Design treatment presentation fall 2005 t tac online project va assessments december 15 2005
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Design Treatment Presentation Fall 2005 T/TAC Online Project VA Assessments December 15, 2005. Matt Humphrey Aala’a Mashaal Pamela Sharpe Tim Smith Maria Washington Graduate School of Education George Mason University. Presentation Overview. Part 1 Immersion Overview

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Design Treatment PresentationFall 2005 T/TAC Online Project VA AssessmentsDecember 15, 2005

Matt Humphrey

Aala’a Mashaal

Pamela Sharpe

Tim Smith

Maria Washington

Graduate School of Education

George Mason University

Presentation Overview

Part 1

  • Immersion Overview

  • Instructional Design Process

    Part 2

  • Background & Introduction

  • Mission and Goal of Project

    Part 3

  • Analyses

    • Needs Analysis

    • Task Analysis

    • Findings and Results

      Part 4

  • Design Approach

  • Next Steps


  • Overview

  • Constructivist Learning Environment

    • Action Learning

  • The Learning Process

    • Teamwork

    • Portfolios and Reflections

  • Challenges

  • Benefits






Instructional Design Process


Integrated Learning Design Framework

Instructional Design ProcessPerformance Centered Design Process




Performance Zone



Background & Introduction

  • No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB)

  • Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004 (IDEA)

  • VA Assessments section for T/TAC Online

T/TAC Online

  • T/TAC Online is a web-based community linking people and resources to help children and youth with disabilities.



  • Transition to Cognitive Standards Based Assessments

  • Communication Skills

  • State Mandated Assessments

  • New Process for Teachers







Needs Analysis

Performance Analysis

Learner Analysis

Task Analysis

Needs AnalysisOverview

The process of determining, analyzing, and prioritizing needs and, in turn, identifying and implementing solution strategies to resolve high-priority needs.

Needs AnalysisObjectives

The objectives of the needs analysis are to:

  • Determine the best solution

  • Generate data to support recommendations

  • Provide specific recommendations

  • Decide priorities for action

Needs AnalysisSix Steps

The Six Steps involved in our Needs Analysis:

  • Determine Current Status

    • Performance Analysis

  • Analysis Results

  • Teacher Expectations

  • Identify Discrepancies

  • Determine the Goals

  • Set Priorities for Action

Performance AnalysisOverview

  • Is used to determine what needs to be done in order to accomplish the client’s stated goals and objectives.

  • Focuses on determining the elements that support the project

  • Investigates the current situation (actuals) and desired performance (optimals) (Rossett, 1999).

Performance AnalysisClients & Information Sources

Performance AnalysisCurrent Situation/Actuals

  • Special Education teachers have not been doing assessments for their students in a standardized format

  • Special Education teachers collaboration outside the classroom is limited

  • The assessment documents are difficult to locate on the Virginia Department of Education website

  • The challenge of assessing special education students creates a barrier

  • Special education teachers of students with severe disabilities have not been required to conduct SOL based assessments

  • Teachers spend an inordinate amount of time developing portfolios which were not aligned with SOL expectations

Performance AnalysisDesired Performance/Optimals

  • Special Education Teachers should assess their students using the different assessment standards including the VAAP, VGLA, and the VSEP.

  • The documents should be in one location as a “one stop shop” for teachers

  • The documents should be searchable for easy access and easy downloading

  • The creativity of the special education teachers should be shared with other teachers by creating and submitting lesson plans

  • Teachers can submit standardized assessment portfolios with streamlined evidences

Needs AnalysisData Collection

  • Review the manuals (VAAP, VGLA, VSEP)

  • Attend conferences to observe teachers reactions

  • Administer Surveys

  • Visit schools to interact with Special Education Teachers

  • Informal talk with Jocelyn

  • Interview with Dr. Behrmann

  • Informal talk with Anya

  • Interview with Mary Wilds

  • Interview with John Eisenberg

Needs AnalysisSurvey Questions

On a scale of 1-5 (5 being the strongest) rate the following:

  • I am proficient using the internet.

  • I have sufficient access to a computer (in the class/at home).

  • I use the internet to assist me in planning lessons and/or activities.


Dear teacher:

We are conducting research in order to help teachers transition to using the new VAAP manual in the most effective and efficient way possible. Please assist by completing this survey. Thank you.

  • Name:

  • School name:

  • Age (Circle One): 20-30, 31-40, 41-50, 51+

  • Years of Experience in Special Education field:

  • Type of License:

Surveys conducted 10/25/05 and 11/3/05, 89 SPED teachers

Needs AnalysisSurvey Questions

Regarding the new VAAP (Virginia Alternate Assessment Program)

  • I agree with the need to assess cognitive as well as life skills for VAAP students.

