Using an Online Assessment System to Support the Program Report Process in Physical Education Teacher Education: Simplify Your Program Accreditation Process!
Everhart, Brett, Mckethan, Robert, JOPERD--The Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance
In teacher education programs across the country, the latest trend within the accreditation process is to integrate assessment systems with online assessment products (OAPs). These products or systems enable academic programs to collect and store candidate artifacts that are aligned with professional standards and assessed by faculty using appropriate rubrics. The development and implementation of such an assessment system is one of the most important initiatives a program can undertake. Consequently, the intent of this article is to discuss how to use an OAP to support the preparation of the program report for accreditation by the National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE). It is not the intent to show all the elements that should be included within the report, but rather to offer a guide for setting up and using an OAP by showing selected examples of an OAP in place.
To understand the value of an OAP, imagine an accreditation site visit in which the visiting team requests a number of artifacts to demonstrate examples of candidates' work in relation to specific standards, as well as a report showing how various demographic groups performed. In addition, the team asks for proof that the process for measuring the performance of candidates is reliable. It is possible to fulfill these requests without an OAP, but it would be a much more difficult and time-consuming process: phone calls would be made and emails sent to various faculty and administrators to piece together the evidence needed in a painstaking effort. An OAP can streamline this process.
The Program Review Process
The assessment and accreditation needs of programs most often revolve around the NCATE standards and specialized program assessment (SPA) standards, which, for physical education, have been devised by the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE).
In 2001, NCATE officially began a new accreditation process that required the academic program areas to demonstrate that their candidates were meeting the competencies outlined in the list of standards provided by professional organizations and NCATE. This revision of the accreditation process meant that programs must align artifacts to standards and outcomes and meaningfully assess those artifacts to demonstrate candidate proficiency. For example, academic programs must show evidence of planning ability, teaching performance, impact on P-12 student learning, and content knowledge demonstrated by the satisfactory completion of standardized licensure exams.
Once academic programs have decided on the specific assessments that are to be used to demonstrate candidate proficiency, they must produce three years worth of aggregated data on program graduates. Due to the requirement of multiple data types, assessment instruments, and descriptions used to create a new alignment with professional standards, it would probably be more helpful if an electronic assessment system were used on a formative, regular basis to collect, store, and report the data each academic year. One way to do this electronically is for the unit, institution, or academic program to develop a relationship with a company that provides an OAP. Depending on the specific company, an OAP should have the flexibility to be able to collect, aggregate, and interpret any data required for various types of accreditation processes.
A JOPERD feature in 2006 published guidelines written by PETE professionals to assist colleagues in meeting expectations for accreditation purposes. The articles discussed how PETE programs could develop a comprehensive process for building an effective assessment system (Senne, 2006), how to create appropriate rubrics (Lund, 2006), and how to interpret which evidence and assessments are related to the 10 NASPE standards required for the NCATE program report (Hacker, 2006; Mitchell, 2006). Additionally, Martin and Judd (2006) described what reviewers look for when conducting a program review. …