Checkpoint I include assessments of field-based teaching performance, written lesson plans and journals; the professional education interview, letter grade requirements in certain required courses. Some of the program completion requirements at the last transition point, Checkpoint IV, include: portfolio assessment, student internship teaching performance, and candidate work sample assessments. Data show the strong relationship of performance assessments to candidate success.

Checkpoint data reveal that candidates cleared at Checkpoint II are highly likely to complete the Tuskegee University Teacher Education Program. Candidates who perform well in general studies, as measured by general studies grade point average, also perform well in professional studies.

Over the next two years, we will increase the current ACT score requirement for entering teacher education freshmen to make it more consistent with the current SAT score requirement.

The unit conducts thorough studies to establish fairness, accuracy, and consistency of its performance procedures and makes changes based on results.

Teaching performance criteria for candidates are stated in the following assessment documents: Evaluation of Field-Based Experiences Form, Comprehensive Examination, Part I and Part II. Criteria on both the Field Experiences Form and the Comprehensive Examination represent current, research-based indicators of excellence in teaching, as indicated by INTASC, NCATE, ALSDE, and other leading accrediting and professional organizations.

Both the Evaluation of Professional Field-Based Experiences Form and the Comprehensive Examination undergo review regularly, and are changed to reflect what is considered best practice in teaching.

For the Comprehensive Examination Part II: Portfolio Assessment, there are four readers for each candidates’ portfolio. Each portfolio criterion receives a 1-5 rating. A student’s score is the average rating of all four readers. Plans are to convert the presently used 1-5 point scale to a 1-10 point one so that the portfolio rating criteria are more consistent with the rating scale of Comprehensive Examination Part II: Portfolio Assessment. This will allow for a more valid comparison of similar items on Part I and Part II and provide for consistency in data collection and analysis.