SRU education students use Taskstream for portfolios

Published by adviser, Author: Erica Kurvach - Staff Reporter, Date: April 18, 2013

All incoming freshmen, transfer and incoming graduate education students will be mandated to use Taskstream starting in the fall semester to create an online portfolio.

Most Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education (PASSHE) schools are already using Taskstream. Students have to pay a $25 subscription each semester to keep their Taskstream profile. Current students are not required to subscribe unless their professor already asked in the course.

“It is a powerful tool,” Dr. Keith Dils, the Dean of the College of Education, said. “It positions students to be able to document their teaching abilities as they align standards.”

Teacher candidates have to meet Pennsylvania Department of Education and national standards in their discipline. In addition, they have to meet The Common Core Standards which have been released recently.

“Our teacher candidates have to demonstrate that they know how to teach and be able to plan to reach Common Core Standards,” Dils said.

These standards are available on Taskstream.

“This program will enable them to develop lesson plans, and with a click of a mouse they can get the standards and demonstrate that what they are doing is aligned to what teachers should be doing,” Dils said. “It demonstrates the things they should prepare for what current students need.”

Students can upload video clips on the program to show teachers how they met the standards.

Teachers have already used Taskstream in the past, but the College of Education wants to require students to use it. Next school year, teachers will be asked to sign up for Taskstream.

“A very similar way is buying a textbook,” Dils said. “It will be included in the assignment of the course so that students and faculty will know and will get training on how to use it.”

The Impact on Student Learning Project is considered a major project for student teachers. It demonstrates, using data and methods, what students learned. Learning Project results and faculty feedback will be posted on Taskstream.

The college will be using Taskstream for key main assessments such as disposition and field experiences working in diversity.

“It’s in the discipline and literature about teacher education,” Dils said. “It is very clear that this is a value for learning for teacher candidates and a mechanism to help them learn and demonstrate that they are a good teacher.”

Taskstream is a data management system used for surveys and lesson plans. The College plans to use it for applications to decree candidacy to get rid of the paper process.

“The responses have been [really] good so far from students who have used it,” Dr. Joanne Leight, an assistant professor of physical education, said. “There are two professors in elementary education who have used it for years.”

Leight recommends that students should buy a six-year subscription for about $120. Slippery Rock University did not have to buy Taskstream, and faculty does not have to pay to log in.

“Unfortunately, the D2L system that we have now is not integrated,” Leight said. “If you turn in an assignment on Taskstream, and I grade it, unfortunately that grade doesn’t go into D2L. It’s not interfaced yet, but someday it may be.”



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