5b.1. How does instruction by professional education faculty reflect the conceptual framework as well as current research and developments in the fields?
Course syllabi clearly reveal the alignment between instruction and the conceptual framework. Each syllabus delineates the relationship between core values and instructional goals, relates the commitments to technology and diversity inherent in the course, and aligns the state and national standards with the course content. The course syllabi also demonstrate the commitment of professional education faculty to current research and best practice. For example, instructors use current textbooks and supplement course content with other contemporary print and electronic media.
5b.2. How do unit faculty members encourage the development of reflection, critical thinking, problem solving, and professional dispositions?
Candidate development of reflection, critical thinking, problem solving, and professional dispositions is central to COE’s core value of intellectual vitality. Faculty members provide candidates with multiple opportunities to develop the skills and dispositions to be reflective practitioners, including: reflective journal writing; self-evaluation of teaching practices and professional dispositions; online reflections related to course experiences; reflective exercises after small and large group discussions, at the end of course sessions, at the end of the semester, and at program completion; dialogue journals; and reflective components in portfolios. Critical thinking and problem-solving skills are developed through the use of prepared case studies as well as candidate construction of case studies, critiques of journal articles and research reports that have implications for professional practice, discussions of controversial issues, seminar discussions related to experiences in concurrent internships, application questions on course examinations, and research projects that require candidates to analyze, synthesize, and evaluate multiple variables. Information about professional dispositions consistent with various professional organizations and COE’s core values are integrated throughout courses and internships and are developed and assessed through specific measures including course assignments, self-evaluations of dispositions, field experience observations, and surveys. UAA’s Student Code of Conduct and the Alaska’s Code of Ethics and Teaching Standards provide minimum expectations for all candidates, and adherence to the principles in these documents is expected and enforced.
5b.3. What types of instructional strategies and assessments do unit faculty members model?
Faculty members model a variety of instructional strategies and assessments in their work with candidates. The following instructional strategies are used in classes: interactive lectures, seminars, guest lectures, whole-group and small-group discussions, individualized instruction, multimedia-rich presentations (video, slides, video conferencing, PowerPoint, discussion boards), web-enhanced learning, Wikispaces, weblogs, microteaching, written reflections, scaffolding, journal writing, observation logs, personal consultations, cooperative learning, candidate presentations, brainstorming, learning contracts, project-based learning, case studies, KWL, graphic organizers, literature circles, wait time, concept maps, simulations, debates, inquiry, demonstrations, contextual learning, direct instruction, constructivism, and school-based observations and participation.
Faculty members use and model both formative and summative assessment strategies in their courses, as well as traditional and authentic assessments. They use written essay and multiple choice exams (in-class and take-home), performance assessments (such as demonstration of selected psychomotor skills), oral presentations, observations of field work, interviews, lesson and unit plans, case study analysis, and reflections on field experiences. Assessments also include the use of checklists, rubrics, position papers, reflective papers and journals, annotated bibliographies, field experience reports and logs, critiques of research articles, literature reviews, online and classroom discussions, interest inventories, pre- and post-surveys, midterm and final written exams, research papers, individual and group projects, grant proposals, and e-portfolios.
5b.4. How do unit faculty members incorporate the use of technology into instruction?
All faculty members incorporate technology applications in their instruction. Each syllabus describes the faculty member’s expectation for candidates with regard to their knowledge, skills, and dispositions related to technology. In addition, faculty members’ CVs relate how they integrate technology into instruction. Examples of the integration of technology into instruction reported in CVs include the use of e-portfolios, wikis, weblogs, discussion boards, Nings, Facebook, Blackboard, eLive, PowerPoint, Excel, TaskStream, Skype, Polycom, Smartboard, MP3, web viewing, YouTube, video share, video streaming, podcasts, DVDs, internet searches, electronic library databases, audioconferencing, heart rate monitors and other electronic devices and applications for physical and health education, Second Life, iPhoto, iMovie, digital photography, music software, and computer microscopes.
Standard 5B Exhibit 3 provides evidence that faculty use a wide range of instructional strategies and have a growing reputation for innovative use of technology for teaching and learning as well as communicating with school-based colleagues. COE leads UAA in the application of distance education technology, and will continue to explore sophisticated technology of distinct educational benefit in all courses.
5b.5. How do unit faculty members systematically engage in self-assessment of their own teaching?
Within COE exists a culture of self-assessment of teaching practices to make teaching meaningful, effective, and relevant. UAA uses the Individual Development and Educational Assessment (IDEA) course evaluation system for its faculty. Faculty, department chairs, and the dean use the information from the surveys to determine if a faculty member needs additional supports to improve instruction. The IDEA system also permits faculty to customize some questions, and they may use these to gather data for their own self-assessment and improvement purposes. In addition, retention reviews for non-tenured faculty and periodic reviews for tenured faculty require written self-reviews along with objectives for the current year.
Faculty also engage in self-assessment practices beyond the University’s required IDEA and faculty evaluation systems. These practices include formative and summative faculty-designed surveys administered to candidates two or three times throughout the semester, exit surveys administered to candidates by program areas to facilitate improvement of program experiences, reflections on own teaching practices as the faculty member engages in professional readings and conferences, feedback from peers involved in team teaching activities, peer invitations to observe instruction and provide feedback, reflections on candidate learning and its relationship to the faculty member’s instructional practices, and consultations with peers who teach other sections of the same course.
Standard 5B Exhibit 4 provides summaries of candidate evaluations of faculty teaching and clinical supervision. Faculty members take these evaluations seriously and use them to reflect on their own practices.