Improving the edTPA Experience at St. Francis College

As the #edTPA tweets reveal, finishing edTPA® is an important and challenging step in the process of becoming a teacher.

Richard Giaquinto, Chair of the Education Department at St. Francis College in New York City, has been helping candidates through the process of compiling portfolios since New York state adopted the assessment in 2014.

Richard’s candidates consistently needed support compressing videos and keeping track of when everything was completed. As a result, more than a few candidates receivedSt. Francis College - Richard incomplete scores.

But last fall, candidates at the college started using Edthena to compile and transfer their edTPA portfolios to Pearson for official scoring. As a result, candidates completing edTPA at the college this year have had a much different experience.

What happened after you adopted Edthena as St. Francis College’s edTPA Platform Provider?

Edthena solved all the problems associated with platforms we’d been using previously. In fact, the technical problems with uploading and compressing videos almost entirely disappeared. 

It is now easy for students to compress videos. And the system of green dots in Edthena makes it easy for students to keep track of their edTPA progress.

Students are now passing the edTPA at a higher rate than they were before we adopted Edthena.

Because of this, we have started thinking about how to embed Edthena throughout our program – in addition to using the platform’s edTPA features.

In what ways are you thinking about using video with students aside from edTPA?

We are beginning to pilot a program where student teachers submit another video after their edTPA is submitted for their last observation of student teaching. They would then attend a sort of final session with their faculty observer, wherein both the student teacher and the faculty member review and analyze the video together.

I also see other possibilities for using it in our methods classes. For example, my students can videotape lessons in selected courses, and our faculty can review them to determine student progress in the program.

It is our opinion that this interactive analysis of a lesson using video is more effective because it helps encourage discussion and reflection. St. Francis College

What have you been telling others about your experience with Edthena?

I have taught in the NYC Public Schools for approximately 30 years as a teacher, administrator and supervisor. I have been at St. Francis College working with students for 18 years. And of course I’ve been working with students to help them complete edTPA since 2014. I’ve used other platforms in that time, but we prefer Edthena.

In fact, I like Edthena immensely. It is a valuable tool for me because it makes my students’ lives easier. The dexterity of the platform is exciting.

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