The unit has worked to design, implement, and improve a system of data collection that is manageable, coherent, and useful. We have successfully used data for program improvement, and we have made progress in sharing our assessment results with various public constituencies.
The Key Assessments Collection, Analysis, and Dissemination Plan outlines the unit’s assessment system. It shows the schedule of data collection, the personnel involved, where data is stored, how it is used, and how it is disseminated. Key assessments include formative assessments, summative evaluations, and follow-up surveys. Data are collected from candidates, cooperating teachers, university supervisors, faculty, graduates, employers, and national testing services. The data are stored in three databases that allow us to track individual candidate progress and to analyze aggregated data by program and unit.
First, a record is kept of each candidate’s progress through teacher education course work. The University of Minnesota computer-based Academic Progress Audit System (APAS) has been tailored to requirements for licensure in each field. Thus, the APAS report on a candidate seeking licensure in a given area tags each course taken by the requirement it meets. When requirements have not been met (including a grade of less than C- earned in a required course), the report shows that the requirement has yet to be completed. The APAS report is updated each semester to determine candidate eligibility for the next semester’s course work and for student teaching. At the conclusion of the degree program, the final APAS update must show fulfillment of all requirements prior to a recommendation for licensure. One administrative specialist monitors each candidate’s progress through our programs and maintains records for each candidate. Through regular communication with students and faculty, this individual assures that each student who is recommended for licensure has satisfactorily completed all requirements. Satisfactory completion means that students complete all course assignments to a minimum level of proficiency to receive a passing grade in each required course.
A second candidate database, created by the unit, allows the administrative specialist in charge of student records to monitor and track candidate performance on Praxis I and II examinations and to record placement and completion of field experiences. This database is updated each semester. The Praxis I and II data are summarized in table format and reported annually to program and unit faculty members. Praxis data at the program level is also submitted to the UMM Assessment of Student Learning committee as requested.
Finally, we use EXCEL to maintain the data for key program assessments and follow-up surveys. The program assessment data (collected prior to recommendation for licensure) is summarized and reported in table format to teacher education faculty annually for discussion and analysis. Working with the elementary and secondary education coordinators, the NCATE coordinator is responsible for creating a narrative report with tables for submission to the UMM Assessment of Student Learning committee. This committee is responsible for posting the information on the institution’s assessment Web site. Reports were submitted in 2003 and 2007. Follow-up surveys are administered each spring to the previous year’s program graduates and their employers. The three-year average response rate is 58% for graduates and 63% for employers. Results are summarized by the administrative specialist in charge of program assessment data and the NCATE coordinator. They are reported in report and table form to program faculty each fall for discussion and analysis. The summarized results are sent to graduates and employers if requested.Special reports are created as needed or requested for program and unit assessment. The NCATE coordinator has conducted the analyses in consultation with faculty members and statisticians when needed. Special reports have included analyses of course or field experience assessment data (e.g. Analysis of Integrated Technology Lesson), the results of special surveys (e.g. Fall 2007 Teacher Education Survey), and more in-depth analysis of program data (e.g. chi-square test of summative evaluation scores). These reports are discussed and their data used for program improvement by the teacher education faculty. Results are reported in meetings, presentations, and online to broader constituencies.
Appeals and grievance information is prominently displayed on our Web site. In policies regarding admissions, communications of concern, and failure to complete student teaching, we have included procedures for student appeals. The division chair is responsible for keeping a systematic record of student complaints. The record is on file with the administrative assistant in charge of student records.