Student Achievement Assessment Committee
Primary Learning Outcomes
The mission statement of the department manifests three primary learning outcomes for students in music education:
• teaching effectiveness
• excellent musicianship
• critical thinking skills
Since spring 2001, these three primary learning outcomes have been the underlying principles for assessment in every course with a MUED prefix. These learning outcomes form the core of the undergraduate and graduate programs in music education.
1. Learning (or Service) Outcomes assessed this year:
In 2003-2004 we attempted to measure changes in teaching behaviors during the course of the student teaching practicum. While measures of behavior change alone do not capture the total essence of effective teaching, published literature in music education suggest that expert music teachers demonstrate similar teaching behaviors, which differ from behaviors demonstrated by novices. Novices tend to spend more time presenting instruction (teacher talk) than in directing students through a sequence of performances leading to achievement of a performance goal.
The assessment procedure described in this report was designed to examine the effect of self observation and self analysis on the behaviors of our student teachers and their students during the student teaching practicum.
2. Assessment Methods and Procedures:
The table submitted with this document reports data recorded by students during observations of their own performance as student teachers. Three observations (week 4, week 5, and week 10) are required during the student teaching practicum. Video observations were 20 minutes in length. Student teachers utilized SCRIBE, a computerized behavior analysis program designed specifically for systematic analysis of performance-based instruction.
3. Inferences from Assessments:
After analyzing the first video excerpt, student teachers indicated in seminar discussions that they wanted to talk less and direct their students to play more. The data suggest that they were successful in doing so. There was a shift in the balance of teacher and student behaviors over the course of the term. Time spent in teacher talk was greater in observation I (48%) than in observations II (32%) and III (31%). The mean episode duration of teacher talk time diminished from observation I (10 sec) to observation II (9 sec) and observation III (9 sec).
Most striking was the change in the proportion of time spent in large group and small group performance from observation I to observation II. The data suggest that our student teachers worked with small groups to a greater extent in observation II (25%) than in observation I (13%) or observation III (17%) perhaps indicating greater attention to detail in rehearsals following seminar II (week 4) and observation II (week 5). An increase in the percentage of time spent in large group performance between observation II and observation III is not surprising since observation II took place early in the semester when students learn new music and observation III took place during week 10 when students have mastered technical aspects of the piece and rehearsals focus on ensemble performance.
Student teachers increased the rate of positive feedback from observation I (.41 per minute to observation II (.48 per minute, and observation III (.63 per minute). They gave less negative feedback than positive feedback for all observations and they delivered more directives than any other form of teacher verbalization.
4. Actions Taken/Program Improvements:
We have focused on assessment of student teaching, the final capstone experience for music education majors, for the past two years. While we will continue to monitor the effect of self observation on improvement of teaching skills during student teaching, it is now appropriate to link what we have learned to the junior methods courses where students demonstrate and develop their teaching skills. Directed self observations appear to positively influence teaching behaviors and students may benefit from more frequent opportunities to observe and analyze their own teaching and the teaching of others. We have already begun to develop electronic portfolios, which include videotaped excerpts and self observation, in junior methods courses. We will continue to refine our electronic portfolios and we will develop an assessment instrument for junior methods courses.
We will continue to examine videotaped teaching excerpts submitted by student teachers to study the process and quality of teacher decision making in lessons and rehearsals.