This online assessment tutorial was designed to study the topics of assessment, accountability and IDEA '97 legislation. It is comprised of five clear outcomes, a pre-test, five lessons with assigned online readings followed by self quizzes for each lesson, a post test, and supplemental resources and web sites. The site is a special project of the California Department of Education, Special Education Division.
The site is clear and specific in its intentions. Participants will (1) Be able to define accountability, accommodations, and alternate assessment; (2) Become aware of benefits, barriers and research supporting the inclusion of all children in state accountability and assessment efforts; (3) Acquire information on California Standardized Testing and Reporting Program (STAR) including the state guidelines for including Special Education pupils in STAR); (4) Gain practical suggestions for: (a) learning process assessments, (b) alternate assessments, (c) strength-based assessments used in programs for children with emotional and behavior disorders, and (d) curriculum adaptations; and (5) increase access to Internet resources related to assessment issues.
Target Student Population:
Pre-service and inservice teachers and educators, higher ed. teacher education faculty, and especially those who work in special education
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills:
General understanding of lesson plan development and assessment is helpful, but not required, in using this tutorial.
Type of Material:
Student teachers and teachers, especially those working with special education students can use this site as an introduction, supplemental assignment, or as a review of assessment. In addition, it could be used at the advanced level to compare and contrast state implementation policies and practices.
Acrobat Reader is required to access and view the assigned readings and resources in each of the five lessons.
Evaluation and Observation
The site offers contemporary educational research and resources related to IDEA '97 law as well as California state regulations for implementing the mandate to reach and teach all learners. The content covered in this tutorial includes inclusive assessments, accountability, accommodation, and practical implications of assessment, alternative assessments, strength-based assessments for children with emotional and behavioral disorders, and a parents' guide. The sequencial order of the readings with review questions and supplemental resources provide a good grounding in assessment issues, especially for children with emotional and behavioral disorders. The readings represent a variety of research and viewpoints through 1998.
All of the assigned readings are worthy but they are dated from 1991 through 1998.
Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool
Because this thoughtfully organized tutorial is online and developed by a reputable state department of education, it offers an immediate online assignment for teacher education programs to investigate IDEA '97 legislation and California state regulations. The site can be used independently or easily incorporated into an online course. Research projects or presentations could easily be developed from the content in any of the lessons. The site could also serve as introduction or review assignment for preservice or inservice teachers.
The emphasis on California state regulations somewhat limits its effectiveness to educators from California; however other states could design and assignment to compare and contrast with California's implementation practices. All of the assigned readings and references for the five lessons are worthy but they are dated from 1991 through 1998. There are more recent articles available in educational journals and online that are not included in this tutorial.
Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty
The systematic structure and organization of this tutorial make it easy to follow. The clear and easily read menu bars make navigation throughout the tutorial easy. Adobe Acrobat Reader is required for the readings and a direct link for accessing it is included. The pages are consistent in design and the visual impact is pleasing to the eye.
Other Issues and Comments:
There is a second tutorial available at this site that addresses develop of individual education plans (IEPs). It is comprised of four clear outcomes, a pre-test, four lessons with assigned online readings followed by review quizzes for each lesson, and a post test. When you login to the site you can choose which tutorial you wish to use. Go to http://www.calstat.org/iep/index.html The tutorial is also a special project of the California Department of Education, Special Education Division.