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Please read our “Student Guide” before attempting one of our courses. Click here to view it.
This course can be taken as either a self-paced or instructor-led course. If you wish to take this course in a self-paced manner, disregard any due dates as this information is for students who are taking the instructor-led version of the course. Please feel free to contact your instructor with any questions or concerns that you have regarding activities or readings. Messages will be returned within 48 hours. Self-paced courses may contain written assignments that must be graded by an instructor. These activities will be graded within 72 hours to ensure that thorough feedback is given.
The duration for all of our courses is fixed. If you need more time, just let your instructor know. They can extend your course subscription beyond the allotted duration time. The system does not allow you to extend a course subscription on your own.
This course explores what the achievement gap is, the minority groups that it effects, and how educators and administrators can take this information and create a learning environment that encourages equality and equity which is essential to closing the achievement gap for their students.
“The term achievement gap refers to any significant and persistent disparity in academic performance or educational attainment between different groups of students, such as white students and minorities. Generally speaking, the achievement gap refers to outputs—the unequal or inequitable distribution of educational results and benefits” (Edglossary, 2013).
It is important to understand that achievement gap is not a group of isolated events but is a predictable trend that has remained stable and persistent over time. It has a lasting and damaging effect on the lives of students. To close the gap, we have to first understand the problem and the full extent of its impact. It is important also to understand the role that we all play in the problem and all of the stakeholders involved so that ownership of creating solutions to the problem exists.
Organization of the Course
This course includes several activities that are meant to help you learn the course material.
The Forum is used to facilitate class discussions. In the Forum you will have the option to view and respond to Topics (discussion threads) that other people have created. Alternatively, you can create a new Topic and respond to your classmate’s comments about your posting. Instructors often give assignments that include the course Forum. Just click on the Forum tab to access the course Forum.
Readings and Course Materials
The readings and course materials were created to provide the learner with background information and knowledge concerning each unit topic.
Our videos are meant to provide students with unique insight into each unit topic.
Course learning is facilitated through readings from articles, blog entries, scenario analysis (Professional Crosswords), assignments, reflection essays, and projects. The course allows students to participate in the discussion and the learning process without being online at the time as their fellow students and instructors.
Should be at least 500 words and should be substantiated through support from the readings and professional experiences. At least two sources are required for each post.
Allow students the opportunity to share their proficiency and growth from the readings and collaborative environment. The length of the essay will change week from week.
Quizzes and Final Exam
Quizzes check a student’s understanding of content. It also ensures that they have achieved the proficiency necessary to move on to the next lesson. Quizzes are in multiple-choice answer format. Students must achieve a proficiency score of 80% or better to move on to the next unit.
The final exam assesses your mastery of the course content.
The articles from your readings contain content that you will need to successfully complete your end of the unit quizzes and also your final exam.
Each unit includes learning outcomes, which are statements that specify what learners will know or be able to do as a result of a learning activity. The learning outcomes in our courses are usually expressed as knowledge, skills, or attitudes.
Helping you digest the knowledge, skills, and dispositions beginning teachers should possess, each unit correlates content to relevant InTASC Standards. The beginning of every unit outlines the pertinent connections between standards and unit content.
Method of Evaluation
Weight of Assignments
Written Assignments 960 points 63%
4 quizzes 400 points 26%
Final Exam 160 points 11%
Total Points 1520 points 100%
A = 1368-1520
B = 1216-1367
C = 1064-1215
D = 988-1063
F = 987-Below
The Grade of A
The essence of A-level work is excellence overall with no major weaknesses. A-level work demonstrates real achievement in grasping what critical thinking is, along with the clear development of a range of specific thinking skills or abilities. The work at the end of the course is, on the whole, clear, precise, and well-reasoned, with occasional lapses into weak reasoning. In A-level work, critical thinking terms and distinctions are used effectively. The work demonstrates a mind beginning to take charge of its own ideas, assumptions, inferences, and intellectual processes. The A-level candidate usually analyzes issues clearly and precisely, usually formulates information clearly, usually distinguishes the relevant from the irrelevant, usually recognizes key questionable assumptions, usually clarifies key concepts effectively, typically uses language in keeping with educated usage, frequently identifies relevant competing points of view, and shows a general tendency to reason carefully from clearly stated premises, as well as noticeable sensitivity to important implications and consequences. A-level work displays excellent reasoning and problem-solving and decision making skills. The A student’s work is consistently at a high level of intellectual excellence.
The Grade of B
The essence of B-level work is that it demonstrates more strengths than weaknesses and is more consistent in high level performance than C-level work. It nevertheless has some distinctive weaknesses, though no major ones. B-level work represents demonstrable achievement in grasping what critical thinking is, along with the clear demonstration of a range of specific skills or abilities. B-level work at the course is, on the whole, clear, precise, and well-reasoned, though with occasional lapses into weak reasoning. On the whole, critical thing terms and distinctions are used effectively. The work demonstrates a mind beginning to take charge of its own ideas, assumptions, inferences, and intellectual processes. The candidate often analyzed issues clearly and precisely, often formulates information clearly, usually distinguishes the relevant from the irrelevant, often recognizes key questionable assumptions, usually clarifies key concepts effectively, typically uses language in keeping with educated usage, frequently identifies relevant competing points of view, and shows a general tendency to reason carefully from clearly stated premises, as well as noticeable sensitivity to important implications and consequences. B-level work displays good critical thinking, problem-solving, and decision making skills.
