Graduate Program Assessment

I. Outcomes Stated as Abilities

The outcomes of the Drury University M.Ed. and MAT degrees are stated as abilities that students will exhibit when they complete their program of study. These outcome abilities are directly related to the mission and goals of Drury University. The outcome abilities represent a combination of skills, behaviors, knowledge, values, attitudes, motives or dispositions and self-perceptions. The outcome abilities are developmental, or teachable, and can be defined in increasing levels of complex elements or processes for learning and assessing performance. The outcome abilities are transferable in that they prepare students for the many roles and settings in which they perform.

The School of Education and Child Development's (SECD) graduate programs are taken from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS). They include:

  1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.
  2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.
  3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.
  4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.
  5. Teachers are members of learning communities.

The School of Education and Child Development's (SECD) graduate programs are based on the standards of the Interstate Teacher Assessment and Support Consortium (InTASC):

The Learner and Learning

Standard #1 - Learner Development
The teacher candidate understands how learners grow and develop, recognizing that patterns of learning and development vary individually within and across the cognitive, linguistic, social, emotional, and physical areas, and designs and implements developmentally appropriate and challenging learning experiences.

Standard #2 - Learning Differences
The teacher candidate uses understanding of individual differences and diverse cultures and communities to ensure inclusive learning environments that enable each learner to meet high standards.

Standard #3 - Learning Environments
The teacher candidate works with others to create environments that support individual and collaborative learning, and that encourage positive social interaction, active engagement in learning, and self motivation.

Content Knowledge

Standard #4 - Content Knowledge
The teacher candidate understands the central concepts, tools of inquiry, and structures of the discipline(s) he or she teaches and creates learning experiences that make these aspects of the discipline accessible and meaningful for learners to assure mastery of the content.

Standard #5 - Application of Content
The teacher candidate understands how to connect concepts and use differing perspectives to engage learners in critical thinking, creativity, and collaborative problem solving related to authentic local and global issues.

Instructional Practice

Standard #6 - Assessment
The teacher candidate understands and uses multiple methods of assessment to engage learners in their own growth, to monitor learner progress, and to guide the teacher's and learner's decision making.

Standard #7 - Planning for Instruction
The teacher candidate plans instruction that supports every student in meeting rigorous learning goals by drawing upon knowledge of content areas, curriculum, cross-disciplinary skills, and pedagogy, as well as knowledge of learners and the community context.

Standard #8 - Instructional Strategies
The teacher candidate understands and uses a variety of instructional strategies to encourage learners to develop deep understanding of content areas and their connections, and to build skills to apply knowledge in meaningful ways.

Professional Responsibility

Standard #9 - Professional Learning and Ethical Practice
The teacher candidate engages in ongoing professional learning and uses evidence to continually evaluate his/her practice, particularly the effects of his/her choices and actions on others (learners, families, other professionals, and the community), and adapts practice to meet the needs of each learner.

Standard #10 - Leadership and Collaboration
The teacher candidate seeks appropriate leadership roles and opportunities to take responsibility for student learning, to collaborate with learners, families, colleagues, other school professionals, and community members to ensure learner growth, and to advance the profession.

II. Assessment Techniques

The outcome abilities of Drury University master in education graduates are assessed in multiple settings within a variety of contexts. As a part of the admissions process the student completes a request for approval of transfer course work, receives academic advising regarding professional goals and the graduate degree program, and is provided guidance in selecting a possible topic/project for EDUC 700: Capstone Seminar. This information is used to help design the remainder of the student's program of study and becomes a portfolio record of the student's development over time.

During the graduate education program of study, students submit items for inclusion in a content portfolio in Foliotek such as: Teacher Work Sample, case studies, disposition self-evaluation forms, documentation of work with colleagues in the profession, lesson plans with samples of children's work, selected research papers from graduate classes, videotape of the teacher working with children, reflection papers regarding student work, collaborative research projects, a statement of professional ethics, and a community development project. The student and their instructor assess the work and reflect on the student's developmental goals for the remainder of the program. Most of the entries into the student's portfolio represent work the student is responsible for selecting as best representing their development related to the InTASC standards.

Assessments are conducted during SCI 620: Technology in the Classroom (M.Ed. and MAT students) or EDUC 649: Introduction to Cross Categorical Disabilities (DATSE students) and at the conclusion of the graduate program in a specified course. The assessment strategies are designed to:

  1. have a positive effect on the teacher's role in education;
  2. consist of a variety of methods;
  3. use state of the art technology;
  4. be affordable and accessible for branch campus students as well as Springfield students;
  5. reflect involvement in learned societies, state agencies, K-12 school districts, professional associations, and other higher education institutions;
  6. provide internal and external validity with respect to effective teaching; and
  7. be developmental in nature so that teachers are prepared for the assessments, provided constructive feedback, and adjustments are made in the master in education degree program as needed.

The most valid assessment process of the master in education degree program is one that engages graduate students in the activities of teaching, requires the display and use of teaching knowledge and skills, and that allows teachers the opportunity to explain their decision making process. The assessment of the activities of teaching includes documentation, evaluation and examination.