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Standard 1 Aspect B

Standard 1b: Evidence shows that, by the time of program completion, candidates exhibit knowledge, skills, and abilities of professional educators appropriate to their target credential or degree, including:

Learners; learning theory, including social, emotional, and academic dimensions; and application of learning theory


Case for Standard 1b
For this standard, the program selected three measures to study how we prepare teacher candidates to understand and apply learning theory: the Instructional Plan Assignment (SPED 145: Designing Effective Environments for Students with Disabilities), Present Levels and Annual Goals for the Individualized Education Program (SPED 145), and CSU Completer Survey results (2018-2021)

Data Sources & Analysis

Data Source 1

SPED 145 Instructional Plan Assignment 

Description of Data Source:
All candidates in the Education Specialist program take SPED 145: Designing Effective Environments for Students with Disabilities in their first phase of the program. The purpose of the Instructional Plan assignment within the course is for students to create a lesson plan using principles of differentiated instruction and universal design. Faculty assess student work using a 10 point scale. 

Perspective Captured from Data Source: Program Faculty

Rationale for Using Data Source: 
In addition to including principles of differentiated instruction and universal design, the plan must also contain considerations for individualized accommodations/modifications for students, as well as a reflection regarding the planning process. In order to be successful in this assignment, candidates must draw on their knowledge of learners and learning theory. 

Specific Elements of Data Source: 
Candidates’ overall scores on the instructional plan

Definition of Success:
Our definition of success is that candidates will score 90% or better on this assignment. 

Displays of Analyzed Data:

Table 1: SPED 145 Instructional Plan Data, Fall 2019-Fall 2020
Term n Average SD
Fall 2019 (Section 01) 22 10 0
Fall 2019 (Section 03) 21 9.52 2.18
Spring 2020 29 9.22 2.09
Fall 2020 22 8.86 2.97

Link to Full Dataset:SPED 145 Instructional Plan Dataset

Interpretation of Data: 
Although the overall drop in average scores is concerning, we also recognize that Fall 2020 was the first completely online academic experience for our students due to the pandemic--and that Spring 2020 was the semester when faculty had to switch to online instruction mid-semester. In student surveys during that time period, the university discovered that many students felt overwhelmed, anxious, and overextended. For many students, just finishing the semester was a win. This might account for why students may not have resubmitted work for a better grade (which they were permitted to do). During Fall 2019 (before the pandemic hit), students seemed more likely to resubmit in order to attain a perfect score. In terms of our program, we were glad to see that the drop was slight and that we are still close to our overall goal of 90%. 

Data Source 2

SPED 145: Present Levels, Accommodations and Annual Goals for the Individualized EducationProgram Assignment

Description of Data Source:
The purpose of the Present Levels and Annual Goals for the Individualized Education Program assignment is to prepare candidates for the nuts and bolts of the job of the special education teacher. Faculty assess candidate competence using a Rubric Score with 25 possible points.

Perspective Captured from Data Source: Program Faculty

Rationale for Using Data Source: 
In this assignment, students are given raw data regarding a student with disabilities. They write the present levels for performance, recommend potential accommodations/ modifications, and write five (5) annual goals (with 3 objectives each), drawing on their knowledge of learners and learning theory. 

Specific Elements of Data Source: 
Candidates’ overall score on assignment

Definition of Success:
90% of the possible 25 points is considered success. Students have multiple opportunities to revise and resubmit for more points.

Displays of Analyzed Data:

Table 2: Present Levels and Annual Goals for the Individualized Education Program Data, 2019-20 
Term n Average SD
Fall 2019 (Section 01) 22 24.59 0.70
Fall 2019 (Section 03) 21 23.81 5.46
Spring 2020 29 23.57 4.67
Fall 2020 22 21.77 4.25

Link to Full Dataset:SPED 145 Present Levels Scores Dataset

Interpretation of Data: 
As with the previous data, it’s important to acknowledge the challenges students faced during the Fall 2020 semester which was held entirely online. Although students did not achieve our goal of 90% on this assignment, they were able to score above 80%. Given that all students have equal opportunities to resubmit assignments after initial grading, the drop in average scores during the pandemic indicates that students may have been satisfied with a B range score. The program will need to continue to follow student performance in this area. 

