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School of Education, Health and Human Behavior

Frequently Asked Questions

(Click on a question to view the answer.)

Where can the password be obtained to access edTPA information about the specific teacher licensure programs at the right of this website?
The required password for these protected portals is supplied to districts and cooperating teachers in the placement confirmation notice.
What is the edTPA? How was it developed?
The edTPA is an educator licensure assessment process designed by teacher educators to answer the essential question: “Is a teacher ready for the job?” The edTPA includes a review of a teacher candidates’ authentic teaching they plan and implement as the culmination of a teaching and learning process that demonstrates each candidates’ abilities to effectively teach subject matter to all students. Effective September 1, 2015, the edTPA is a teacher licensure requirement in Illinois.
Will SIUE supply the cooperating teachers and candidates with access to the handbooks that provide detailed instructions and assessment rubrics for the edTPA?
Yes; the program-specific handbooks may be accessed by clicking on the appropriate program password protected link at right side of this website.
How much and what kind of support can the cooperating teacher provide the teacher candidate during the preparation and execution of the edTPA?
For a complete answer to this question, the program-specific edTPA handbooks may be accessed by clicking on the appropriate program link at the right side of this website. In general, the cooperating teacher may:
  • Explain the overall design of curriculum materials along with instructional and assessment strategies being used in the classroom; however, it is the candidate’s responsibility to make selections and/or adaptations based on perceptions of their students’ strengths, needs, and on the content to be learned.
  • Ask probing or clarifying questions that encourage candidates to deepen their analysis and reflection on the artifacts, commentary prompts, and/or their responses and to communicate these analyses and reflections more clearly.
  • Use rubric constructs or rubric language to provide candidates with guidance on how their performance will be evaluated formally once submitted.
  • Use rubric constructs or rubric language to debrief observations made by field supervisors or cooperating teachers (unless the observation is made of a lesson recorded and analyzed as part of the TPA learning segment).
Should the cooperating teacher be in the classroom when the video-recording for the edTPA occurs?
Yes, the cooperating teachers may assist the candidate with the technical aspects of recording process; however, they must not interrupt or interfere with the lesson unless the safety of the students is in jeopardy. Cooperating teachers are asked to consider operating the recording devices for the teacher candidates so as to enhance the quality of the recordings and to ensure that students without parental permission are not included in the recordings.
Will the edTPA requirement impact instructional time in the classroom?
The edTPA process should have minimal if any impact to the instructional time in the classroom. Candidates will complete assignments in cooperating teachers’ classrooms that support their abilities to succeed with the edTPA, including lessons, informal inventories, and observations. These assignments are designed by SIUE faculty to complement and support the academic curricula and schedules employed by cooperating teachers in their classrooms.
How much time will be needed for the preparation and recording of the edTPA?
Planning for the edTPA should begin about two months prior to the submission due date. Typically, this process involves selecting an appropriate learning segment that addresses student learning needs and strengths while also aligning with any school or district requirements.
Will teacher candidates have time off from their student teaching duties to compile the edTPA?
Yes; the exact amount of time and the schedule will be determined by the specific SIUE licensure programs.
How will students’ identities be protected?
To protect the confidentiality of students in any portion of the edTPA process, candidates must not use the names, and must use pseudonyms or general references (e.g., “the district”) for the state, school, district, and cooperating teacher. All names on any typed or written materials (e.g., commentaries, lesson plans, and student work samples) that could identify individuals or institutions must be removed or masked.

To protect the privacy of all individuals who appear in the video recording, the teacher candidates must:

  • use students’ first names only
  • store/upload the video recording only to their designated SIUE secure server system, and
  • delete all video recordings, audio recordings, and scanned student documents from all devices within 48 hours of the end of the semester in which the samples were taken.

Prior to submission, only authorized SIUE faculty will be permitted access to any recordings or documents for the sole purpose of providing formative feedback through the secure system at SIUE.

