Here you will find weekly information and material for this course.

Week 1 (1/12/10)

Maine Special Ed. Regulations

IDEA Reauthorization Statute: Changes in Initial Evaluations and Reevaluations

Outline: Assessment in Context

Notes on Ecological Inventory-Discrepancy Analysis


Assessment and IDEA

History of Assessment

Week 2 (1/19/10)

According to O’Brien and Mount (1991) in Browder (2001), capacity building “refers to planning that focuses on a person’s strengths and preferences” (pg. 6). The use of capacity building in assessment procedures is a beneficial way to focus on a student’s strengths, personal attributes and interests, which can be used to create IEP goals and develop educational programming. Unfortunately, many present levels of educational performance in evaluation and IEP’s focus on deficit finding, thus focusing on what the student does not know and is unable to do. The use of a deficit finding approach in assessment procedures can result in lack of goals, objectives, educational programming, and individualizing curriculum allowing a student to progress.

Person Centered Assessment Power Point is posted under the Person Centered Assessment tab on the left side of the wiki.

Observations materials will be posted by Wednesday. Observations and observation critiques are now due on 2/9/10 instead of 2/2/10.

If you need me order you a specific Adaptive Behavior Scale score sheet for 2/9/10, please email me ASAP.

Observation information, example data collection sheets, and templates are under the Observation tab on the left side of the wiki. All data collection sheets are from

Week 3 (1/26/10)

have posted an outline to help guide your reading of the COACH. The COACH clearly explains it's purpose, what preparation is required, and directions on completing the family interview. There is also an example in the book to follow. Please photocopy p. 210-247 to complete the family interview, Cross Prioritization, Additional Learning Outcomes, General Supports, and to write draft goals and objects. You only need to complete Part A, Steps 1-6. You do not need to complete Part B, Steps 7-10. We can go over an example in class on February 9th.

When you have completed the COACH Part A, please make a copy and mail it to me. I will provide you my address by email or in class. It needs to be postmarked by February 18th. I will post an example write up of the COACH for your assessment reports this week. You DO NOT NEED to complete this write up and turn it in. The write up is included in your final assessment report. I only need p. 210-247 for your COACH assignment and your COACH critique by February 23rd. Please email me if you have any questions about the COACH.

Your syllabus says we will start discussing adaptive behavior scales on February 2nd. Please disregard. We will discuss adaptive behavior scales, look at some examples in class, and practice using them in class on February 9th. Focus on completing reading the COACH and completing the Family Interview, Cross Prioritization, Additional Learning Outcomes, General Supports over the next two weeks.

When you complete the Family Interview, give yourself at least an hour. Sometime this process takes even longer depending on how much information parents or family members provide. Take a break before completing the cross prioritization. This will give you time to transfer the priorities from Step 1.4 to the first page of Step 1.5 in order. The directions and helpful hints for each step will help guide you to use the COACH. Review these pages BEFORE completing the Family Interview

Coach Outline

Sample Coach Write Up

Week 4 (2/2/10)

Please complete reading the COACH. Take time to become familiar with the directions for the family interview and filling out page 210-247. Set up a date to complete the family interview. If you have any questions, please email me or bring them to class on 2/9/10.

For your discussion this week, I want you to also share your reflections on your experience as you start to use the COACH (ex. discussing the process to team members, completing the family interview). If you don't have time to start the process yet, please respond to the posting of your classmates and provide suggestions on how the COACH could be improved. 

I have posted some example assessment reports. Please look through them. How can they be improved to focus on capacity building? Do they blend focusing on a child's strengths, needs, and deficits?

Feel free to email me sanitized assessments you have completed to share with your classmates.

I have posted an example assessment that is the format I would like you to use for your assessment report under "Report Writing" on the left hand side of the wiki. If you have a form your district uses, you can use that instead as long as it included the same components.
We will review report writing requirements on 2/23/10 online.

Developing Goals and Objectives for COACH

Week 5 (2/9/10)

Please review the updated syllabus schedule on the homepage of this wiki. I have extended deadlines for the COACH and adaptive behavior scale. On the homepage, you will also find the material check out form. If you need to borrow assessment tools such as the Vineland-II manual, the ABAS-II, the SIB, or another assessment, you need to complete this form and return it to me.

