Special Education 469

EDSP 469: Evaluative Techniques

Prerequisites: EDSP 361 or PSYC 401, and a minimum 2.5 GPA

Credit Hours: (3)

An understanding and application of the foundation of assessment and evaluation related to best special education practice is provided in this course. Students are familiarized with the use and interpretation of formal and informal diagnostic tests and procedures. Students will learn about the content, technical adequacy, administration and scoring of diagnostic educational instruments that assist with identifying disabilities and instructional planning.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course requires that students are knowledgeable in assessing a student's level of academic performance and in identifying their specific areas of need.  Therefore, students will learn how to selectively differentiate various disability areas and their role in the assessment process.  Course topics will include the following: 

· Validity and reliability of test instruments

· Statistical terminology and concepts

· Ethical issues and responsibilities in the assessment of individuals with disabilities

· Procedures for screening, prereferral, referral, and eligibility determinations

· Factors that may influence assessment findings such as cultural, behavioral, and learning diversity

· Administration, scoring, and interpretation of selected commonly used individual and group evaluative instruments, including norm-referenced, criterion-referenced, and curriculum-based measures

· Written synthesis and interpretation of assessment findings for eligibility, program planning, and program evaluation decisions

· Communicating test results to parents and school personnel


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Lecture, in class activities, videos, reading, discussion, simulated parent conferences, practice administration and scoring of standardized instruments, and writing diagnostic reports are involved in the conduct of this course.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Goals, objectives, and assignments in this class address NCATE Standard 1c Professional and Pedagogical Knowledge and Skills. The codes included below refer to the  Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Knowledge and Skill Standards and the Virginia Department of Education teacher licensure competencies. Code for CEC Standards: CC = Common Core; GC = General Curriculum, DH = Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Code for VADOE Standards: VGC = Virginia’s General Curriculum.

Upon completion of this course the student will demonstrate understanding of/ability to:

1. Identify and describe tasks involved in an educational evaluation, including screening, pre-referral, referral, and classification, along with the basic terminology used in assessment and the specialized terminology used in the assessment of individuals with disabilities and individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. (CC8K1,CC8K3, DH8K1,GC8K1, & VGCA2a3)

2. Identify the definitions and issues related to the identification of individuals with disabilities, including the procedures for early identification of young children who may be at risk for disabilities. (GC1K1, GC8K4 & VGCA2a3)

3. Discuss issues, laws, policies, assurances and due process rights related to assessment, eligibility, and placement within a continuum of services, ethical considerations, and influences of diversity related to assessment, eligibility, and placement of individuals with disabilities including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. (CC1K6, GC8K2, DH8K2 & VGCA2a3)

4. Identify the legal provisions and ethical principles regarding assessment of individuals. (CC8K2 & VGCA2a3)

5. Demonstrate understanding of the purpose, use, limitations and statistical terminology and influence of diversity of various diagnostic instruments, in the assessment process for identifying students with disabilities. (CC8K4 & VGCA2a3)

6. Administer nonbiased formal and informal assessments and use exceptionality-specific assessment instruments with individuals with disabilities. (CC8S2, GC8S2 & VGCA2a3)

7. Use technology to administer and conduct assessments and develop or modify individualized assessment strategies, including the selection, adaptation and modifying of assessments to accommodate the unique abilities and needs of individuals with disabilities. (CC8S3, CC8S4, CC8S9, GC8S3, & VGCA2a3)

8. Assess reliable methods of response of individuals who lack typical communication and performance abilities. (GC8S4)

9. Demonstrate appropriate application and interpretation of scores from informal and formal assessments, using disability specific assessment instruments, including grade score verses standard score, percentile ranks, age/grade equivalents, and stanines. (CC8S5, DH8S2, & VGCA2a3)

10. Administer assessment tools using the natural/native/preferred language of the individual who is deaf or hard of hearing. (DH8S1)

11. Demonstrate the ability to work professionally with school personnel, parents, and students with disabilities, including assessing student achievement, planning instruction, and implementing programs to address the strengths and needs of individual learners, and understand family systems and the role of families in the educational process, and collaborate with families and others in assessment of individuals with disabilities. (CC1K7, CC10S2, & VGCA2a3)

12. Understand the types and importance of information concerning individuals with disabilities available from families and public agencies and how to gather relevant background information. (GC8K3 & CC8S1)

13. Demonstrate the ability to enter a testing situation, establish rapport with the student being evaluated and determine if the testing situation had any effect on the student’s performance. (VGCA2a3)

14. Implement procedures for assessing and reporting both appropriate and problematic social behaviors of individuals with disabilities. (GC8S1 & VGCA2a3)

15. Use assessment information in making eligibility, program, and placement decisions for individuals with disabilities, including those from culturally and/or linguistically diverse backgrounds. (CC8S6 & VGCA2a3)

16. Demonstrate the ability to integrate informal and formal evaluations in a written report with educationally relevant recommendations addressing the strengths and needs of students, and/or suggest appropriate modifications in learning environments. (VGCA2a3)

17. Report assessment results to all stakeholders using effective communication skills. (CC8S7, VGCA2a3)

18. Evaluate instruction and monitor progress of individuals with exceptional learning needs and create and maintain records. (CC8S8, CC8S10 & VGCA2a3)


Assessment Measures

1. Class participation

2.  Two to four written exams

3.  Individual performance assessment and simulated conference

4.  Four written diagnostic reports based on diagnostic assessments with a school-aged student. This is an NCATE candidate performance task for students in the DHH program addressing Pedagogical and & Professional Knowledge and Skills Development - Effective application in clinical experience.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

Revised April, 2009