Examples of data-driven changes in programs and courses
Each year, the unit offers Project Impact seminars
for faculty on the needs of and best practices for educating
students for whom English is not their first language. Also, a
series of workshops, entitled Conversations on Diversity,
is offered each year to provide
professional development opportunities for faculty and initial and
advanced program candidates. This series of workshops and others
offered through the Teacher Development address various aspects of
diversity. In the redesigned initial and advanced programs, new
courses were created to better prepare candidates to work more
effectively with students representing diverse populations. Two
new initial courses (EDUC 211 and SPED 495) were added to the
initial, undergraduate program. The two advanced courses included
in the redesigned advanced program are
which focuses on meeting the needs of all students in an inclusive
class, and EDUC 660.
A dyslexia simulation workshop
Exhibit LASS 1.6
is offered each semester as a professional development opportunity
for initial and advanced candidates and faculty. Also, a
committee on differentiated instruction formed a few years ago
reconvened in 2007 to continue the work begun with a Board of
During 2003-2004, workshops on differentiated instruction were
presented by an ASCD trainer for school teams of classroom
teachers and principals, COEHD faculty, and teacher candidates.
Pre- and post-surveys were administered to gauge participantsí
knowledge and use of the teaching pedagogy. The research findings
were reported at a national conference and in a journal article.
A follow-up study was initiated in 2006, and the report will be
completed in 2008.
Data from the PRAXIS II Content Knowledge tests required
for early childhood, elementary, middle school, and secondary
candidates found that scores on the social studies tests were
lower than other content areas. Disaggregated data ordered from
ETS provided more specific information for decision-making. A
committee comprised of COEHD and partner college representatives
was formed in 2007
A plan of action is being developed to
identify ways to provide professional development opportunities to
improve scores and to better prepare candidates to teach social
studies for the purpose of positively impacting student learning.
Based on data derived from Early Childhood courses in the
Department of Teaching and Learning, faculty decided to develop a
new educational psychology course. The proposed course will
emphasize early childhood development issues and parental
Faculty in the Middle School area of concentration in the
initial program developed a plan of action to increase
professional development opportunities focused on the social and
emotional issues of young adolescents. A presentation was
provided on this topic as part of the Conversations of Diversity.
Special Education faculty noted a need for improvement that
was indicated by the results of the PRAXIS II: Education of
Exceptional Students: Core Content Knowledge (0353) test. A new
special education course was added and is required for advanced
candidates in all areas of concentration in the Department of
Teaching and Learning. The emphasis of the course is on service
delivery for students with disabilities in inclusive settings.
After reviewing data results from comprehensive exams and
analyzing research about the most effective ways to assess
candidatesí content knowledge, the comprehensive examination was
replaced by an action research project in most areas of
concentration in advanced programs in the Department of Teaching
and Learning and the Department of Educational Leadership and
In secondary education programs in the Department of
Teaching and Learning, changes were initiated based on data. In
the fall of 2007, a group of mathematics professors developed a
mentoring system for teaching candidates on year prior to the date
of taking the PRAXIS II Content Area test. They will track the
progress of candidates participating in the mentoring program.
Among the English Education candidates, there is a 100% pass rate
on the PRAXIS II Content Area test. Faculty are reviewing ways to
improve scores to the upper quartile.
In the Educational Leadership program, assessment data
showed that candidates in online classes were not acquiring
necessary content. To remedy the problem, there will be an
increase in face-to-face class meetings by one hour per week.
Candidate performance will be tracked to see if improvements
results from the change.