All course material for this week is posted under the Adaptive Behavior Scale tab on the left side of the wiki.

Since there is school vacation next week, there will not be an online discussion. Please take the time to relax with family and complete your assignments.

Week 6 (2/23/10)

This week, please read information posted under the Report Writing and Functional Behavioral Assessments tabs on the wiki. I have posted a discussion for this week. It is titles “Discussion for the week of 2/23/10”. The discussion counts as participation for this week and extra credit for up to 5 points.

Our course syllabus is changing again. Below I have attached another revised syllabus of topics. I am sorry if this has caused you any confusion. Please be aware that week numbers and discussion numbers do not match up. Just because it is week six, does not mean it is discussion six online.

Week 7 (3/2/10)

After technical problems over the past 24 hours, the wiki is back up and running. All previous material on this page was recovered to the best of my ability. If you notice something on the wiki is not able to be displayed, please let me know.

This week, there are two presentations and handouts for you to read. These presentations are on the role of an OT and PT working with children with disabilities in schools and OT and PT assessments. Presentation can be found under the OT, PT, and SLP Presentation tab. This week please post to discussion 6.

I want to remind everyone that you should have mailed me your COACH pages 210-247, as well as your completed adaptive behavior scale report forms. If you have already emailed me regarding sending these assignments later, you are all set. Also, if I have not emailed you the scores to the ABAS-II yet, then you have an extension. Everyone should have also emailed me your COACH and ABAS-II critiques.

By next Tuesday, everyone needs to confirm with me what they are going to be doing their assessment presentation on. Your classmates are doing presentations on the TERA-3 and the Brigance Transition Skills Inventory, so these two assessment tools are taken.

Lastly, I want to remind everyone that you need to check with me about the fifth assessment tool you will be using for your assessment report. At our next class, I will have the Social Skills Improvement System which is a standardized tool to asses a student's social skills. You are welcome to use this as your fifth assessment tool. There are two versions of the forms (parent and teacher forms), but I only can give people one form to use. I will bring enough so you can take one to use. If you wont use it, please don't take one because they are very expensive.

If you have a copy of the ABLLS, would you please bring it to our next class on March 16th.

Week 8 (3/9/10)

The speech language power point presentation is posted under the OT, PT, and SLP Presentation tab on the left of the wiki. Please reflect on the presentation, your interview with an SLP about assessments, and your learning about speech-language assessment in Discussion 7.

Here is a presentation made by the publisher of the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS). The SSIS is a social skills rating scale that has teachers and parents rate a student's social skills and problem behaviors. It is a norm referenced assessment tool and provides both a social skills and problem behavior standard score. This assessment identifies whether a student has acquisition or performance deficits of specific social skills, thus driving social skills instruction and the use of reinforcement to teach these skills.

Below is an outline on the SSIS. I have additional handouts to give to you in class that go with the outline.

Everyone's presentation topics are due on Tuesday, 3/9/10. Please email me your topics for approval.

For our next class meeting, we will be covering the following topics: SFA activity, Functional Reading and Math Assessment, Developmental Assessments, Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS), the Callier-Azusa, and the ABLLS. Participation in discussions, the SFA activity, and reviewing assessment tools in groups is required.

Week 9 (3/16/10)

We will be meeting in person on Tuesday. Most handouts for the class are posted online, but additional ones will be passed out in class.

Information on the Callier-Azusa is under Callier-Azusa Scale tab on the left side of the wiki.

Information on Functional Reading and Functional Math is under the Functional Reading and Math tab on the left side of the wiki.

There is an online discussion for this week. It is titled "Discussion for the week of 3/16/10".

Everyone will need to select a fifth assessment tool to use for their comprehensive assessment. You are welcome to use interviews, academic assessment tools for reading and math, informal assessment tools, a developmental assessment tool, the ABLLS, SSIS, etc. Please email me what additional assessment tool you will use by 3/19/10. Your fifth assessment tool and assessment critiques are due by 3/30/10.

Reflection Paper 1 is due by 4/6/10. There is a typo on the syllabus. It is due on 4/6/10, NOT 4/4/10.

To help provide everyone with the opportunity to complete assignments and readings, there will be open discussions on your reading of the Alternative Assessment Based on Alternative Standards: Policy, Practice and Potential textbook. These open discussions are for the required chapter readings. I will post questions and outlines to guide your reading and discussions for those weeks. Your reading and discussions should help you write reflection 2.

