Your monthly update on all things MS-CPAS!
October  2018 Issue
Trick or Treat

hope most of you are familiar with our newsletters now that a majority of schools are finishing the first nine weeks of the academic year! Please take a moment to share our   MS-CPAS Minute page , found  on the RCU website, with others who may want to subscribe or catch up on recent issues. In this and future issues, I will use this section of each newsletter to provide educational treats that may be of use to you in the field. Most of what I will share I will have tested personally, and the majority will be of no cost.  

In my university course, I have started using Flipgrid as the primary instructional strategy for classroom introductions and to check students' understandings of the material. This free video reflection tool integrates into Canvas and Speedgrader via LTI. All of my Flipgrid assignments count toward a participation grade and use a simple rubric for grading. One assignment my students especially enjoyed was a Flipgrid Scavenger Hunt  in the library here at Mississippi State University. This activity puts a modern twist on an old game. Even at the undergraduate level, the activity promoted student engagement and encouraged students to learn the skills necessary for future success in my course. For other ideas using Flipgrid, check out 15-plus ways to use Flipgrid in your class and the Flipgrid Disco Library (requires login).

I hope this month goes well for each of you and you all receive more treats than tricks!

Sean Owen, PhD
Assessment Manager
Important Dates

Fall Roster Submission Period.................    Oct. 29-Nov. 9
Fall Testing...............................................          Nov. 12-16
National Certification Testing....................    Nov.12-Dec. 7
MS-CPAS Updates
As the midpoint of the semester grows near, we are also moving toward the time to prepare for fall testing. Verification tools used to submit test rosters will open on the RCU website on Oct. 29 and will close Nov. 9 for both secondary and postsecondary programs. Please note demo testing is open year-round and provides an opportunity for you to test computer labs as well as an opportunity for students to become familiar with using the testing system. Helpful information on test preparation and administration is found in the  Secondary CTE Testing Manual  for high school programs and in the  Postsecondary CTE Testing Manual for community college programs.
We want to impact your students' growth and technical-skills attainment in positive ways, and we believe there is information in our assessment reports that can be helpful in the teaching and learning processes. Three report examples are highlighted here. The MS-CPAS Class Report contains the class's average score for each unit and can be used to inform instructional practices as instructors note the units in which students are experiencing success and the units in which students are experiencing difficulty. The MS-CPAS State Overview Report, containing the state average per unit, allows instructors to compare their students' unit's average score with the statewide average and gives a more complete perspective. The MS-CPAS State District Program Ranking Report can be used as a networking tool, allowing instructors to connect with teachers in programs with demonstrated success. More information on reports is available in the MS-CPAS Secondary Interpretive Guide and in the MS-CPAS Postsecondary Interpretive Guide.
National Certifications Updates
There are a few changes to note for the 2018-2019 school year.
  1. NCCER baseline reports will hopefully be published on the reports area of the RCU website in the next few weeks.
  2. The early childhood education pathway will no longer pilot a national certification exam. Students in Year 1 and 2 will take MS-CPAS assessments as their measure of technical skills attainment.
  3. Culinary arts Year 1 and 2 students will take MS-CPAS assessments as their measure of technical skills attainment. Students who receive a passing-level score on Year 1 or 2 may opt to take a ProStart (online only) exam. This qualifying process is similar to the automotive service technology pathway. Culinary arts is currently undergoing curriculum revision, and all assessment options are being discussed as the pathway moves forward.
Please go to our national certification page for more national certification news, manuals, and archived webinars.
Performance-Based Assessment
Polymer science teachers worked over the summer and during MS ACTE to create four scenarios for their second-year performance assessment. These materials are posted on the PBA page of the RCU website and are available for instructors to begin guiding students through the assessment now. This is an exciting move toward the course-embedded, year-long format we hope to offer for all participating programs in the future. Many thanks to those polymer science instructors for making this possible.
Architecture and drafting and simulation and animation design teachers met in September to calibrate scoring of student assessment artifacts, gather exemplary work to use for scorer training in OSCAR, and make any needed revisions to assessment materials. Updated materials will be posted to the RCU website by the end of October.
Digital media technology is also participating in revised PBA this year. Materials for the assessment will be available by the end of November.
Mark your calendars: The deadline for submitting completed student artifacts for PBA will be March 22, 2019 by 5 p.m.
If you have any questions about PBA for school year 2018-2019, please reach out to Ashley Priebe Brown via the RCU Help Desk.
Webinar Wednesdays

On the second Wednesday of each month, the RCU communications team will host webinars to help teachers and administrators promote their CTE programs.  The first in this series will take place Oct. 10 at 11 a.m. and will focus on developing and maintaining a social media presence . Topics include: 
  • Popular social media platforms and how they are alike and different
  • Things to keep in mind when using social media for promotion
  • How to effectively use hashtags
You can either join the conversation live via this Zoom link or view it and other episodes on the RCU website, where they will be archived.

See below for the dates and topics of future discussions. If you have any questions, please contact either Amanda Gronewold or Carl Smith
Staff Spotlight: Jason Hauser

"The work here has been eye-opening.There's such breadth...And everyone here genuinely cares about students."

To read more about Hauser, who joined the RCU'S communication, research, and evaluation team as an editor in July, view his staff spotlight in the RCU Newsroom
Key Contacts
Assessment Manager ..............................
IAD Meetings and Training Events...........
National Certification ...............................
PBA .........................................................
Research and Standard Setting................

Have assessment needs not addressed in this issue?
Create a Help Desk ticket, and we'll get right on it! 

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