This course explores observation and assessment instruments, as well as recommended practices and available resources for infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. Content includes an emphasis on observing young children and assessing their early childhood learning environments.
This course is designed to help educators, para-professionals and child caregivers observe and assess various aspects of children’s development and programs. Participants will learn the components necessary for strong observation skills, such as self-awareness, objectivity, confidentiality and ethical guidelines. Web links to videos and other observation and assessment resources will be included.
The course will then discuss various types of observation and recording tools, as well as the advantages and disadvantages associated with each. Students will learn how to set goals, plan, and choose the best instrument for specific situations. Included will be tools for assessing environments, programming, and child-staff interactions. The why, when, where, what and how of conducting appropriate observations and authentic assessments will be covered.
Participants will gain techniques for organizing, analyzing and interpreting observation data. This course will teach how to apply assessment information to improve program quality and to best meet the needs of individual children.
Students will discuss proper methods for displaying observations and sharing assessments. Included will be portfolio development and other documentation methods that make children’s experiences visible. The course will then show ways to communicate observation and assessment information to parents and other appropriate adults. Finally, students will apply course concepts by creating an observation and assessment plan for their own classroom environment.
- Become aware of your own biases to become skilled in objective observation.
- Describe the cycle and functions of observation and assessment in early childhood settings.
- Learn best practices for observing and assessing the development of young children.
- Identify a variety of observation recording tools for developmental screening and program assessment.
- Learn advantages and disadvantages of each tool and guidelines for choosing the most appropriate choice for different goals.
- Understand how to summarize and interpret observation data to assess children and programs.
- Apply observation data to planning for individual children and programs.
- Develop formats for documenting, sharing and explaining observation and assessment practices and information to parents and colleagues.
- Design a personal strategy for gathering information and keeping records in a specific early childhood setting.
There are no prerequisites.
As a student you will be expected to:
- Complete all four information sections showing a competent understanding of the material presented in each section.
- Complete all four section examinations, showing a competent understanding of the material presented. You must obtain an overall score of 70% or higher, with no individual exam score below 50%, to pass this course. *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
- Complete a review of any section on which your examination score was below 50%.
- Retake any examination, after completing an information review, to increase that examination score to a minimum of 50%, making sure to also be achieving an overall exam score of a minimum 70% (maximum of three attempts). *Please note: Minimum exam score requirements may vary by college or university; therefore, you should refer to your course addendum to determine what your minimum exam score requirements are.
- Complete a course evaluation form at the end of the course.
| Estimated Time of Completion
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