General Course Information for ECE215: Basics of Assessment

Course: ECE215 - Basics of Assessment
Textbook: For the correct edition of the textbook assigned to a specific class, go to:

Course Description:

Focus on appropriate use of observation and assessment instruments to document development and learning in all domains in order to plan appropriate child-centered curriculum and effective instructional strategies for typical and atypical children.

Course Learning Outcomes:
  • Summarize the essential reasons for observation and assessment
  • Explain the basic components in the process of assessment as a cycle
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the legal and ethical responsibilities related to the assessment and observation process including confidentiality.
  • Articulate the value of involving families and other professionals in the observation and assessment process.
  • Identify developmentally, linguistically and culturally appropriate assessment instruments including recording of observations, rating systems and interpretation of data.
  • Design child-centered developmentally appropriate lessons to plan instructional strategies using observation and assessment information for typical and atypical children.
  • Apply an interweaving of observation and assessment into a child-centered curriculum which shows competence in selection of instructional strategies designed to create a developmentally appropriate learning environment, under supervision, within a preschool setting.
Course Requirements:

Review two (2) recent articles on a topic related to current issues in the testing and assessment of young children. The article should have been published within the last two years. Describe the major points in the article and your response. Be prepared to share in small groups. Interview a preschool teacher who has a child with special needs how standardized tests are used to identify such children and how individual action plans are designed for them. Conduct three (3) observations of development. Use a different type of observation for each, selected from anecdotal records, running records, time sampling, and event sampling. Use an adaptation of the sample observation from in Figure 5-6, pg. 127, Chapter 5, for each of the three observations. Design a portfolio to be used with preschool children. Include (1) sections of the portfolio, (2) the types of teacher assessments you would use, and (3) how you would you report the child to parent(s). Answer selected questions at the end of each assigned chapter. Final examination.

Students with Disabilities:
Students seeking special accommodations due to a disability must submit an application with supporting documentation, as explained under this subject heading in the General Catalog. Instructors are required to provide such accommodations if they receive written notification from the University.

Writing Across the Curriculum:
Students are expected to demonstrate writing skills in describing, analyzing and evaluating ideas and experiences. Written reports and research papers must follow specific standards regarding citations of an author's work within the text and references at the end of the paper. Students are encouraged to use the services of the University's Writing Center when preparing materials.

The following website provides information on APA, MLA, and other writing and citation styles that may be required for term papers and the like:

National University Library:
National University Library supports academic rigor and student academic success by providing access to scholarly books and journals both electronically and in hard copy. Print materials may be accessed at the Library in San Diego or through document delivery for online and regional students. Librarians are available to provide training, reference assistance, and mentoring at the San Diego Library and virtually for online or regional students. Please take advantage of Library resources:


Contact the Library:

  • (858) 541-7900 (direct line)
  • 1-866-NU ACCESS x7900 (toll free)

Use the Library Training Tools (on the Library Homepage) for additional help

  • Recorded class presentations
  • Tutorials & Guides (APA/MLA, Peer-Review, and more)

Plagiarism is the presentation of someone else's ideas or work as one's own. Students must give credit for any information that is not either the result of original research or common knowledge. If a student borrows ideas or information from another author, he/she must acknowledge the author in the body of the text and on the reference page. Students found plagiarizing are subject to the penalties outlined in the Policies and Procedures section of the University Catalog, which may include a failing grade for the work in question or for the entire course. The following is one of many websites that provide helpful information concerning plagiarism for both students and faculty:

Ethical behavior in the classroom is required of every student. The course will identify ethical policies and practices relevant to course topics.

Students are expected to be competent in using current technology appropriate for this discipline. Such technology may include word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation software. Use of the internet and e-mail may also be required.

Learning to work with and value diversity is essential in every class. Students are expected to exhibit an appreciation for multinational and gender diversity in the classroom.

As a diverse community of learners, students must strive to work together in a setting of civility, tolerance, and respect for each other and for the instructor. Rules of classroom behavior (which apply to online as well as onsite courses) include but are not limited to the following:

  • Conflicting opinions among members of a class are to be respected and responded to in a professional manner.
  • Side conversations or other distracting behaviors are not to be engaged in during lectures, class discussions or presentations
  • There are to be no offensive comments, language, or gestures