Week 10 (3/23/10)

Last week you were supposed to read Chapters 1-4 of the Alternative Assessments textbook. This week your assignment is to read Chapters 5-8. You will find questions to guide your reading and discussions under the Alternative Assessment tab on the left side of the wiki. Think about these questions as you read and post to the discussion. You are not expected to respond to all the questions. Please do one of the following: (1) answer all the questions from one chapter or (2) one question from two or three chapters. Post your responses to the wiki Discussion 8. Everyone also needs to respond to one classmates posting.

Week 11 (3/30/10)

This week please continue to read the Alternative Assessment textbook, chapters 9- 15. Questions to guide your reading and answer in this weeks "Discussion 9" are posted under the Alternative Assessment tab. Please respond to questions under chapters 5-8.

Everyone's fifth assessment tool and critique are due by this Tuesday. This does not apply to individuals who have already asked for extensions because they are borrowing materials (ex. SFA book).

Week 12 (4/6/10)

Over the next two weeks you should be reading chapters 16-27. You should be completing your reflection papers, assessment report, and assessment presentation. If you are making a power point presentation for your presentation for 4/13/10, please email it by noon on 4/13/10 so it can be posted to share with your classmate who is not attending class.

Please complete "Discussion 10" this week. This is your final discussion. More information was posted on the PAAP under the PAAP tab. All information is from the Maine DOE website.

All assignments are due by 4/20/10. If you are mailing assignments, they should arrive by 4/20/10.

Week 13 (4/13/10)

April 13th is our last class meeting. We will review Assistive Technology Assessments and Transition Assessments. Materials on these two topics are under the Assistive Technology Assessment and Transition Assessment tabs on the left side of the wiki. Additional information on transition assessments will be posted by this evening.

Each of you will also be doing a 5-10 minute assessment presentation. I will make sure to set up the projector so you can use power point as needed. Once you have turned in all your assignments, I will check them over, and email final grades by the first week of May. If you would like me to mail back your paperwork, please include a self addressed envelope with prepaid postage when you mail me your final assessment report with all assessment battery materials. At the end of May, I will be editing this wiki by and deleting discussions and student access. If you want to download anything from this wiki, please do so before the end of May.

It has been a pleasure having each of you in class. You all have provided valuable contributions to class discussions. I have learned from each of you over the course of the semester. I hope you all have a wonderful spring and remainder of the school year.

Week 14 (4/20/10)

Once you have turned in all your assignments this Tuesday, you will have completed SED 556 : ) Michelle’s presentation on the DIBELS is now posted under the student assessment presentation tab on the wiki.

This course has been an overview of formal and informal assessment tools for students with moderate to severe disabilities. We have emphasized the importance of writing assessment reports by focusing on capacity building and not deficit finding. Best practice really includes balancing identifying a student's strengths, weaknesses, and areas of continued support. Assessment tools such as the COACH and percent center planning assessments emphasize the importance of including family priorities, dreams, and goals for their child into the assessment process. Formal assessment tools such as adaptive behavior scales, which focus on the use of functional daily living skills, were also covered. The use of an ecological inventories were reviewed to compare behavior and academic abilities of a child with a disability to his/her regular education peers to create accommodations and support so the student could become more independent. The use of ecological inventories was also emphasized throughout the Browder text to assess as student function reading skills, leisure and recreational skills, to provide opportunities for inclusion, and for transition planning.
Each of you read, participated in discussion, and wrote a reflection paper on alternative assessments that are for students with significant cognitive disabilities who are unable to participate in regular assessments with or without accommodations. Each state’s alternative assessment varies by design and implementation. As you learned, the PAAP is Maine's alternative assessments, which informs teaching and learning of students with significant disabilities for accountability of student learning, and to measure student progress towards state academic achievement standards. We concluded this course by reviewing assistive technology assessments such as the WATI and SETT Framework, transition planning, and student presentations of different assessment tools.
Thank you all for your positive and constructive feedback for teaching this course. It was a pleasure to meet you all. I hope you developed relationships with some of your classmates to continue to share experiences and resources about assessment and instruction.
Grades will be posted by the first week of May. Enjoy your spring and summer.