  • I currently have a good method to assess my VAAP students.

  • I spend a lot of time assessing my VAAP students.

  • I use/have many (5 or more) tools for assessments.

  • My lesson plans are shaped by the current VAAP assessments.


  • There are many hindrances (time, resources, lack of appropriate information, etc) that affect my assessment process.

  • I think the new assessments will change the way I prepare lesson plans.

  • I would be interested in interacting with other special education teachers online who are involved in the same VAAP transition.

  • I would like to share lesson plans and activities.

  • I would like to get help aligning the cognitive skills and life skills into the curriculum.

Surveys conducted 10/25/05 and 11/3/05, 89 SPED teachers

Needs AnalysisFindings/Results – New VAAP

Figure 1

  • 85.6% of the teachers indicated that they agree with the assessments.

  • 67% of teachers surveyed indicated that they spent a lot of time assessing the students.

  • 61% of teachers surveyed agreed that they have five or more tools for assessments

Surveys conducted 10/25/05, Fairfax County and 11/3/05, Fredericksburg, VA 89 SPED teachers

Figure 2








Needs AnalysisFindings/Results - Assessment

Surveys conducted 10/25/05, Fairfax County and 11/3/05, Fredericksburg, VA 89 SPED teachers

Needs AnalysisFindings/Result - Age Ranges

Surveys conducted 10/25/05, Fairfax County and 11/3/05, Fredericksburg, VA 89 SPED teachers

Needs AnalysisFindings/Results - Years of Teaching Experience

Surveys conducted 10/25/05, Fairfax County and 11/3/05, Fredericksburg, VA 89 SPED teachers

Needs AnalysisFindings/Results - Licensure

Surveys conducted 10/25/05, Fairfax County and 11/3/05, Fredericksburg, VA 89 SPED teachers

Needs AnalysisTeacher Performance Expectations

  • For students designated to be assessed under the VAAP teachers must begin aligning lesson plans to new aligned standards of learning (ASOL) guidelines, which include cognitive skills.

  • Skills will be measured in four categories: Reading, Math, History & Social Science and Science.

  • Teachers must develop lesson plans that align to SOL guidelines and can be rated 3 or above on the established scoring rubric by locally identified scorers in the areas of 1) student performance, 2) communication context, 3) communication settings, 4) communication socialization, and 5) communication support.

Needs AnalysisTeacher Performance Expectations

Teachers must be able to demonstrate the following skills and knowledge:

  • Have knowledge of ASOL guidelines and how to incorporate communication skills

  • Have access to VAAP Manual

  • Know how to complete an Individual Education Plan (IEP)

  • Have access to students IEP (work with IEP team)

  • Align lesson plans to SOL guidelines for SPED students

  • Develop lesson plans based on cognitive skills

  • Align lessons to SOL enhanced

  • Use computer:

    • Download blank forms

    • Internet access

    • Be able to use word-processing software

  • Be familiar with state and district-wide assessment

  • Have knowledge of learner’s skill level, needs, and characteristics

  • Have knowledge/access to proven- research based instruction techniques

  • Be able to develop lesson plans that fit the student’s current stage of learning for a particular skill.

Needs AnalysisDiscrepancies

  • Teachers do not have experience in aligning their lesson plans to the new standards.

  • Some of the teachers do not have experience assessing using the former VAAP standards.

  • The greatest discrepancy lies in the issue that this process is completely new to all teachers in the state of Virginia.

  • Teachers have limited resources to help them with the assessment process.

  • Teachers have limited time outside the classroom to dedicate to this process

Needs AnalysisGoals

  • 1. Provide scaffolding for teachers to develop lesson plans aligned with the SOLs.

  • 2. Produce a searchable VAAP manual

  • 3. Provide additional resources for teachers to utilize throughout the assessment process

Needs AnalysisPriorities for Action

  • Analyze lesson plan process

  • Based on the needs, determine potential solution

  • Create prototype of the solution system

Task AnalysisOverview

  • A task analysis is a process of analyzing and articulating the kind of learning that you expect the learners to know how to perform (Jonassen, Tessmer, & Hannum, 1999).

  • A thorough task analysis is essentially a blueprint of the instructional sequence and it assures the instructional designer that there are no gaps in the instruction.

Task AnalysisInformation Processing Analysis

  • The task analysis method selected was information-processing analysis (IPA). This type of analysis is used most often for procedural and cognitive tasks.