The Grade of C
The essence of C-level work is that it demonstrates more than a minimal level of skill, but is also highly inconsistent, with as many weaknesses as strengths. C-level work illustrates some but inconsistent achievement in grasping the knowledge and skills required in the course. Though some assignments are reasonably well done, others are poorly done; or at best are mediocre. There are more than occasional lapses in reasoning. Though critical thinking terms and distinctions are sometimes used effectively, sometimes they are used quite ineffectively. Only on occasion does C-level work display a mind taking charge of its own ideas, assumptions, inferences, and intellectual processes. Only occasionally does C-level work display intellectual discipline and clarity. The C-level candidate occasionally analyzes issues clearly and precisely, formulates information clearly, distinguishes the relevant from the irrelevant, recognizes key questionable assumptions, clarifies key concepts effectively, uses language in keeping with educated usage, identifies relevant competing points of view, and reasons carefully from clearly stated premises, or recognizes important implications and consequences. Sometimes the C-level candidate seems to be simply going through the motions of the assignment, carrying out the form without understanding the assignment. On the whole, C-level work shows only modest and inconsistent reasoning and problem-solving and decision making skills and sometimes displays weak reasoning and problem-solving and decision making skills.
The Grade of D
The essence of D-level work is that it demonstrates only a minimal level of understanding and skill in knowledge and skills required in the course. D level work shows only a minimal level of understanding of content and critical thinking skills are, along with the development of some, but very little critical thinking skills and abilities. D work at the end of the course, on the whole, shows only occasional critical thinking and decision making skills. Most assignments are poorly done. There is little evidence that the candidate’s “reasoning” through the assignment in a problem solving manner. Often the candidate seems to be merely going through the motions of the assignment, carrying out the form without understanding it. D work rarely shows any effort to take charge of ideas, assumptions, inferences, and intellectual processes. In general, D-level thinking lacks discipline and clarity. In D-level work, the candidate rarely analyzes issues clearly and precisely, almost never formulates information clearly, rarely distinguishes the relevant from the irrelevant, rarely recognizes key questionable assumptions, almost never clarifies key concepts effectively, frequently fails to use language in keeping with educated usage, only rarely identifies relevant competing points of view, and almost never reasons carefully from clearly stated premises, or recognizes important implications and consequences. D-level work does not show good reasoning and problem-solving and decision making skills.
The Grade of F
The essence of F-level work is that it demonstrates a pattern of incoherent thinking and/or failed to do the required work of the course. Here are typical characteristics of the work of a candidate who receives and F. A close examination reveals: the candidate does not understand the basic nature of education and does not display the appropriate thinking skills and abilities, which are at the heart of the course. The work at the end of the course is vague, imprecise, and unreasoned as it was in the beginning. There is little evidence that the candidate is genuinely engaged in the task of taking charge of his or her thinking. Many assignments appear to have been done pro forma; the candidate simply goes the motions without really putting any significant effort into thinking his or her way through them. Consequently, the candidate is not accurately distinguishing the relevant from the irrelevant, not identifying relevant competing points of view, not reasoning carefully from clearly stated premises, or tracing implications and consequences. The candidate’s work does not display the knowledge, skills, and dispositions necessary for problem-solving and decision making.
Rubric for Written Assignments
All written assignments are to follow the sixth edition of the APA Publication Manual. This manual is available in any bookstore or you can use Owl at Purdue, which is a free resource available to the public. It can be accessed here: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/560/01/. Each student is required to provide complete and accurate reference citations, when appropriate. In accord Edvocate PD’s policies on academic honesty, failure to give proper academic credit may result in a penalty for plagiarism.
You can find our rubric for all written assignments below:
Distinguished (Earns you 90-100% of the possible assignment points)
- Clearly & effectively responds to assignment.
- Main idea (thesis) very clearly stated & topic is effectively limited.
- Thesis supported by a variety of relevant facts, examples, & illustrations from experience, references to related readings, etc.
- Few, if any, minor errors in sentence construction, usage, grammar, or mechanics
- Source material is incorporated logically & insightfully. Sources are documented
Proficient (Earns you 80-90% of the possible assignment points)
- Response to assignment generally adequate & thorough.
- Main idea clear & topic is limited.
- Thesis well-supported in body of the assignment by facts, examples, illustrations though support may not be as vivid as the “A” response.
- There may be a few minor or major errors in sentence construction, usage, grammar, or mechanics.
- Source material incorporated logically. Sources documented accurately.
Emergent (Earns you 70-80% of the possible assignment points)
- Minimally responds to the assignment
- Main idea clear or implicit & topic is partially limited.
- Thesis generally supported in body of assignment by facts, examples, details. No more than one paragraph with inadequate support.
- There are some common errors (major and minor) in sentence construction and mechanics but the writer generally demonstrates a correct sense of syntax.
- Source material incorporated adequately & usually documented accurately.
Insufficient (Earns you less than 70% of the possible assignment points)
- Does not respond well to assignment
- Main idea unclear & topic only partially limited.
- Thesis supported in body of paper by few facts, examples, details. More than one paragraph with inadequate support.
- There are numerous minor errors and some major errors. Sentence construction is below mastery and may display a pattern of errors in usage and mechanics.
- Source material incorporated but sometimes inappropriately or unclearly.
- Documentation is accurate only occasionally.
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