When is the best time during their student teaching semester for the teacher candidate to do the edTPA?
Teacher candidates will need to schedule the recording of the learning segment they choose for the edTPA very early in their student teaching semester. The teacher candidates’ edTPA submissions must be completed by the midpoint of their student teaching semester for uploading to the Pearson Company for evaluation. To meet these deadlines, the teacher candidates and cooperating teachers must identify an appropriate date to video-record the chosen learning segment and, preferably, identify a backup date as they consider the demands of state testing, snow days, special events, or other urgent happenings. Early planning provides the candidate sufficient time to complete and comply with the various parts of the assessment.
What if the teacher candidate does not pass on the first or subsequent attempt?
If a candidate’s edTPA submission is not deemed acceptable by the evaluation team at the Pearson Company, the candidate will have only one opportunity to revise the first submission. Failure to pass the initial or subsequent submission will mean that the candidate cannot be licensed to teach.
How can cooperating teachers help prepare their teacher candidates in school placements that occur prior to the student-teaching semester?
It is crucial that teacher candidates have multiple opportunities to practice video-recording of their teaching, as well as planning, implementing, observing, and reflecting about instruction in school placements prior to their student-teaching semester. Teacher candidates need to acquire basic planning, teaching, observation, and reflection skills to meet the edTPA requirement. They will need practice and guidance in conjunction with SIUE course work to develop and hone these skills at levels that will be expected for a well-prepared, novice teacher.
What type of lesson should the teacher candidate prepare for the edTPA?
When selecting a learning segment to video-record for the edTPA, candidates should work with their cooperating teachers and supervisors to identify a central focus for teaching and learning that align with Common Core State Standards. The decision on what to teach, much like any learning segment, should be driven by what candidates are expected to learn at a particular point in their teacher-licensure program coupled with students’ own particular developmental and academic learning needs. District guidelines, school focus, grade-level expectations, classroom curriculum maps and/or pacing guides should be considered as well.
Are there specific tips for video recording?
If possible, candidates should plan to video-record several lessons. This will provide options for selecting video-recording clips in case of equipment malfunction or a particular lesson does not go as well as planned. The selected clip(s) should include interactions between the candidate and the students, including the responses to student comments, questions, and needs. When in doubt about choosing a video-recorded segment, cooperating teachers and candidates may look at level 5 of the edTPA Instruction Rubrics, which are located within the program-specific password-protected links at the right side of this website.

Other reminders include:

  • Before recording any students or scanning student work, candidates must be certain that parent permission has been acquired as per district policy. District policy varies among SIUE partner districts as to whether specific parental permission for recording and scanning of student work samples is required. Most districts handle the permission process through the district parent handbook rather than relying on specific permission slips.

    View information about district requirements for parent permission
    If a specific permission slip is required by the district, download a sample version in English or in Spanish.
  • Backup all files and recordings! Do not store the original and backup in the same location. The loss of documents and/or recordings due to a failure to backup files will not waive the requirement for completing the edTPA. Failure to succeed on the edTPA will prevent licensure, so any data associated with the requirement must be backed up.
  • When the files are uploaded to the secure SIUE server and transmitted to the Pearson Company, all files and recordings along with any backup files and recordings must be deleted. All video recordings, audio recordings, and scanned student work must be deleted from all devices within 48 hours of the end of the semester in which the recordings occurred.
Where can help with technology problems be found?
First, alert the University supervisor to the problem. Teacher candidates and University supervisors are aware of resources on campus where help is available. Assistance also is provided by the School of Education Dean’s Office (AH1137) on request. Call (618) 650‑3350.
Who can answer questions concerning the edTPA?
The University supervisor is the first contact; often the supervisor can answer questions concerning the edTPA. If supervisor cannot provide the answer, he/she will consult SIUE faculty to get an answer.
How is the SIUE faculty assisting teacher candidates to learn about the edTPA?
SIUE faculty methods courses are committed to providing meaningful and timely instruction and assignments that are relevant to school classroom work and the preparation of candidates for the edTPA tasks. Because the assessment tasks required by the edTPA are grounded in instructional settings, SIUE methods instructors have embedded their preparatory assignments in the most practical and meaningful contexts: cooperating teachers’ classrooms. Common assignments across programs include practice and guidance in describing the classroom learning environment, writing lesson plans, reflecting on the teacher candidate’s own instructional practices, and analyzing formative and summative assessments of student learning. The teacher candidate and school placement supervisor will understand these assignments and will help cooperating teachers adjust assignment requirements to be relevant to particular school and classroom settings. Click on the links at the right side of this website to access each program’s specific edTPA-related assignments during the methods courses.
Who retains the copies of the permission slips?
For districts requiring a specific permission slip for recording and for collecting artifacts for the edTPA, district policy will dictate who will maintain the permission slips. Typically, the school district will keep the permission documents on file.
What student behaviors should be demonstrated during the edTPA?
The video recording should clearly show student engagement in the learning activities of the lesson. The individual voices of students as they are working on a task or with each other also should be audible as much as possible in order to provide evidence for the scorer to evaluate. The work the students are doing should be complex and show student thinking, analysis, and judgment. If the students are not accustomed to engaging in these kinds of interactions, the candidate will need to document how the students are being supported in developing these abilities. Lessons that require students to only focus on recall of facts or information or to practice a set of narrow skills, conventions, or procedures, are not appropriate choices for the edTPA.

