Validity and Assurances
Key assessments are aligned with program criteria, and mapped to state and national standards, aligning factors the professions deem important to candidate success with P-12 students. The types of assessments are noted as important indicators by professional associations, NCATE, and the ND ESPB. Employer surveys indicate a high degree of satisfaction with the performance of MSU graduates trained according to these criteria. The TEU Rubrics have roots in learning science with consideration of Wiggins and McTighe’s Understanding by Design1,2. In 2005, the rubrics were also compared to the developmental complexity research of Fischer and Dawson 3,4 for validation of scale. The TEU Rubrics gauge candidate performance on specific program criteria as they progress, and should not be confused with course grades or GPA, even through the rubrics use a 4-point scale.
Extensive discussion of the language in the overall TEU performance rubric included review for fairness, consistency, accuracy and freedom from bias. Professional development sessions were held for TEHP faculty and methods faculty during 2004-05 to enhance inter-rater reliability in the use of the rubric. Inter-rater reliability among TEHP faculty in applying the rubric to Mid-term and Final Student Teaching Evaluations, as tested in Fall 2005 was strong, at .80. Inter-rater reliability was also tested among the elementary methods block faculty, again with a strong result. Program-area faculty reflect upon the assessments and data collected as a group, rather than decisions being left to individuals. Candidates have multiple, varied, and authentically designed opportunities to demonstrate what they know and can do. Appropriate accommodations for candidates with special needs are facilitated through consultation with Minot State University Disability Services in the Student Health and Development Center.