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.

In concert, these five general outcome abilities developed in the master in education degree program enable the graduate to demonstrate active wisdom, the ability to distinguish relevant from non-relevant issues and employ knowledge to add value to the experience of living.

1. Teachers are committed to students and their learning.

  • NBCTs are dedicated to making knowledge accessible to all students. They believe all students can learn.
  • They treat students equitably. They recognize the individual differences that distinguish their students from one another and they take account for these differences in their practice.
  • NBCTs understand how students develop and learn.
  • They respect the cultural and family differences students bring to their classroom.
  • They are concerned with their students' self-concept, their motivation and the effects of learning on peer relationships.
  • NBCTs are also concerned with the development of character and civic responsibility.

2. Teachers know the subjects they teach and how to teach those subjects to students.

  • NBCTs have mastery over the subject(s) they teach. They have a deep understanding of the history, structure and real-world applications of the subject.
  • They have skill and experience in teaching it, and they are very familiar with the skills gaps and preconceptions students may bring to the subject.
  • They are able to use diverse instructional strategies to teach for understanding.

3. Teachers are responsible for managing and monitoring student learning.

  • NBCTs deliver effective instruction. They move fluently through a range of instructional techniques, keeping students motivated, engaged and focused.
  • They know how to engage students to ensure a disciplined learning environment, and how to organize instruction to meet instructional goals.
  • NBCTs know how to assess the progress of individual students as well as the class as a whole.
  • They use multiple methods for measuring student growth and understanding, and they can clearly explain student performance to parents.

4. Teachers think systematically about their practice and learn from experience.

  • NBCTs model what it means to be an educated person – they read, they question, they create and they are willing to try new things.
  • They are familiar with learning theories and instructional strategies and stay abreast of current issues in American education.
  • They critically examine their practice on a regular basis to deepen knowledge, expand their repertoire of skills, and incorporate new findings into their practice.

5. Teachers are members of learning communities.

  • NBCTs collaborate with others to improve student learning.
  • They are leaders and actively know how to seek and build partnerships with community groups and businesses.
  • They work with other professionals on instructional policy, curriculum development and staff development.
  • They can evaluate school progress and the allocation of resources in order to meet state and local education objectives.
  • They know how to work collaboratively with parents to engage them productively in the work of the school.

II. Assessment Techniques

The outcome abilities of the Drury University master in education degree graduates are assessed in multiple settings within a variety of contexts. As a part of the Entry Assessment and Advising completed during SCI 620: Technology in the Classroom (M.Ed. and MAT students) or EDUC 649: Introduction to Cross Categorical Disabilities (DATSE students), the student completes a self-assessment of professional dispositions, requests 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 master in education program of study, students submit items for inclusion in a content portfolio in BlackBoard and/or 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 five outcome abilities of the program.

In order to make the five general outcome abilities function as an organizing framework for the master in education degree program of study, a matrix of assessment strategies is provided (a matrix may be obtained from the Graduate Programs Office). 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.