It also is beneficial if the video recording includes students engaged with the key academic language. The recording should include situations in which students are at least offered the opportunity to use and display their understanding of academic language.

Should special education students be excluded from the lesson and video-recording process?
No; all students should be treated equally for the edTPA requirement. Any student with parent permission for edTPA involvement may be included in the video recording regardless of abilities or disabilities. Likewise, students without permission must be included in the lesson so that no student learning opportunities are lost. However, students without requisite permission must be omitted from the video recording.
Can instructional aides work with students as they normally do during the edTPA taping?
Yes; the edTPA should have minimal if any impact on the instruction or routine of the classroom.
What research supports the use of the edTPA?
  • Peck, C.A., Gallucci, C., & Sloan, T. (2010). Negotiating implementation of high-stakes performance assessment policies in teacher education: From compliance to inquiry. Journal of Teacher Education, 61, 451-463. DOI: 10.1177/0022487109354520.
  • Newton, S. (2010). Preservice performance assessment and teacher early career effectiveness: Preliminary findings on the performance assessment for California teachers. Stanford, CA:  Stanford University, Stanford Center for Assessment, Learning, and Equity.
  • Pecheone, R.L. & Chung, R.R. (2006). Evidence in teacher education: The Performance Assessment for California Teachers (PACT). Journal of Teacher Education<, 57, 22-36. DOI: 10.1177/0022487105284045.
  • Darling-Hammond, L. (2010). Evaluating teacher effectiveness: How teacher performance assessments can measure and improve teaching. Washington, D.C., Center for American Progress.
  • Washington State TPAC Technical Assistance Team (2010). Five key challenges for implementing the TPA. Olympia, WA: Author. Retrieved from 2011-12/8-19-11/TPA-Reports/FiveKeyChallengestoTPACImplementation.pdf
  • Peck, C.A. & McDonald, M. (2013). Creating “culture of evidence” in teacher education: Context, policy, and practice in three high-data-use programs. The New Education, 9, 12-28. DOI: 10.1080/1547688X.2013.751312. 
Why are teacher candidates in Illinois required to do an edTPA?
The Illinois Legislature passed Senate Bill 1799. Beginning on September 1, 2015, all candidates completing teacher-preparation programs in Illinois are required to pass an evidence-based assessment of teacher effectiveness approved by the State Board of Education in consultation with the State Educator Preparation and Licensure Board. All recognized institutions offering approved teacher-preparation programs must begin phasing in the approved teacher-performance assessment no later than July 1, 2013.

Beginning in January 2014, candidates who entered two-year teacher-preparation programs at SIUE will be required to pass the edTPA prior to their receiving a license to teach in Illinois.

Do candidates completing multiple licensure programs — such as middle school and high school licensure — have to complete more than one edTPA assessment?
Candidates will complete only one edTPA assessment for their initial license. Candidates completing concurrent programs will need to be advised by SIUE faculty as to which edTPA to complete.
If an Illinois-licensed teacher returns to a teacher-preparation program for an additional endorsement/license, does the teacher have to complete the edTPA?
No; the edTPA is required only for the initial license.
If a teacher candidate is seeking a K-12 license in art or music, at what level should the candidate complete the edTPA?
Candidates, in consultation with the SIUE faculty, will select the handbook best aligned with the license they are seeking. Candidates can document their teaching in whichever level they are assigned by the faculty in their program.
What responsibilities do school districts assume with the edTPA?
  • District leadership must review current district policy to determine how parent permission will be obtained for the required video-recording, audio-recording, and the collection of artifacts such as scanned student work. Where necessary, district leadership should update or add to the policy to accommodate these activities. Most districts working in partnership with SIUE are handling parent permission through their parent handbooks or on the registration form.
  • District leadership must communicate the policies about the edTPA with principals and teachers to ensure adherence to these policies.
  • School leadership must serve as a liaison between the school and the community while assisting parents and other stakeholders in understanding: a) the purpose and scope of the new licensure requirements, and b) the importance of providing educational environments open to video-recording, audio-recording and other forms of teacher inquiry.
Who scores the edTPA assessments?
Scorers include teacher educators from the programs participating in the edTPA requirement, as well as other qualified teacher-education faculty, clinical supervisors of student teachers, P-12 teachers, school administrators, and National Board Certified teachers. All scorers are recruited and selected because of their documented experience both with beginning teachers and subject-matter content. Their efforts help to support assessment or an evidence-based process that can make objective, comparable, and valid judgments of novice teaching skills and readiness for employment. The criteria for selecting scorers are rigorous. Details can be found in Pearson’s scoring recruitment guidelines. These educators also are carefully monitored during scoring activities to maintain high quality.

