Every required class in the master’s program in differentiated instruction has one “common assignment” that stays the same no matter who is teaching the class. The assignment has a common description and a common rubric, both of which were developed and approved by the faculty in the program. Students submit the work and faculty submit the grades to an electronic platform. This way student work is available to serve as exemplars for accreditors and evaluation scores are available for electronic reporting and analysis of outcomes across all class sections.
Recently, student work on the unit plan in Curriculum Development for Gifted Students (EDDI520) showed that students performed very strongly on planning critical and creative thinking connections in lessons and on differentiation for specific students. It also showed that students needed to learn more about the social and emotional development of gifted learners, as this line of the rubric had the lowest scores. Because of these results, the program added a new required text and class activities with this focus to the course, with the expectation that these changes will help improve student understanding in this area when it is next assessed.
For more information about the use of common assignments and their assessment in the Differentiated Instruction Program, please contact Julie Henry, director of the Differentiated Instruction Program.
Submitted by: Sara Morris, associate vice president, academic affairs