Metropolitan State University’s School of Urban Education, along with 30 other institutions of higher education with teacher preparation programs, needed to meet the Minnesota State Board of Teaching requirements, which increasingly emphasize teacher performance assessments. Specifically, in 2011 the Board formally adopted edTPA as the statewide assessment to satisfy a new state mandate to add performance-based assessment as a metric in the state program review process. While Minnesota already has high standards for preparing teachers, edTPA can pose challenges to educator preparation programs due to the fact that it is a truly new process for everyone: universities, students, partner schools and cooperating teachers. All involved parties must understand edTPA’s new framework and work collaboratively to guide candidates and to ensure they are prepared and on track for program completion.
In 2011, Metropolitan State selected Taskstream as its online assessment management system both to support local assessment of their students and to enable the seamless transfer of their candidates’ edTPA portfolios to Pearson for official scoring. In particular, Taskstream provides Metropolitan State with the ability to:
- Enable students to submit all program- and course-based assessments for evaluation, as well as compile and upload all the necessary artifacts and commentaries needed for edTPA
- Create structured task lists for students and centralize all templates, resources and materials within one online system
- Streamline the workflow so that students are able to clearly see what they need to submit for edTPA in the appropriate formats
- Generate dashboards for students, administrators, and faculty that clearly display artifact submission statuses and help monitor student performance and progress towards completion
- Collect and evaluate the Urban Teacher Program’s signature assignments and track field placement experiences for teacher candidates
- Provide local evaluation rubrics to review edTPA artifacts, used by University supervisors of student teachers to provide feedback to candidates about key standards, and to inform program improvement
- Create a portfolio within Taskstream that includes samples of past student work to demonstrate for students what is expected for each task
“Taskstream has been a wonderful asset to our students, from the organization of the programs and layout of the pages, to the ease of uploading their documents and entering field experience placement data. Taskstream has allowed our students to seamlessly submit their work and stay informed of their progress. As for the administrative side, we are easily able to check on our students’ progress and requirements met within the program. It is a relief to have all the information and documents housed in one area/program, Taskstream, and move away from hard-copy, paper files and a file room.”
With Taskstream, Metropolitan State is ensuring that their students are prepared for edTPA and are graduating the program classroom-ready. They have been able to usher 102 students through edTPA process in 2 years, and have developed several best practices to streamline the process and ensure success moving forward. As a result of using the Taskstream tools throughout the teacher preparation program, students learn vital technical skills like writing, uploading documents, and editing and compressing videos, thus preparing them for the summative edTPA requirements and for life in real urban classrooms. Metropolitan State has also developed a system to connect teacher candidates to program graduates and others who have gone through the process to serve as mentors. These relationships help students successfully submit to edTPA, complete signature assignments, and provide a forum for networking and professional growth.
“I couldn’t imagine trying to complete edTPA without Taskstream. Having edTPA organized and laid out for me on Taskstream was crucial to my completing my successful edTPA.”
“Taskstream made edTPA a million times simpler by organizing each component and its requirements. What a perfect tool and resource for completing your edTPA.”
Because of the tools and processes Metropolitan State has put in place, students feel more prepared and less anxious about submitting work to edTPA and entering the workforce following graduation. Metropolitan State has also been able to use the data collected from signature assessments submitted by candidates and the evaluations of these assignments to drive continuous program improvement. Faculty and staff are better able to review areas where candidates need additional support. More importantly, faculty will be able use the data for curriculum review and to ensure the integrity of program goals to prepare effective urban teachers.
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