Scorers are compensated for their effort to improve the performance and preparation of incoming teachers. They are paid for training as well as for each assessment scored.

Can SIUE faculty use candidate writings submitted for the edTPA for future examples and program improvement?
For internal program planning and evaluation use only, faculty members do not need specific candidate permission to review their edTPA documents. For external audiences (e.g., accreditation reviewers) and to share a candidate’s materials (all or part) with other candidates, specific candidate permission is needed. Also, unless permission to share for purposes other than the edTPA assessment process (including program improvement) was included in the permission process granted by parents, then permission must be obtained for sharing edTPA documents as well. Note that candidate materials shared need not include the video recording to be useful.
What support do candidates have with the video-recording process and uploading?
During seminars, faculty and staff will provide basic assistance. Further assistance is provided by the School of Education Dean’s Office (AH1137) on request. Call (618) 650-3350.
Where will the video recording be stored?
Ultimately, the candidate will upload the recordings and documentation to the Pearson Company’s secure website; however, there will also be a secure placeholder website at SIUE’s School of Education to upload videos and any other supporting documents. Candidates should create a backup file for the recordings and artifacts. The backup file should be kept in a separate location from the original. All video recordings, audio recordings, and scanned student work must be deleted from all devices within 48 hours of the end of the semester in which the recordings occurred.
May candidates upload practice recordings to a secure site where my SIUE peers and instructors can analyze it and provide feedback?
Yes, candidates have access to a secure edTPA course site to upload recordings and documents, but under no circumstances are candidates permitted to upload these items to a public site or any other website unless it is approved by SIUE. All video recordings, audio recordings, and scanned student work must be deleted from all devices within 48 hours of the end of the semester in which the recordings occurred.
Is there a size limit for the recordings and documents that are to be uploaded?
Documents should be in submitted in Arial font, 11-point type, with 1" margins and single-spaced type for all commentary. The target video size from Pearson is 200-300 MB. Candidates may submit up to 500 MB per video clip. Pearson offers video compression software. Candidates should refer to the edTPA handbooks regarding page limits and the number of files. Handbooks may be found by clicking on one of the program links at the right side of this website.

Scorers are told to continue reading beyond the page limit if the answer is finished in a few lines, then to stop. Candidates must respect the page limits.

Who pays the edTPA scoring fee?
The scoring fee for the edTPA is the responsibility of the teacher candidate.
What video-recording equipment may teacher candidates use for the edTPA?
Candidates may use their own equipment; many have cell phones with recording capability. Also, if schools have equipment available, candidates may use this equipment with the permission of school officials. Finally, SIUE has recording devices and tripods available for checkout for the recording of the edTPA segments.
What program format does the video need to be in for uploading to the SIUE storage site?
Video clips can be uploaded in the following formats: flv, asf, qt, mov, mpg, mpeg, avi, wmv, mp4 or m4v.
What program format do supporting documents need to be in for uploading to the SIUE secure storage site?
Commentary should be in one of the following file types: doc, .docx, .odt or pdf.
How long must the submitted video recording be?
Unless otherwise instructed in the edTPA handbook, candidates should submit no more than one or two 15-minute video-recording clips. The recordings must be continuous and unedited, with no interruption in the events. If two clips are used, the two clips may come from the same or different lessons.
Can the video recording be in two shorter teaching segments rather than one long segment?
Yes, but each shorter segment must be continuous and unedited.
What program can candidates use to crop videos?
  • For Windows, use Windows Movie Maker.
  • For MAC, use imovie.
Can the video recording be edited? If so, what editing is permissible?
The video recording should be continuous and unedited, with no interruption in the events. The recording may be cropped only at the beginning or the end.
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