Data Source 3

CSU Educator Quality Center Program Completer Survey 

Description of Data Source:
Each year, the CSU Educator Quality Center administers a survey to program completers to learn their perceptions of how well the program prepared them in a number of areas aligned with the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing’s Teaching Performance Expectations (TPE). Program completers from all CSU campuses are invited to respond to each item on a 1-5 scale, where 1 indicates they believed that they were “not at all” prepared and 5 indicates they believe they were “very well” prepared.” Fresno State has a high rate of completion due to the efforts of our credential analyst who requires completion as part of the credential application process. 

Perspective Captured from Data Source: Program Completers

Rationale for using Data Source: 
CSU Educator Quality Center Completer Survey captures program completers’ anonymous perspectives of how well the program prepared them at the conclusion of their teaching credential coursework and field experiences, providing valuable insights into their perceptions of the program.

Specific Elements of Data Source: 
The items we selected to analyze include:

How well did your program prepare you to do each of the following as a teacher?

  • To create a productive learning environment with high expectations for all students
  • To identify and address special learning needs with appropriate teaching strategies
  • To plan and adapt instruction that incorporates appropriate strategies, resources, and technologies to meet the learning needs of all students

Definition of Success:  Our definition of success:

  • 0% reporting in the “Not at all Prepared” category
  • 10% or less in the “Poorly Prepared” category
  • Overall positive ratings 90% or higher

Displays of Analyzed Data: 

Table 3, CSU Completer Survey Element 1, 2018-21

Element 1: To create a productive learning environment with high expectations for all students
Year 2018-2019
N=61
2019-2020
N=52
2020-2021
N=52
Not at all 0% 0% 0%
Poorly Prepared 0% 1.9% 0%
Adequately Prepared 26.2% 23.1% 20.8%
Well Prepared 41% 44.2% 37.5%
Very Well Prepared 32.80% 30.8% 41.7%
Overall Negative 0% 2% 0%
Overall Positive 100% 98% 100%

Table 4: CSU Completer Survey Element 2, 2018-21

Element 2: To  identify and address special learning needs with appropriate teaching strategies
Year 2018-2019
N=61
2019-2020
N=52
2020-2021
N=52
Not at all 0% 0% 0%
Poorly Prepared 0% 1.9% 0%
Adequately Prepared 27.90% 26.9% 16.7%
Well Prepared 41% 34.6% 41.7%
Very Well Prepared 31.1% 36.5% 41.7%
Overall Negative 0% 2% 0%
Overall Positive 100% 98% 100%

Table 5, CSU Completer Survey Element 3, 2018-21

Element 3: To plan and adapt instruction that incorporates appropriate strategies, resources, and technologies to meet the learning needs of all students
Year 2018-2019
N=61
2019-2020
N=52
2020-2021
N=52
Not at all 0% 0% 0%
Poorly Prepared 3.3% 1.9% 0%
Adequately Prepared 23% 25% 16.7%
Well Prepared 31.1% 51.9% 37.5%
Very Well Prepared 42.60% 21.2% 45.8%
Overall Negative 4% 2% 0%
Overall Positive 96% 98% 100%

Link to Full Dataset:The link to the full dataset is unavailable. However, if reviewers would like to view the CSU Educator Quality Center Data Dashboards, we are happy to set up a time to provide them access by sharing screens in a Zoom session.

Interpretation of Data: 
This data set revealed that over the last three years, we have achieved our measure of success in relation to all three of these elements. 

Next Steps Narrative: 
One of the main realizations we gained from the data for this aspect is how our program (and universities in general) need to develop a number of strategies and supports for students when crises hit. Having such a large number of students affected made very clear how difficult it is to maintain a commitment to academics during a crisis. Since this aspect measures the “social, emotional, and academic” aspects of learning, it’s clear that one thing we need to do as a program is model what we want our students to master. Given the challenges students faced, we were especially proud of the results of the last survey, where all students felt that they were at least adequately prepared in the area of applying learning theory in spite of the challenges they faced during the 2020-21 academic year.

Even so, as we redesign the Education Specialist program in the next few months, we will examine how the program addresses this aspect both in the overall curriculum and within specific courses. We understand that our candidates need exposure to and opportunities to apply what they are learning about learning. 

Aspect C →