Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA)

General Information

  • Cooperating teachers, principals, teacher candidates, and other school professionals who would like information on the edTPA can watch this brief video (7 min) on the edTPA.
  • The edTPA is a national, subject-specific portfolio-based assessment of teaching performance that is completed by student teachers to demonstrate their readiness for a full-time classroom teaching assignment.
  • It was developed utilizing best-practices in teacher evaluation and is based on a California assessment used for teacher licensure. Minnesota and five other states have accelerated their adoption of the edTPA in order to have more voice in its shaping.
  • Student teachers, or candidates, complete the edTPA during the professional semester of their teacher preparation programs.
  • To complete the edTPA, candidates apply what they have learned from their coursework about research, theory, and strategies related to teaching and learning by providing artifacts documenting teaching and learning during a learning segment lasting approximately one week and commentaries explaining, analyzing, or reflecting on the artifacts.
  • The edTPA includes the following three main parts:
    • Task 1: Planning for Instruction and Assessment
    • Task 2: Instructing and Engaging Students in Learning
    • Task 3: Assessing Student Learning
  • The edTPA is subject-specific, so each content area has its own handbook only available in Tk20.

Goals of the edTPA

  • Improve K-12 student outcomes
  • Improve the information base guiding improvement of teacher preparation programs
  • Strengthen the information base for accreditation and comparison of program effectiveness
  • Be used in combination with other measures as a requirement for licensure
  • Guide professional development for teachers across the career continuum

St. Olaf’s Timelines and Requirements

  • During the welcome visit, St. Olaf College supervisor, the candidate, and the host teacher discuss the edTPA and a plan for its implementation.
  • Lesson plans for the learning segment must be included with the edTPA. Candidates should use the Lesson Plan Template (with color and edTPA coding) or Lesson Plan Template (without color or edTPA coding).
  • There will be two mandatory edTPA Writing Days at St. Olaf during the first half of student teaching (check your ED 381 syllabus for the specific dates.)
  • The learning segment taping should be completed within the first six weeks of student teaching. The edTPA needs to be completed and uploaded in Tk20 by the end of the first half of student teaching (check your ED 389 Syllabus for the due date.)
  • Before student teaching ends you will meet with your generalist supervisor and/or Director of Assessment to discuss your edTPA score and takeaways from completing the edTPA.  Students must meet the minimum threshold for each task or they will need to remediate for licensure. Students not meeting the threshold for TWO or more tasks will be required to resubmit their edTPA to Pearson (and pay all costs associated with that resubmission).

Guidelines on Assistance to Candidates Completing the edTPA

The edTPA plays a role in recommending a candidate for a teaching credential, either as a course assignment or as a direct contributor to a recommendation for a teaching credential. Therefore, it is important that faculty, supervisors, cooperating teachers, peers, and other educators offering assistance understand the distinction between appropriate and inappropriate support to candidates as they work on completing the edTPA.

Students, Cooperating Teachers, and College Supervisors will be provided a handout with guidelines for supporting teacher candidates completing the edTPA.

The edTPA should document the work of candidates and their students in their classrooms; educators offering support should discourage any attempts to fabricate evidence or plagiarize work. Given the demonstrated value of collegiality in education and the placement of the TPA within an educational program, the process of putting together a edTPA encourages collaboration, but it is essential to ensure the authenticity of the portfolio submission. Therefore the boundaries between acceptable and unacceptable support are being made explicit in this document to support a consistent understanding across TPA institutions.

Candidates are learning how to teach and are being guided by more experienced teachers. Professional conversations about teaching and learning are not only appropriate, but desirable. The edTPA can and should allow candidates to draw upon these conversations as they create their own understandings of teaching and learning and apply them in the teaching decisions that they make. However, educators providing support should avoid telling candidates what to say in the edTPA. Support providers should ensure that the teaching decisions and thinking reflected in the edTPA are the candidate’s own integration of their own experience, research and theory, and not insights by other educators about the type of teaching and learning reflected in the learning segment.

In summary, educators and peers providing support to candidates completing the edTPA should take care that it reflects the understanding of the candidate with respect to the teaching and learning during the learning segment documented and is an authentic representation of the candidates’ work.

Lesson Plan and Video Requirements

Each student teacher will construct their edTPA based on a learning segment of 3-5 lessons (or 3-5 hours of connected instruction). During the teaching of that learning segment, the student teacher will video tape lessons to submit as evidence of student learning. The requirements for different content areas are listed in the grid below:

 Licensure  Area

 Task 1: Planning

(Central Focus)

Task 2: Instruction

 (Content of the edTPA Video)

Length of Video Clip(s)

English as an Additional Language (ESL) develop English language within content-based instruction First clip – focus on you engaging through modalities to develop English language proficiency through content or supporting students in practicing language.  Second clip – focus on academic language (vocabulary, grammar, etc.) competencies. two video clips, no more than 10 minutes each
Performing Arts create, perform, or respond to music/dance/theater, by applying artistic skills, knowledge and contextual understandings lessons where you are engaging your students in 1) developing new artistic skills, knowledge, and context about music/dance/theater works and 2) applying that new knowledge/skill in creating, performing or responding to a musical, dance or theatrical work two clips that do not exceed 10 minutes each
English/Language Arts (CAL) develop the ability to comprehend, construct meaning from, and interpret complex text, to create a written product interpreting or responding to text lessons where you are engaging your students in preparing to read a complex text or in a discussion to construct meaning from and interpret the text two video clips that do not exceed 10 minutes each in total running time
Math build conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and mathematical reasoning/problem solving skills lessons where you are interacting with students to develop their conceptual understanding, procedural fluency, and mathematical reasoning and/or problem-solving skills one or two video clips that do not exceed 15 minutes in total
Science use scientific and application of scientific practices through inquiry to develop evidence-based explanations for a real-world phenomenon lessons where you are engaging your students in a scientific inquiry where they are analyzing and interpreting data and constructing evidence-based arguments as they discuss conclusions from the data two video clips that do not exceed 10 minutes each
Social Studies use facts, concepts, and interpretations to build arguments about historical events, topic/themes, or social studies phenomenon lessons where you interacting with students to develop their skills and strategies by critically evaluating accounts or interpretations of historical events or social studies phenomenon two video clips that do not exceed 10 minutes each
World Language develop and demonstrate communicative proficiency (both productive and receptive) in the target language and familiarity with cultures that use that language lessons where you are interacting with students to develop their communicative proficiency in the target language in meaningful cultural contexts two video clips that meet requirements; total running time of each clip should not exceed 10 minutes
Visual Arts support students in developing their abilities to create and respond to visual art concepts incorporating form and structure, production, art context, and personal perspective lessons where you are interacting with students to develop their abilities to create and respond to visual art concepts incorporating form and structure, production, art context, and personal perspective one-two video clips (totaling no more than 20 minutes in length)


edTPA Video Permissions

One of the key artifacts of the edTPA is a video of a single class. Candidates need to obtain permission from the parents/guardians of the students who will appear in the videotape. Permission letters in English, Hmong, Somali, and Spanish are linked below for you to use.


This video will be seen by the candidates, their college supervisors, their host teachers, and up to two scorers who are trained to score the edTPA. The video will be uploaded to Tk20, a password protected website that sits behind a firewall. In addition, candidates will select work samples from several students to analyze. Candidates will remove student names from all work samples, but the examples will be part of the edTPA uploaded artifacts.