SPE 601 Diagnostic Assessment and Progress Monitoring

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Discover how early detection of learning differences can change a student’s educational future.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change without notice as course and student needs change over time. For current course descriptions, please see the Online Academic Catalog.

Format: Online

Duration: 16 weeks

Credits: 3 credits

Early detection of learning differences, as well as proper assessment and timely intervention, can help a struggling student become a successful one. In this course, you will explore the many methods of assessment and intervention, as well as the research that supports these options. You will also learn the importance of parental involvement and the legal aspects of student assessments.

As you get to know several students with a range of learning differences, you gain experience evaluating assessment choices and gain greater insights through weekly discussions with your professor and fellow students.  

This course covers the complex issues of assessment in early care and education. Weekly content provides you with an in-depth review of informal evaluation procedures and classroom-based data collection strategies for young children in inclusive early care and education settings. The course focuses on academic, affective, work-study skill, adaptive functioning, fine motor skills and environmental measures.

Content coverage consists of an overview of assessment models including traditional, informal, dynamic, performance, curriculum-based, and alternative techniques. It includes an examination of evaluation procedures, from pre-referral intervention, eligibility/placement/ program decision-making to progress monitoring of scientifically based instructional interventions in regards to Response to Intervention (RTI).

Course content will address Bloom’s Taxonomy of Learning, legislation, regulations, topical issues and emerging evaluation trends. Other topics include test modifications/accommodations and parent involvement and assessment/progress reporting with a focus on procedural considerations in the assessment of development and learning in the early childhood years. Related discussions also include the challenges in assessing young children and using assessment data to design meaningful, developmentally appropriate activities for children and their families.

Sample Course Topics  

Throughout this course, weekly topics may include:

  • Introduction to Assessment
  • Formal and Informal Assessment Procedures
  • Assessment of Oral Language and English Language Learners
  • Reading Assessment
  • Written Language Assessment
  • Mathematics Assessment
  • Content Area and Related Arts Assessment
  • Transition Assessment (Pre-K to 8 and 7 to 12)
  • Progress Monitoring

Examples of What You’ll Learn

When you complete this course, you will be able to:

  • Explain the primary reasons for assessment and describe the purpose of early intervention services.
  • Identify the components of a comprehensive educational evaluation.
  • Explain parental rights in the assessment process.
  • Determine which assessment method is most appropriate for the specific needs of each student. Design and implement effective test administration.
  • Identify major issues of speech and language as well as English Language Learner and/or bilingual assessment.
  • Discuss language development issues, types of speech disorders and screening methods, and the methods of evaluating language development.
  • Incorporate authentic reading measures and methods of designing, implementing, scoring, and interpreting a variety of informal reading assessments into your instruction.
  • Identify the three main components of written language and the seven traits of writing.
  • Discover mathematical problem areas that can influence a student's ability to succeed at math skills, including language, instruction, and information processing, as well as dispositions towards math.
  • Use general assessment procedures, including self and peer-assessment, learning logs, and informal and authentic evaluation measures.
  • Identify students with low to high incidence disabilities.

To learn more about the online Master of Science in Education – Special Education curriculum from Saint Joseph’s University, including Diagnostic Assessment and Progress Monitoring, call (610) 660-3400 to speak with a Program Manager or request more information.

The content presented on this page is representative information for example purposes and is subject to change without notice as course and student needs change over time. For current course descriptions, please see the Online Academic Catalog.

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