The Curriculum & Instruction Program
Oral Exam Policy
- When is the oral exam to be taken?
- How is the oral exam committee established?
- What are the mechanics of scheduling the oral exam?
- What constitutes successful completion of the oral exam?
- How does one prepare for the oral exam?
- What happens if the oral exam is not passed?
- What if a thesis option is chosen for the M.Ed.?
- For more information, contact
The guidelines described below apply to the M. Ed. oral examination
only. There is a written component to the oral comprehensive
The Department of Education has adopted the following statement of policy for the conduct of the M.Ed. Oral Examination:
|The Department of Education, consistent with regulations of the UVM Graduate College, requires that students successfully complete an oral examination for the M. Ed. degree. The oral examination is a summative evaluation in which the student is expected to demonstrate breadth of knowledge in the education discipline, depth in specific areas, and the ability to integrate what has been learned through coursework. The award of the Master's degree in Education implies the attainment of concepts associated with curriculum and instructional development, and the ability to relate such information to professional practice.|
The oral examination may be scheduled at a date prior to the completion
of the last course in the program.
The student, in consultation with the advisor, identifies the faculty committee that will participate. Two UVM Graduate College Faculty in addition to the advisor are required. A list of UVM Graduate College Faculty can be found at: http://uvm.edu/~gradcoll. Additional faculty, including those of adjunct rank, may participate. Any variation from these guidelines must be approved by Dr. Maureen Neumann, the Department Chair. Whenever possible, committee members will be faculty who were instructors in the student's program of study for the M.Ed. degree.
Once the advisor and student determine the make-up of the examining panel, it is the student's responsibility to contact the faculty involved and request that they serve. After the panel is defined, the student shall contact each faculty member to identify a time when the examination is to take place. Once this is accomplished, the student is to inform the M.Ed. Program Staff Assistant, of that date and time. Our office will secure the necessary forms from The Graduate College and see that the Advisor has them available for the time of Exam. If the examination is to be administered in a location other than the office of the advisor involved, we can work with the advisor to identify such space. It is the responsibility of the student to order any media devices needed for a presentation. Contact Roger Wiberg with Media Services at 802.656.1952.
The typical examination is one hour. Candidates are expected to elaborate perspectives from all M.Ed. courses taken in a personally meaningful and coherent manner. They should be able to relate foundational courses (EDFS prefix) to practical concerns. They should present examples of their professional work that has been influenced by graduate study. If such work is curricular, it should be based upon some conception of knowledge, the nature of the learner, and how the two are related. They should evidence knowledge of the contemporary research base in their specialty, perhaps best demonstrated by citation of periodicals in that field. Evidence of heightened professionalism should be evident to correspond to the obligation that increased knowledge of the education discipline promises.
At an appropriate time the advisor will excuse the candidate and the committee will discuss the performance it has just reviewed. Immediately following that deliberation a vote will be taken to determine adequacy of responses. A majority of the UVM Graduate Faculty members on the examining committee must support the performance in order to constitute a "pass" report for transmittal to the UVM Graduate College. The candidate will be informed of the committee's decision at the time of examination. The Advisor and student then have paperwork to complete for The Graduate College and the student must pay a Graduation Fee and complete a brief survey form at The Graduate College Office in 332 Waterman.
Candidates for the M. Ed. must provide each member of the examining committee with the following items no later than one week prior to the scheduled examination:
- A copy of the approved Graduate Degree Program Outline and the
original Application Goals Statement.
- An annotated profile of the program of studies for the degree. This means a listing of each course taken with a paragraph-length statement describing the contribution each course made to overall program objectives. The paper is not to rate the quality of instruction but rather shall indicate how the substance of the course advanced program objectives. This exam component may be distributed through electronic means.
- Representative work produced during courses for the M. Ed. In many cases this will be the EDSS 397 Problems in Education project, but alternatives may be approved by the Advisor. For example, several papers written for courses can be offered as having relevance for a curricular and/or instructional topic that the student investigated. This exam component may be distributed to committee members by electronic means.
The materials submitted in advance of the oral examination are
intended to define substance for student-faculty discussion. The work
selected should highlight academic efforts and include samples from the
content area in which specialization is claimed. They are intended to
provide ready means for judging a student and his or her ability to
reflect upon what was learned in the M.Ed. program.
In the event that a candidate does not pass the oral examination, one retest is permitted. Details on appeal procedures are described in the current Handbook of the Graduate College, University of Vermont.
Students writing a thesis must orally defend the same, an activity that is different from the M.Ed. oral examination. Please see the Handbook of the Graduate College for details.
|C & I
Last modified February 15 2012 02:57 PM