STUDENT OUTCOMES ASSESSMENT PLAN
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PROGRAM OVERVIEWPROGRAM GOALSCRITICAL PERFORMANCESSTUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES ASSESSMENTCOURSE SEQUENCE

This Student Outcome Assessment Plan is structured around five areas drawn from the UNI Academic Program Review and Student Outcomes Assessment Manual (p. 39).  They are:

1. Assessment Philosophy:
The Department of Curriculum and Instruction offers graduate study and degree programs with a variety of emphasis options in both on-campus and distance learning settings.  Students experience their coursework in collaborative and interactive settings.  Personal attention and authentic task-based activities are emphasized in both on-campus and distance learning settings. Graduate students enrolled in the Elementary Education MAE Program develop a solid foundation in both theory and practice.  

The course sequence requires
students to display an array of skills and understandings that reflect professional competencies.  These competencies provide a lens through which the  faculty can assess the degree to which the program is achieving its outcomes.  The professional competencies include:
  • APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE: Developing a growing body of understandings that informs professional decisions.
  • UNDERSTANDING THEORY AND PRACTICE: Connecting foundational theoretical understandings with practice. 
  • LEADERSHIP: Demonstrating the ability to apply effective practices and to articulate the meaning of such practices across diverse audiences for unique and specific purposes.
  • SCHOLARSHIP: Applying the scholarly methods and disciplines that demonstrate knowledge of  the field. 
Within the MAE Program in Elementary Education, assessment of the program requires gathering of information and using that information as a means by which student learning and instruction is improved.  Appropriate assessment methods require expectations to be specific with well-articulated outcomes that position the program to reach high professional standards.  Effective assessment requires the systematic gathering, analysis and interpretation of data to determine the degree to which student performances match program expectations and standards. This information will allow program decision makers to document, articulate and increase student performance.  Effective program assessment leads to a culture of shared academic goals with a commitment to continuous program improvement. Assessment thus constructed is a cyclical ongoing process that becomes an integral part of the institutional culture.  


2.  Student Outcomes and Professional Competencies:  
The student outcomes for the MAE in Elementary Education Program are drawn from the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. These outcomes are premised on the NBPTS CORE PROPOSITIONS.  See Program Goals for a complete listing of student outcomes with specific definitions of each.  

The clustering of student outcomes and professional competencies as illustrated below, provides the basis for program assessment.  


APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE: Developing a growing body of understandings that informs professional decisions.
  • I. Knowledge of Students
  • II. Knowledge of Content and Curriculum 
  • VI. Meaningful Applications of Knowledge
UNDERSTANDING THEORY AND PRACTICE: Connecting foundational theoretical understandings with practice. 
  • III. Learning Environment
  • V. Instructional Resources
  • VII. Multiple Paths to Knowledge
  • VIII. Assessment
LEADERSHIP: Demonstrating the ability to apply effective practices and to articulate the meaning of such practices across diverse audiences for unique and specific purposes.
  • IV. Respect for Diversity
  • IX. Family Involvement
  • X. Reflection
SCHOLARSHIP: Applying the scholarly methods and disciplines that demonstrate knowledge of  the field. 
  • XI. Contributions to the Profession

3.  Frequency of Assessments:  
The typical sequence for the program is based on a two-year cycle.  The Typical Course Sequence identifies courses offered in each term.  Throughout the program, Critical Performances are conducted for purposes of teaching but also as a means for assessing student progress in achieving program goals.  These performances scheduled throughout the program, include the following:

CRITICAL PERFORMANCEPROGRAM SEMESTERASSOCIATED COURSE
Critical Performance 1:  Curriculum Issue Position PaperFIRSTELEMECML 6201--Issues and Trends in Curriculum
Critical Performance 2: Curriculum Action PlanTHIRDELEMECML 6243--Analysis and Improvement of Social Studies Instruction in the Elementary School
Critical Performance  3:  Curriculum ProjectSIXTHELEMECML 6286--Studies in Elementary Education
Critical Performance 4: ResearchEND OF PROGRAMELEMECML 6299--Research


4.  Assessment Methods:
Critical performances are drawn from various points in the program of study.  They correspond directly to aspects of the profession that teachers encounter on a daily basis.  Linked to every day classroom practice, selected critical performances extend beyond the expectations of the undergraduate program and require students to display an array of skills and understandings that reflect professional competencies.  These competencies include the following: 
  • APPLICATION OF KNOWLEDGE: Developing a growing body of understandings that informs professional decisions.
  • UNDERSTANDING THEORY AND PRACTICE: Connecting foundational theoretical understandings with practice. 
  • LEADERSHIP: Demonstrating the ability to apply effective practices and to articulate the meaning of such practices across diverse audiences for unique and specific purposes.
  • SCHOLARSHIP: Applying the scholarly methods and disciplines that demonstrate knowledge of  the field. 
For each Critical Performance a corresponding rubric provides the basis for data collection related to student performance:   

5.  Methods of Evaluating and Interpreting Results:
As students progress in the program, faculty annually review student performances to assess the degree to which students are achieving program goals as articulated on the Student Outcomes and Professional Competencies Rubric. These assessments are based upon the data collected through critical performances.  This data allows for continuous program improvement as successive cohort groups move through the program.  

Specifically, program faculty will follow the steps outlined below to proceed with program assessment.  This program assessment is founded on the student outcomes and the professional competencies identified above:  
  1. STEP ONE: Students complete the critical performances according to directions and criteria provided by professors.  Copies of student work from the four critical performances are gathered by the Program Coordinator.  
  2. STEP TWO: The Program Coordinator gathers faculty together annually for purposes of assessing student performance on critical performances (two each year).  Program faculty review student performance as reflected in data drawn from critical performance rubrics.
  3. STEP THREE: Faculty then use the Student Outcomes and Professional Competencies Rubric to assess the program based on review of student performance on critical performances.  
  4. STEP FOUR: The Program Coordinator reports to the Department Head regarding faculty conclusions related to student  performance in the program and the degree to which student outcomes were reached and professional competencies demonstrated.  
  5. STEP FIVE: Copies of student work are archived in the Department Office.