Assessment Model

Key Assessments

Education Department Faculty/Staff Handbook

The following information outlines the key assessments used to measure teacher candidate proficiencies with state and national standards. The St. Olaf Teacher Education Program is committed to providing and maintaining policies and procedures for ensuring that key assessments of candidate performance are fair, accurate, consistent and free of bias.

Planning and Assessment for Student Learning (PASL) / Feedback Loop
The Planning and Assessment for Student Learning (PASL) /Feedback Loop is a key assessment introduced during Education 330 Principles of Education. Students are required to utilize the teacher work sample format in the design of their first unit plan as they are introduced to the “backward design” model from Understanding by Design (Wiggins and McTighe). The PASL/Feedback Loop assessment is also required during Education 3xx, the special methods course, as students begin to concentrate on pedagogical content knowledge.

During student teaching, all candidates design unit plans using the Planning and Assessment for Student Learning (PASL) or the Feedback Loop for Planning and Assessment (for music education students).  The PASL or Feedback Loop form is completed at least once in the first half of the placement and once in the second half, and submitted to the college generalist supervisor before teaching the unit.  Music student teachers will only complete and submit the “Student/Ensemble Background” and “Score Study and Related Resources/Information” sections before introducing a musical piece or topic and then submit the completed Feedback Loop at the end.  These forms are available on the Education Department website.

  • The first PASL/Feedback Loop must include the use of technology.
  • The second PASL/Feedback Loop must use differentiated instruction.

After each unit, the PASL Reflection or Feedback Loop Reflection are completed to reflect on successful and unsuccessful activities and assessments, adjustments made during instruction, student performance on objectives, and to note how instruction could be improved in the future.  Each PASL Reflection/Feedback Loop Reflection is submitted to the generalist college supervisor. Supervisors provide feedback to candidates using the PASL/Feedback Loop Feedback Form and report their assessment of candidate performance with both PASL/Feedback Loops to the Director of Field Experiences using the Generalist Supervisor’s Assessment of Planning & Assessment for Student Learning (PASL)/Feedback Loop (FL) Assignments form.

Note: The PASL/Feedback Loop and PASL/Feedback Loop Reflections may substitute for a daily journal entry.

Student Teaching Assessment

During student teaching, candidates are observed at least six times, the generalist supervisor observes four times and a specialist observes two times. The generalist observes and evaluates general pedagogical practice while the specialist focuses on content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge and skills. Data is collected using the Student Teaching Assessment form. The cooperating teacher also uses this form at a midterm point and as a final assessment tool.

Electronic Standards Portfolio

Upon completion of student teaching, candidates present an electronic standards portfolio addressing each of the Minnesota State Standards of Effective Practice. Each candidate presents specific portions of their portfolio to a small group of peers and to a department faculty member. Portfolio presentations and the full portfolio are reviewed by the faculty member who assesses each candidate’s pedagogical content knowledge and skills as part of the evaluation. Faculty use the Portfolio Review Form to evaluate candidate competencies with the Standards of Effective Practice.