Connecting program experiences with video to edTPA completion at Northwestern

In her role as edTPA® coordinator, Rebekah Stathakis was looking for ways to make the process of completing an edTPA portfolio less daunting for teacher candidates.

Last spring Rebekah chose Edthena to help. Edthena provides tools to assemble and then securely transfer edTPA artifacts to the edTPA platform for official scoring by trained and calibrated scorers.

The teachers “raved” about Edthena’s edTPA tools.

Now she is using Edthena for formative edTPA-related activities, so candidates see their edTPA portfolios as a natural extension to the work they’re doing in their courses.

How are program experiences connected to the process of building an edTPA portfolio?

Rebekah Stathakis edTPA coordinator NorthwesternOur hope is that completing edTPA will be an informative and meaningful experience for all of our teacher candidates.  We want them to be examining their practice closely and making evidence-based assertions and determining logical next steps for their students and themselves; candidates should be reflecting deeply. The features on Edthena are designed to foster this deep reflection.

So when candidates prepared to use video to complete their edTPA portfolios, they already felt very comfortable with the platform and with the process of reflecting deeply on what is occurring in a video.  I think many students saw completing edTPA (and using Edthena) as a natural extension to the work they had been doing in their courses.

Were there any aspects of Edthena that made this connection easier for candidates to identify?

I heard the students really rave about being able to export comments for use in their assessment commentaries.

Since our teacher candidates have used Edthena in their courses, they are accustomed to tagging evidence and aligning those tags with edTPA rubrics.  For edTPA, candidates also viewed and tagged evidence using Edthena.

Then, they exported those comments when writing their commentaries and were able to verify that they were citing specific evidence from the videos when answering the commentary prompts in Task 2 (and parts of Task 3).

How do you think Edthena supported candidates as they assembled their edTPA artifacts?

Using Edthena was very useful for our teacher candidates. The candidates commented that Edthena’s edTPA features helped them visualize everything they needed to prepare (like their different artifacts and commentaries) and then keep track of what had been completed.

Part of what can be daunting about edTPA is that candidates need to keep track of a lot of specific rules and requirements (types of files, length of videos/files, etc).  Edthena makes the submission process far more straightforward, since the platform takes care of much of this logistical work for the students. For example, Edthena’s edTPA platform renames files and ensures that videos meet the length requirements.Northwestern University

How do you describe the overall experience using Edthena as an edTPA platform provider?

Using Edthena allowed candidates to focus more of their energy on the important work of evidence-based reflection, since they did not need to spend their time worrying about technology questions or logistical issues.

I also didn’t need to spend my time providing tech support, and could instead focus on issues of teaching and learning with the candidates.

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