    • According to Smith and Ragan (1999), conducting an information-processing analysis is the first step in “decomposing” or breaking down a goal into its constituent parts, identifying what the students need to learn to attain the goal.

Task AnalysisProcess

  • A task analysis was conducted on the lesson plan to compile all components in an organized manner. The following task analysis is based on extant data research, observed teacher training of VAAP instruction process, as well as an expert interview with T/TAC Online Asssistant Director at GMU.

  • When a teacher completes a lesson plan that aligns with the task analysis all necessary components will be included to target the ASOL, CS, and IEP goals.

  • The completed task analysis will support the design and development of the solution system.

Task AnalysisChallenges

  • Is this the only lesson plan process?

  • Problem types for each task

    • Problem solving, rule using, etc

  • Appropriate supports for each task

  • What does the final result of each task look like?

Task AnalysisLesson Plan Document

Task AnalysisLesson Plan Process

Prerequisite Tasks

  • Review present level of performance, assessment data, and IEP team recommendations

  • Review student profile document

  • Identify communication skills

  • Identify student’s entry points

  • Plot entry-level points and communication skills on the student and classroom matrix

Task AnalysisLesson Plan Process

  • Identify a main theme or event of the lesson plan

    • Rule Using

  • Record the date of creation of the lesson plan

    • Rule Using

  • Identify the student tasks and activities

    • Main tasks, sub tasks, prerequisites, instructional strategies

    • Rule Using

  • Choose an ASOL subject matter

    • Organizing topic, standard used, support in activity context

    • Problem Solving

Task AnalysisLesson Plan Process

5. Choose a communication skill that can be incorporated into the lesson

  • Can be used multiple times

  • Problem Solving

    6. Identify the materials needed

  • Rule Using

    7. Identify and list assistive technology needs

  • Ensure that all students have appropriate assistive technology throughout the lesson

  • Rule Using

    8. Identify evidence collections materials

  • Problem Solving

Task AnalysisFurther Analysis

  • Field test the lesson plan process

    • Check for completeness

  • Task analyze observed processes to determine adequate supports for each task

  • Task Analysis used to support design and development of the solution system





Analysis  Design





Needs AnalysisPerformance Analysis

Learner Analysis

Task Analysis

a. Flowchart 1: Searching the VAAP Manual

Database Schema 1: Searching the VAAP Manual

Flowchart 2: Lesson Plan Document

Design ApproachUsers

Using the data collected from the surveys and interviews with SME’s, teachers and administrators we found that our users were:

  • Novice Special Education Teacher

  • Intermediate Special Education Teacher

  • Expert Special Education Teacher

Design ApproachEPSS

  • EPSS was selected as the solution system for the users

  • Rationale:

    • Teacher are familiar with the lesson plan process but not with aligning lesson plans with standards (supporting an existing process)

    • Teachers are very dispersed, a web based solution can reach more teachers.

    • Teachers time is limited, an EPSS provides just in time support for their needs.

Design ApproachCharacteristics of an EPSS

Key Characteristics of EPSS

Deborah Alpert Sleight (1993) states that an EPSS should contain these key characteristics:

  • Computer-based

  • Provide access to the discrete, specific information needed to perform a task at the time the task is to be performed

  • Used on the job, or in simulations or other practice of the job

  • Controlled by the user

  • Reduce the need for prior training in order to accomplish the task

Design ApproachAttributes of an EPSS


In her classic article “Attributes and Behaviors of Performance Centered Systems”, Gloria Gery delineated numerous elements of effective performance support systems including:

  • Establishes and maintain a work context

  • Aids in establishing the goal

  • Structures the work process

  • Reflects the natural flow of work

  • Provides alternative views data, information, and knowledge

  • Provides contextual feedback

  • Provides support resources without breaking the task context

  • Embeds knowledge into the interface

  • Provides access to underlying logic

  • Automates tasks

Design ApproachPrototype

Next Steps







Formative Evaluation

Next Steps

  • Identify Supports to be integrated into the EPSS

  • Continue Development of Prototype

  • Implement Prototype

  • Usability Testing

  • Formative Evaluation


  • Gery, G. (1991). Electronic Performance Support Systems. Tolland, MA: Gery Associates.

  • Gery, G. (1995). Attributes and Behaviors of Performance-Centered Systems. Performance Improvement Quarterly, 8(1), 47-93.

  • Smith, Patricia L. & Ragan, Tillman J. (2005). Instructional Design. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Thank You for Listening

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