Course covers assessment knowledge and skills essential for special educators, including test selection, administration and scoring, and legal issues related to special education assessment. Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program in Special Education or Instructor permission.
5:00-6:00 pm, other time Asynchronous; Online Synchronous on Mondays; Other synchronous check-in times available by request
The overall goal of this course is to advance your understanding, curiosity, and critical reflection regarding the role of assessment in special education, within K12 settings in the United States. Topics addressed in this course include but are not limited to: the historical and legal foundations of assessment in special education; the three-criterion assessment process used in Vermont; the types, purposes, and mechanics of assessments commonly used in the special education evaluation process; systemic and political factors (including systemic racial and linguistic discrimination) that inform the assessment of students with disabilities; communication and advocacy within assessment teams; the affective dimensions of assessment; and, the professional ethics of assessment. Through simulations, case study activities, and test administration activities, you will develop your proficiency in selecting, interpreting, and communicating results of assessments of students with disabilities. You will gain an understanding of the diverse purposes of assessment within special education, such as evaluation, IEP development, and progress monitoring. Regardless of whether you are a current/future special educator, other school-based provider, or are planning to pursue a career outside of K12 education, this course is intended to challenge and clarifies your understanding of the complex intersection of disability and assessment, as part of an inclusive learning community.
Class meets on Teams every week, with asynchronous assignments that meet the requirements of a 3-credit hour class. The course objective are: 1) You will be able to understand the historical and legal factors that have shaped the way that special education assessment practices are implemented in today’s schools 2) You will learn how to use multiple methods of assessment and multiple sources of data sources to make educational decisions, in collaboration with other providers, students, and their families. 3) You will be able to select formal and informal assessments that are well aligned with and valid for specific assessment questions, and you will be able to recognize and address potential sources of bias throughout implementation. 4) You will develop a foundational knowledge of measurement principles and practices necessary to interpret assessment results and to guide educational decisions in collaboration with other providers, students with disabilities, and their families.
There is no formal exam. You will be expected to complete weekly readings and discussion boards, in-class assignments, and homework. You will also complete an applied research project designed to support your career advancement.
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