Dimensions of Effective Assessment in Online Teacher Certification Programs
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AbstractDuring the 2001 – 2002 academic year, the University of North Texas piloted one of the first online teacher certification programs in America. Since teaching is a profession best learned through practice and feedback, faculty members were especially concerned that online coursework would allow students to build the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary to be ready for the classroom. Providing reliable and valid assessments of learning proved to be one of the most difficult challenges faced during the pilot program. Strategies used to assess student learning included online testing, journaling, content literacy strategies, checklists, rubrics, project-based learning, bulletin board and chat discussions. However, use of these strategies in an online teaching environment proved to have limitations not present in traditional campus-based teacher preparation courses. This paper discusses the advantages and disadvantages of various assessment strategies used in the pilot program.