I just realized I haven’t posted my progress on the new Blended Teaching Assessment, which is well underway!
From September to October we worked on narrowing the Specified Learning Outcomes of the exam. Now we are writing the actual test items. One of the crucial things for writing a high quality test is that you ensure that each item correlates to one objective, not to multiple. You want to write questions that are clear and have effective wording. You also want to write questions that invite deeper level thinking and analysis. Ideally, if we could, this would be a performance-based assessment that would be administered by watching the pre-service teacher in a classroom. However, due to so many complications with a performance-based assessment we are using Qualtrics to build the assessment and administer it for pre-service teachers at BYU.
You might be wondering, “But Emily, you already created a Blended Teaching Readiness Instrument,” and you would be right. That instrument is self-report based, and doesn’t have right or wrong answers. It just assesses the level of readiness based on personal perception. Some of the self-report readiness instruments in the literature related to blended teaching aren’t validated; they don’t actually indicate the true measure of a teacher’s readiness to get into a blended classroom and do it.
That is why this assessment assesses knowledge, understanding, and application of blended teaching skills. There are right and wrong answers, and the teachers will be expected to demonstrate their abilities in five areas:
- Basic technology and dispositions
- Real-time Data Practices
- Integration between face-to-face and digital environments/activities
- Tech-mediated Interaction
We have been careful throughout the process to make sure that the items on the test are specific to an environment that is not the traditional teaching one. For example, we used to have a Specified Learning Objective of “Understands personal e-mail etiquette”– which, while important, is not a skill that is unique to teachers nor to a blended environment. We make sure that even if some skills involve technology, that the very basics like e-mail are not the focus of this instrument, rather we want the focus to be on the new and emerging skills of using data to make decisions, mastery-based learning progression, and being able to integrate face-to-face learning with digital learning.
The goal after creating the assessment is to create some remediation exercises and resources readily available to the test-taker when the test is over so that the ideas can be fully explained and understood by the pre-service teacher.
I will keep you updated when we have made more progress!